There is more than one reason to consider re-branding your massage business. It can feel overwhelming. We talk through what to think about and how to implement a re-brand.
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Allissa Haines Hello, everyone. Welcome to the Massage Business Blueprint podcast, where we discuss the business side of massage therapy. I am Allissa Haines.
Michael Reynolds And I’m Michael Reynolds.
AH And we are your hosts today and most days. And we are delighted — delighted to be talking to you today, and —
MR Most days?
AH Most days.
MR I’m trying to think of which days we are not the hosts.
AH Well, sometimes I do interview episodes without you.
MR Oh, that’s true. I guess that counts.
AH But I didn’t — so I didn’t want to set unreasonable expectations. If this is someone’s first episode, you know, sometimes on occasion you might hear an episode with only one of us. And though your heart breaks a little, know that it will go on.
MR [Laughing] That’s fair.
AH Slipped in a Celine reference really early in the day. So this is what happens when we record in the morning. A little extra perky today. I have already seen one client. My second client of the day has cancelled. And so — which actually works out really well for me because I have to get home and make a birthday cake for a — one of the child’s friends.
And how are you? It’s a Friday. We don’t normally record on Fridays so I’m feeling extra perky. How are you, Michael?
MR Yeah, it’s a good Friday so far. All is well over here. The rain has finally stopped, so I think we can finally enjoy some outdoor time here in the Indiana world over here. So all is well.
AH Sweet. This is a thick topic today, so I want to get right into it.
MR Go for it.
AH Once again, I adore when Michael does the heavy lifting. So he will be — this is going to be all him. But first I’m going to read a listener question that has prompted our topic. So a listener emailed us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can email us, too, if you have questions. But this particular listener asked, “For many years, I have been doing massage. I know that you” — speaking to me, Allissa — “recently went through a rebrand. I am also in the middle of one. I just have a feeling that I might be missing out on some things. Perhaps you can go through a checklist of what you did when you were starting your rebranding.”
And I’ll just give you — my response was — knowing that we were going to cover this more in-depth in a podcast was that rebranding is a lot like just rebuilding your business from scratch, only the perfect way you wish that you had built it the first time. So all of the steps for starting your business from scratch apply. And we’ve got a whole bunch of those resources on the site. But I love when Michael does marketing deep-dives. So take it away, sir.
MR All right, yes, this was a great question. And it happens more often than we think. A lot of massage therapists that we have been in contact with recently are kind of thinking about a rebranding or going through a rebranding or changing something, and I kind of like that because it’s really what I think business is all about is evolving and getting better and better and trying new things.
So I want to break the topic down into two sections. So the first section is more kind of what is rebranding, what the experience might be, what sorts of things to pay attention to. Then after halftime, we’ll kind of talk about some of the implementations and the why behind some of it. So let’s get started with what rebranding is.
So you’re going to get different answers depending on who you talk to. So a big expensive branding agency will, rightfully, talk about branding as a very deep exercise into messaging, into mission, into the visuals and the concepts, and all of the deep stuff that goes into what makes the DNA of a business. And that is correct. It is also correct that for a small business of one to, you know, a handful of people, rebranding is — can be very simple. It can be as simple as changing your business name, your logo, your messaging. All these things are sort of lightweight versions of rebranding as well. And there’s no right or wrong really. It’s just kind of what is in the context of your business and the size of your business and what you’re doing. I want to get that out of the way because some people say, oh, rebranding is changing your logo. Well, technically it’s not, but for all practical purposes it serves the same purpose.
So what is rebranding? Rebranding is updating the look, feel, or experience — and/or experience of your business. So there are different ways to approach a rebranding. And we’re going to use the term “rebranding” whether it’s just updating your logo, which is just really identity or visuals, or a sweeping change in your business. So a lot of people go through what I call “soft rebrand.” A soft rebrand is kind of what it sounds like, more of a lightweight update.
Alissa, I think you actually recently went through what I would call a soft rebrand. This involves updating your logo, maybe getting a new logo designed, updating the colors and the style of your visual elements, maybe doing some updates on your business mission or messaging, your website; sort of the visual elements of how you present yourself to the world.
Is that kind of how you would see it as well, Allissa?
AH No, I’d actually disagree (indiscernible) because I not only did a rebrand on the visual design and stuff, I changed all of my marketing materials to niche in depression and anxiety.
MR That’s true, so it actually would be more of a full rebrand.
AH It is.
AH It’s not like — it’s probably not hard-core the fullest rebrand one could ever see. But yeah. So you can bring me in as an example again.
