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Dave Murray

Rebranding: Our Extra-gutsy Overview!

Rebranding: Our Extra-gutsy Overview!

Before I even knew what rebranding was, I knew it was a pain in the ass.

Years ago, before Vanessa and I started working together, my dad and I had a chat. You see, we lived in Jackson, MI – a town that, at the time, had an underwhelming art culture, to say the least. As a graphic designer and illustrator who had a degree in painting and drawing, yours truly was a bit more annoyed with the town than the average Jacksonian.

So, there Dad and I were, seated comfortably in the living room – waxing philosophically as we were prone to do, when I brought up my frustration at the lack of Jackson’s art culture. Dad thought for a second, and said something so simple, and so prudent, I’ll never forget it: “You can either stay here and try to change it, or go somewhere else.”

I somehow knew there was no way I could change that culture as fast as I’d like. I instinctively knew rebranding Jackson’s art scene – before I even knew what rebranding was – would take forever.

Rebranding, the Wiki Definition

Oh man, I hate using Wiki definitions, but the Merriam Webster doesn’t have “rebrand” on its site. Anyway, here’s what Wiki has to say: “Rebranding is a marketing strategy in which a new name, term, symbol, design, or combination thereof is created for an established brand with the intention of developing a new, differentiated identity in the minds of consumers, investors, competitors, and other stakeholders.”

As usual, Wiki – or whomever wrote this for Wiki – missed the boat.

Rebranding, the Mayniax Branding Definition

“Rebranding is changing the culture, the focus, and sometimes the name and / or look, of an existing brand.”

I may be biased, but I like our definition better. And if you use our definition of rebranding, you’ll be able to predict which brands do it right, and which brands kinda go the other way.

Rebranding: The Good, The Bad, and the WTF?

Good Rebranding: Apple

When Steve Jobs returned to Apple, one of the first things he did was focus the product line. We wrote about that some here.

But he also fixed the culture.

A couple months ago, I came across a clip of an internal meeting at Apple. It was shortly after Steve Jobs returned, and he was preparing to unveil the “Think Different” ad campaign to his team.

In that meeting, Jobs looked at his team and told them that it’s not about speeds and fees, it’s not about bits and megahertz, and it’s not about why they were better than Windows. Instead he said, “Apple, at the core, its core value, is that we believe that people with passion can change the world for the better.”

With those words, and the “Think Different” campaign, he not only changed the culture, but he started Apple on the path that would make it the number one company in the world.

That’s the way to rebrand.

Another great rebranding story is LEGO. I typed all about it, here.

Bad Rebranding: Xfinity

This is not only a terrible attempt at rebranding, but it’s an insulting one, as well.

In several of its markets, Comcast renamed itself Xfinity. We saw no attempt at a culture change. There was no shift in focus. All they did was create a new name and logo. You would think, if any company needed a culture change – using the Mayniax Branding definition – it would be Comcast.

In fact, in case you missed this, there’s actually a company out there that will call Comcast for you, since their customer service is just a touch worse than abysmal.

What’s scary is that, way back when, you could actually get away with a simple name change. But today, with social media and a whole lot of other forms of instant communication, we’re all well aware Xfinity is the same old Comcast. That’s why I find it insulting.

So, obviously Xfinity is a text book example of bad branding.

WTF Rebranding: RadioShack

RadioShack is a prime WTF example. Also, it’s late, so I needed an easy target to pick on.

In 2009, RadioShack decided to rename itself “The Shack,” which it hoped would make it sound cool. Instead, people had visions of a weirdo saying to them, “You sure got a purty mouth.” Frankly, it was a desperation move on RadioShack’s part. Considering it filed for bankruptcy last year, the desperation move didn’t work.

“So, When Should I Rebrand?”

If you’re reading this blog, my guess is you’re an entrepreneur. So, this answer’s with that in mind: the absolute best time to rebrand is when your company’s still small enough for the rebrand to be under the radar – and you realize it needs to be done. You may realize it because you notice no one’s remembering you, or because your sales have been stagnant for a while.

You may even need a rebrand because your work is making you miserable. Vanessa and I got to a point where we were miserable with our old business, because we weren’t able to truly help people. It’s even part of our story on the Mayniax Branding About page.

You shouldn’t rebrand, however, when you’re desperate for money, because like anything else in branding, it’s usually quite a while before it takes.

In Closing

Rebranding is a tricky thing to pull off well. Even large corporations fail at it because they don’t understand a huge cultural revamp and a shift in focus are essential to a quality rebrand. But it can be done.

We’re here to answer any questions you have about that, and any other branding topic, so shoot us an email at contact@mayniaxbranding.com

And that’s all I gotta say ’bout that!

Stay gutsy!

Dave Murray

Our Own Brand’s Renaissance

Our Own Brand’s Renaissance

We’ve undergone a bit of a brand renaissance as of late. I’m gonna talk a bit about that in this post, but first…

I hate yoga.

Of course, that implies I do yoga. And I do. Sometimes, I do yoga. There, I said it. Feel free to confiscate one of my man cards. Most of the time, I’m cool with yoga. It actually relaxes me. And therein lies the problem. There’s nothing worse than being calm and relaxed when one’s super jazzed about typing on something they’re especially geeked about.

But for you, the people, I shall power through!

Editor’s note: There was gonna be a pic of Dave, all relaxed and stuff after yoga, in this spot. But…he looked a little too relaxed.

The Renaissance of Mayniax Branding

When we started our sort-of humble branding biz in July of 2014, it was because we were sick of seeing entrepreneurs needlessly struggle, when we knew all they needed was a little brand strategy help to set them on the path to success. We wanted to help them live the lives they’ve dreamed of since starting their entrepreneurial enterprises. But man, you guys have crazy dreams!

Towards the end of 2015, we started seeing just how wonderful the entrepreneurs we deal with really are. We saw they had fantastic dreams! Benevolent dreams! These weren’t those evil rat-bastards we hear about, sitting in ivory towers trying to squeeze every last penny out of us. These are people who want to change the world for the better! These are people with dreams of housing the homeless, preparing high school kids for careers, and helping us all live healthier lives. And we started realizing, it’s not just about helping these people live their dreams. It’s about helping these people change the world! And it’s about helping them change a world that could do a helluva lot better than it’s doing now.

The Mayniax Branding Mission Statement(s)

Mayniax Branding - Our New Mission Statement

Our old mission statement read, “Our job is giving gutsy business owners and entrepreneurs a shot at better lives, and we brand the hell out of their businesses to make that happen.”

But with our newfound understanding of just how crazy you guys are, that wasn’t good enough. So, here’s the new one, “The world is broken. And we believe entrepreneurs are the only ones who can fix it. But they’ll never get that chance if no one cares about their brands. So, with a little bit o’ nuttiness, a little bit o’ research, and a lotta bit o’ guts, it’s our job to make people care.”

And don’t judge us because we haven’t updated the site, just yet.

The New Culture of Mayniax Branding

Mayniax Branding - More Passion. More guts. More caffeine.

If you’ve been paying attention to some of our other blog posts, or just know a little something about branding, you may be wondering how this will impact our culture. The short answer is, “It won’t.” The long answer is that we’re even more sure we’re doing the right thing for our clients, as well as ourselves. We’re even more passionate. We’re even more gutsy. And yes, we’re even a whole lot more caffeinated!

We aren’t, however, planning on writing anymore blogs after yoga.

Stay gutsy, gang!