In 2013, I was hired as the Junior Social Media Assistant at The Bulletproof Executive, a blog run by Dave Asprey.
Dave had recently become extremely popular in the health and wellness space online, pitching Bulletproof Coffee on Joe Rogan’s podcast. The business had a sudden tidal wave of growth. I was employee #20, give or take.
The Bulletproof brand was a complete mess. The blog, “The Bulletproof Executive,” was designed for high performing executives like himself. While the e-commerce store where he sold his products was called “Upgraded Self,” however the products were branded with the Bulletproof name. Causing a decent amount of confusion.
The branding featured a cool meditating man with a spiral on his chest. It was archetypal hippie-style branding of the American West Coast. The company had a cult following and people loved the logo.
During a business trip to Asia, it dawned on Dave that the meditating man may be seen as a religious symbol in many cultures, and to further the reach of the company, we should rebrand to something more digestible by everyone.
The rebrand was accepted by everyone as being necessary. Over the next year, thousands of dollars were spent, and the “dove” was created. A careful rollout was orchestrated by the team. Everything would switch over on the morning of the 2014 biohacking conference in Pasadena.
Dave got on stage, explained the new direction of the brand, and the new “Bulletproof Dove” illuminated the conference hall. There was a half-second of silence, and people booed.
Shocking, I know.
The rebrand was a waste of money and resources designed to appease people who didn’t care. The audience in the conference hall was a perfect sample of the cult followers that built the company through their support.
Your brand is not your problem
I’ve never met a person who’s happy about their company brand. Hell, my logo for Samurai Social Media, cost me $50 to have a friend design it. And I’m not changing it. The name is silly too.
But Samurai Social Media is a fully functional business with many happy clients. They couldn’t care less about our brand. They just want our services.
Many business owners see their brand as a stain on their overall service. But almost no one looks at your brand when considering your offerings.
Rebranding costs money and hardly fixes anything
Looking to rebrand is a symptom of laziness combined with acute fear. Your business’s real problems are low sales, unhappy customers, poor customer support, bad operations, poor hires, and the list goes on.
Fix those problems first. Your brand should be an afterthought. People really do not care as much as you do!
Rebranding is guesswork at best
Branding agencies do “research” with low sample sizes, and those results will have little effect on what actually happens in the marketplace. Focus groups are essentially a complete scam “science.”
You could hire a marketing intern and get much of the same feedback as you would get from Don Draper. They’ll actually be better at it, especially if they’re still in school.
What you should do besides rebranding
Spend some time to identify your real business goals and take a slow, deep breath.
When you exhale, realize that none of your goals have anything to do with your brand. Grow your business and do the things that matter.