Since 2008, the United States has been picking itself up from the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Fast forward a decade, and our economy, while different than before, is much healthier with unemployment below 4% for the first time in 15 years. Growing companies are offering more generous salaries in hopes of bringing on (and retaining) fresh talent. Real-estate prices have rebounded (and in our respective Asheville and Durham locales, skyrocketed). One could argue that things are looking up…at least in the world of money.
If your organization is currently riding this wave of prosperity, it’s probably hard to justify a serious change to your brand. Rebrands are often the result of a company identifying a missed opportunity for growth and shifting their message accordingly. You’re growing at a steady pace right now and to expect much more could be dangerous — especially if you’re finding it difficult to staff your company to accommodate demand.
More than a logo
When a client engages us for a possible branding project, one of the most important things we hope to learn from them is why they are considering a rebrand to begin with. Sometimes, the answer to that question is, “my logo is old and ugly and I’m ready to make a change!” Fantastic! Being ready to change is step one, but what else is going on here? Are your sales numbers low? Are you changing your product offerings? Are you gearing up to sell the business? With some candid conversation, we’re usually able to get to the bottom of how we can really make a difference for you.
What we’ve noticed more and more as the labor market tightens is that companies are spending more time, effort, and money on recruiting and retaining talented employees. This is a dramatic shift from only a few years ago when employers would have numerous qualified candidates lined up, hoping to secure a steady paycheck. Combine this with a mass exodus of retiring baby boomers, and we find that companies are often scrambling to fill their staff.
Offer more than a salary
If your company is a bit old school — and not in a fun, “retro” kind of way — your hiring woes could very well be remedied, at least in part, by offering a more compelling story to possible employees. It’s well documented that the up-and-coming working generation appreciates jobs that provide more than just a paycheck. Take it from this coddled, craft-beer sipping, hybrid-driving millennial — a little altruism mixed with some work/life flexibility goes a long way. It’s part of the reason I signed on as “employee one” at Status Forward and haven’t looked back.
Navigating a rebrand that’s focused more on internal unification rather than external growth can be challenging. You’ve built a successful business after all, and you’re not eager to flush that down the drain with some harebrained scheme to attract fresh workers. This is where the element of communication comes in. By getting to know what makes employees and customers tick, we can find commonalities and help you build a brand identity that shines both inside and out.
It doesn’t last forever
All that being said — the economic growth we’re experiencing will eventually taper, and we will one day fall into recession again. Who’s to say how bad it will be…a drop in the bucket or 2008 all over again. Either way, the company with the great brand, great culture, and competent employees will always have an easier time weathering the storm than the complacent company that refused to modernize, be it due to lack of interest or protest toward self-important 24-year-olds. Unsurprisingly, it’s also much easier to make a financial investment in refining your brand when things are good, as opposed to scrambling to make a procrastinated change while markets fall and accounts drain.
All other things being equal, at least the company with the lovely logo will leave the best impression on our dystopian, post-apocalyptic streetscape.
Maybe that’s taking it a step too far, but you get it…Invest in your brand — for now, and later.