MR Yeah. Well, on the spectrum of things — it’s kind of a continuum. So yeah, I mean, you’re right. You did actually refocus your niche differently. A lot of fundamental things changed. So in the example of someone who might be truly doing a soft rebrand, it might just be a change of logo. It might just be a change of some visual elements. It might be just a few tweaks here and there. And that’s perfectly legitimate. Maybe you’re not changing your business name, maybe you’re not doing a lot of sweeping changes, but you’re updating your “how people perceive your business.”
So a deeper rebrand — doing a lot more things and going more toward a full rebrand or more of a — what you might expect from the term “rebranding” in a technical sense is changing your business name, perhaps, changing the fundamental experience that clients have with your business, changing your target market, changing your logo, messaging, basically everything. So one of the big, kind of, indicators to me that it is a deeper rebrand is changing your business name. I see this happen sometimes where a massage therapist will be running a business under one name, and because of the way they are changing the nature of their business and how they operate and the service they provide and all sorts of things, they decide to change the name of the business to better reflect that. And that is part of what rebranding can include.
So again, it’s a spectrum, so I wouldn’t say that redesigning your website is a rebrand, but something like your logo, which is a visual anchor and part of your brand, that would kind of count as working toward rebranding. And again, the more you update, the more the experience changes.
So any commentary on that before we do halftime, Allissa?
AH Nope, that all makes sense to me.
MR All right, well, why don’t we do halftime and then we’ll jump into some of the whys, the hows, and the details.
AH All right, today’s —
MR So — yeah, go for it.
AH — halftime — I’m ready. I’m so ready. I brought my notes up; I’m ready. Except I forgot what I was going to say.
AH Today’s halftime sponsor is Yomassage. And we are so delighted to have Yomassage as a new sponsor.
Sponsor message Yomassage’s mission is to make therapeutic touch accessible. To make this happen, they created a modality in which clients can receive touch in a small group setting. Yomassage practitioners combine restorative stretch, mindfulness, and therapeutic touch. In addition to offering massage at an accessible rate, Yomassage classes appeal to more people because they are — the clients can remain fully clothed, and it’s offered in a safe environment. You can find — learn more about Yomassage trainings near you by visiting massagebusinessblueprint.com/yomassage. And our Blueprint listeners get $50 off any training in July and August of this year, 2019. Use the code BLUEPRINT to get that $50 off. And you can learn more at massagebusinessblueprint.com/yomassage.
AH And I just want to note that they have trainings happening all over the U.S., and I’m bummed because I can’t make the one in August in Boston. The timing just doesn’t work well for me, but I am totally going to travel to take a class, probably towards the first half of 2020. I’m really excited. We’ve got a couple of members who’ve taken the training and are delighted with it and are doing really well already with Yomassage classes in their practices. And I’m delighted that they’re a sponsor.
MR We love Yomassage.
AH Yay. Massagebusinessblueprint.com/yomassage.
MR All right. So let’s jump into what to consider when implementing a rebrand or going through the process of a rebrand. So first of all, let’s talk about why you might want to do this. So there are many reasons why you might want to rebrand your massage business. One could be are you just tired of your current name or logo? I’m not going to say whether this is legitimate or not because I think it depends. I think that some people might approach it as saying, you know what; I’m just tired of my business name and my logo. And that’s not really the problem. Like, I don’t want to necessarily say that it’s always ideal to jump straight to a rebrand if you’re just tired of your name or logo. There may be other things at play that you could improve on that would not require a rebrand. On the other hand, it’s your business, and if you’re just tired of it, you’re perfectly entitled to rebrand it and get a new logo. So just kind of be thinking about it. So if your reasoning is just that you’re just wanting a change, I would just encourage you to think through that and make sure that’s really the reason you want to use to rebrand.
Also another example would be are you changing your niche? Are you going from a generalize massage practice to a very specialized massage practice? I could be wrong, but again, I think I would classify — I think I would put Allissa in this category of going from more generalized to more specific.
Would you say that’s true for your practice?
AH Sorry, I couldn’t get the unmute button fast enough.
MR Come on Alissa.
AH Sorry. It’s allergy season so I was muting.
AH So anyhow. Yes. I forgot the question already, actually.
MR Well, I think you went a little more specific in your niche and that kind of prompted a rebrand as well.
AH Yes. It was a combination of — it was so good because I had an opportunity to get a new website done professionally, and there was a deadline on it. So it really pushed me, and it’s been something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. So it really nudged me to just get it done, do the work quickly. So yes. I went from a very specific general “you look at my website and don’t really know why you should come see me website” to one that was very much like, hi, if you have anxiety or depression or cancer, you should come to me for massage. If you want deep-tissue work and you want someone to jam their elbow into your gluts, maybe go see one of my other colleagues. That’s the — how I rebranded. I went from seeing just about everyone — I went to casting a wide net to casting a very conscious, thoughtful, small net.
MR Yeah. Thank you. So —
AH I don’t know if that answered your question, sorry.
