February 18, 2019
It is very likely that you created your company with a clear or tangible vision. That is, you were sure of who your customers were and why they needed your product. Now, there is the possibility that your vision could have been flat out wrong.
Many entrepreneurs create startups with an ideal client in mind, but often find themselves having to shift their vision and their purpose. Even those who commence their journey with thorough market research, refined marketing, and high expectations occasionally have to deviate from their original purpose. Those who adapt and evolve survive; those who don’t often fail.
If you find yourself in a holding pattern, feeling stuck, or moving extremely slow, it might not be because of your product or service. You might have to ask yourself a couple of very tough questions: Am I selling the wrong thing or am I targeting the wrong customer?
It is not uncommon for entrepreneurs to often find themselves reconsidering their original vision. Success comes from the right product for the right market. While it is easy to make assumptions before hitting the market, once your offering is out there you might find a totally different result from what you had expected.
So what next? You’ll have to put the time to investigate what needs to be changed to make your company as successful as you were certain it would be. Start with your existing client base: Are they who you thought they would be? Surveys can provide some key insights you might have missed entirely.
Naturally, this will mean returning to the drawing board. It might require abandoning your original vision altogether, but sometimes it is necessary. Take one of our clients,Chris Nemeth, the founder and CEO of FaceSoft, who created a company based on an idea that was remarkably different. He wouldn’t have known this until he launched his product and received feedback. At this point, he had to make a choice: to continue down the path he was going and end up on QVC, or shift his branding and marketing and go after the audience that was already embracing his product. After much soul searching, he decided to shift gears by going with his newly found audience and couldn’t be happier with the result.
It is obviously a hard decision that isn’t risk-free, and any entrepreneur will attest to this. There is no playbook to aid in making the best call here, but a choice must be made for a company to have a chance at survival. At this point, a rebrand is the only choice.
Naturally, starting with a new brand strategy and ending with a new marketing message is in no way a small or inexpensive undertaking, but for many business owners it is the only recourse. The rebranding will put the company on the map, thus saving it.
While facing a sunk cost can be disheartening, the future is bright. If you are worried that you're not reaching the correct audience or that a rebrand might be necessary for your company to pull through, it’s time to schedule a meeting with an agency partner.