Can you believe that 2008 is 13 years ago! No? Neither can we. activ has been operating as a business for well over a decade now, and 2021 has been the year that there has been the most change (for the better) as we have entered a new era.
As featured in our previous blog post, in January of this year activ was acquired by Katie Bullon, a former Franchisee of the business. The first priority to ensure our future success was to put the whole business through a re-brand. Why?
Firstly, the business has massively evolved since 2008. The team have grown in experience, the client base has developed to over 1000 live clients, and the standard of service is at a level we are proud of. However, the brand has not evolved over the years in line with the business.
We were not using our brand to present our business in the correct light to our existing and potential customers and therefore the messaging was confused.
Katie and the marketing team tackled this year’s re-brand immediately post acquisition. It was the first major change which has in turn uncovered other areas which have been through development for the better (more on this at a later date!).
Here is a top-level overview of the process that was followed and the key things we feel should be considered when undertaking an existing business re-brand of any type.
Please note this is written from a marketing perspective and there is much more to be worked on through this process covering legal, accounts, trademarks, logistics, staffing. The list goes on!
When undertaking any business re-brand, it is vitally important to take a step back and understand some key fundamentals:
– Who is the business serving?
– What are your key strengths?
– Where are the gaps in your success?
– What do your customers think of you as a business?
– How can you service customers better?
– How do you match up against competitors?
– In activ’s case as a franchise business: What do our franchisees think about head office?
We carried out research with our franchisees, head office team and customers. The findings really helped define our vision for the future and led onto stage 2.
2. Define company structure
If company structure is part of the re-brand, this should be defined in these early stages. Lack of clarity in a business’s structure can be confusing for the customer and lead to a lack of trust in the business. A clear structure is also important for employees in understanding expectations and where they fit within the day-to-day operation.
In the case of activ, the different business units were very muddled, and we had to bring in Katie’s existing franchise, Bull Solutions, to the group. We defined a higher-level group brand to encompass all three trading entities. The new company structure is:
3. Develop a positioning statement
Research, teamed with existing knowledge of the business as well as the business plan, then allows you to develop a positioning statement.
A positioning statement roughly does what is says on the tin. It’s a brief statement of where you see your business in the marketplace and how you fulfil the needs of your defined audience, with your defined products or services.
To help define your positioning statement, consider the following questions.
– If you look at the core of your business, what is important to you?
– What key feature of your business helps you succeed?
– Why do your customers want to work with you?
– Why does repeat business occur?
As a marketing franchise offering services, our client and our franchisees are the key to our success. activ’s positioning statement was defined as follows.
4. Development of business vision, mission and values
Taking the positioning statement a step further, you can then move on to develop your businesses vision, mission and values. Understanding these key elements is vital to how you operate as a business.
Taking the time to understand your research is vital. It can give you the insight to be able to make these elements of your brand really work for you. As a sample, activ’s new vision, mission and values have been defined as follows:
5. Design concepts stage
Taking on board everything covered in points 1-4 it is generally then time to move to design concepts. There are so many things which you should consider in detail when looking at your brand design, such as:
– Customer base
– Usage and location of comms
– Market trends
Here at activ, we really needed to move away from our old logo and brand design (for obvious reasons!). We went through many revisions and finally decided on the new logo and accompanying elements.
The overall look and feel is modern and effectively represents us as a business. The icon links back to our positioning statement as it represents a person being at the core of our business. Pink was found to be the most appropriate colour, to work with our wider colour pallet and to create the desired impression of the new era of activ.
6. Creation of new brand and roll out of platforms
Once you have defined your new brand it is vital to work on all other elements to re-develop the design and remove any mention of the old brand. This may sometimes be a lengthy, complex and costly task, but it must be done. An incomplete re-brand is almost worse than sticking with what you had in the first place.
From an activ perspective, once the logo had been signed off here, we worked on bring our multiple websites, marketing materials and documentation in line. This is still partly a work in progress, but we are nearing completion.
Check out our other websites here:
We have had a busy 6 months here at activ but the changes we have made are just the start of the future for us. We are excited to continue our journey. If your business is in need of a re-brand, let us know!