Branding: What Pancakes Teach Us
Was that a rebrand or?
Recently, IHOP (International House of Pancakes) caused a social media frenzy about it's rebrand to IHOb. You see, IHOP has an identity crisis. When it comes to top-of-mind branding - they are the pancake king. However, they don't want to just be known for breakfast and those super-sweet rootie tootie pancakes. No indeed...they have hamburgers, and fries and salads...oh my!
Not to worry, only a few of their major outlets will get a new sign sporting the new IHOb logo. Most of the other 1800 locations will retain the traditional IHOP signage.
Yet, their media splash did the trick. People all over are talking about the change. IHOP used a Twitter tease to get people to get in on the action and created a storm of guesses about what the "b" would stand for.
Maybe you remember when Kentucky Fried Chicken went through media growing pains, too. Suddenly, anything fried was "of the devil." So they began marketing as "Kitchen Fresh Chicken". Their branding changed to KFC. So, now their signs say KFC. I guess we get to decide for ourselves what it means.
For my part, not all branding is a winner. Remember when Burger King changed their fun-loving king to a guy who looked kind of creepy? Yet, an edgy spokesman is exactly the right thing to do if you want to break out of the pack and reach an entirely different market with your burger franchise. Think Jack in the Box and guys sitting on the couch with late night munchies. All of these branding strategies resonate with the target market of the company. And when you're in business, you have to think about these things, too.
A Rose by Any Other Name is...
To digress just a bit, I've had a few different branding moves. My first serious branding was LAMB: Living At My Best, and I still use that as my foundation company today. I abandoned it for awhile because it had a lot of sad memories for me from past sales experiences. I thought I needed to reimagine myself, but I kept coming back to my darling Lambs. You can read about its creation in my book for leaders titled: Design Your Culture ~ Empower Your Team
My personal brand at DonnaWoolam.com is going through a change as of this writing. It is moving toward a site for my spiritual writing and speaking. That happened as I did a rebrand with The Work at Home Queen as the business coaching and training arm of my company, Living At My Best, LLC.
Within LAMB, LLC are other brands, including HeartCode and Christian Women Entrepreneurs. But, they are all me.
Each one is designed to expand on a different part of what I offer to the people I serve. But in the beginning, there was one site, LivingAtMyBest.com.
Your Journey is Your Branding
Let me make it easy for you, okay.
First of all, whether or not you ever plan to have a private website, it's ALWAYS a good idea to buy your name as a web domain, You never know when you might become famous and want to capitalize on that fame.
For example, prolific author and artist Shelley Hitz went through a year-long process to rebrand her author training academy to live within the Shelley Hitz brand. As she adds new elements to her brand, such as Your Creative Adventure, they live within her primary brand property.
Second, if you're just starting out, keep it simple. In the article Vanilla is For Ice Cream, Not Your Brand, I tell you how to get started in branding by choosing colors, fonts and, graphics image styles.
Third, if you've been at this awhile, make sure your voice is heard. And, the way to do that is to make sure YOU are the brand. Even if you are a contract representative for an insurance agency, real estate brokerage firm or network marketing brand, YOU are the person people do business with. When I created my LAMB identity, it set me apart from every other person in my market.
Fourth, as you expand what you offer to the market, it is time to consider a rebrand or a secondary brand (ie Living At My Best to Donna Woolam as a rebrand, and The Work at Home Queen and HeartCode as secondary brands.)
How will you stand out in the market?
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