Rebranding is a big deal. It’s a process that requires some deep diving. It means taking a serious moment to look at the heart of your business—why you do what you do and whether your customers are aware of that.

A poor brand can be detrimental. It may seem like a small thing when you’re wrapped up in your daily work, but your brand is your appearance. Would you take your lawyer seriously if they showed up in a Hawaiian shirt and flip-flops to defend you? Now, we’re not saying that Hawaiian shirts and flip-flops are bad, (they fit in pretty well on the beach) but your brand and appearance says a lot about you. And a poor brand in the wrong context will convey the wrong message. A Hawaiian shirt at your friend’s luau means you got the memo. A Hawaiian shirt on your lawyer means they may not be taking your case seriously.

An inconsistent brand is just as bad. Do you wear the same clothes you wore 10 years ago? Hopefully not. Things change, styles and dreams evolve, and so should your brand.

So if you want to be taken seriously, get a better brand.

The first step to our branding or rebranding process is a deep dive meeting. In this, we sit down and get to know you and your business. But before you consider going through the branding process, there are some questions you can ask and exercises you can do to be better prepared.

What one word describes what your business does?
Boiling it down to one word really helps you hone in on the ultimate problem you are helping solve. It can be specific or broad. If you find that it’s a specific word, that can help you identify a niche market. If it’s broad, you may realize all that your company really does offer, and the branding process may involve helping customers understand all of your offerings underneath one umbrella (like marketing).

What one word describes your most important value?
This helps you identify the heart behind what you do. You may offer a product or service that a lot of other people offer, but your values may differentiate you. Maybe you offer a common product with the best customer service, or a friendly smile, or the fastest service. Take for example Jimmy John’s. They just make sandwiches, but they value fast delivery.

What do your customers say?
If you have social media already, create a poll and ask what your customers think. Or, go old school and ask them when they come to your office or store. Ask them why they come back. You may think that your business stands apart for a totally different reason than your customers do.