MR It does, absolutely. By the way, you’re welcome, to our listeners, because we are not going to launch into a whole soapbox about niching. But be aware that niching could be a good reason to rebrand. Also, maybe you are changing something about the structure of your business. One really great example is a lot of massage therapists will start off with their name as the name of the company. So for example, My Name Massage Therapy, or My Name, LMT would be your business name. Now, if you are going to expand and you start to add team members, there’s nothing that says you can’t continue using that name. But some people might want to make a more — create a more generalized name or a more non-specific to a person name for their massage practice to kind of reflect the fact that they are becoming a team versus one person. So that might be one good reason to change the name of your business. So those are a few examples. There are — there’s no right or wrong. Rebranding has a lot of different purposes behind it, a lot of reasons you can do it. But those are some examples.
So implementation. What do we do when we decide we want to rebrand? First of all, I would encourage people that are considering this process to spend enough time to take it seriously but not to overthink it. It’s kind of a fine line. I have been there many times. Allissa and I have both been through rebrands and many, many times, I have kind of been through this process where it is so easy to go to one extreme or the other. One extreme it’s, oh, let’s just change the name and change the logo and not think about it and okay, poof, and we just kind of go full steam ahead, and then we realize, oh, we didn’t think through this aspect of it and this aspect of it. And you want to make sure you actually give your rebrand enough time to pick the right business name, to pick the right logo, to pick the right messaging, to really make sure it’s the direction you want to go.
Or the other extreme is to overthink it and never do anything because you’re so caught up in oh, my gosh, what if I make the wrong decisions and it has to be perfect, and that doesn’t get us anywhere either. So let’s make sure we have the right balance of thinking through all of the details of our rebrand and what we want to with our business name and logo and all of the ramifications of that without overthinking it to the point where we get paralyzed. So we realize we can change things later. If you rebrand and you don’t like it, you can change things again. Like, it’s not set in stone. Obviously, it’s not encouraged to just change things all the time, but it’s not set in stone. You can update things later.
We want to prioritize. The order of things is if you are going to change your business name, do that before your logo. Do that before your website. If you’re going to change your logo, do that before your website. If you’re going to change your website, do that before social media. So kind of have an order of operations of how you’re going to prioritize things. Understand that the essence and the name and the, kind of, DNA of your business should be first. If that’s going to change, do that and figure that out before you do anything else. The logo should be the visual anchor point of your business. So do that and get that done before you go on to other marketing materials. If you’re not changing your business name, that’s fine. Just skip on to logo or skip on to the next thing, but make sure you go in the right order. Don’t start by redesigning your business cards and then go back and change your logo, or redesigning your website and then go back and change your business name. So prioritize, kind of walk through the steps of going from internal to your business to outward.
As far as how to roll things out, there’s not really a right or wrong. I’ve seen all different kinds of schedules work. You can do things all at once, you can basically say, okay, I’m going to change my business name, my logo, my website, then I’m just going to kind of launch it all on one day. You can do that. That’s not the end of the world. You can certainly make that happen. The downsides of that are it’s sometimes very difficult to get everything just right all at the same time, and it often slows us down and keeps us from actually launching anything. So if you’re going to do that, just don’t be so hard on yourself. Just get kind of something out the door. A slow rollout is also acceptable. We’re not operating in this huge Fortune 500 corporate world where things have to be just perfect. I mean, we’re a small business, and we can do what we want. So if you want to do a slow rollout by maybe changing your business name, and then you get a new logo, and then you redesign your website, and you kind of drip things out slowly, that’s perfectly acceptable. Maybe you don’t get around to updating your email newsletter template for a couple weeks. Okay. That’s not the end of the world. Just start to kind of gradually migrate to the new brand. That is okay. One advantage of that is that it gives you time to kind of communicate the change to your client. So if you are seeing clients and they are noticing the change, hey, I like your new website, or hey, new logo, you can say, yeah, here’s why I’m doing it. I’m really refocusing on my niche or I’m really changing my business in this direction. I’d love to hear your feedback and thanks for your support. And it really helps people kind of migrate with you. So there are some pros, I think, to a slow rollout also.
So that is — I want to wrap up with one last thought, which is I want to make sure that we embrace the phase of getting used to it and then fully commit. So it’s usually not comfortable to go ahead and do a full rebrand. A full rebrand or even a soft rebrand is not always comfortable. It’s kind of scary. We — especially when we’ve been operating with a certain business name, a certain logo, a certain website, a certain messaging for so long, we get used to it, and change can be scary. So don’t be afraid to just kind of embrace this phase of oh, my gosh, I’m getting used to it. I’m not sure. This is kind of uncomfortable. I’ve got to kind of work on my, you know, my messaging and phrasing, how I answer the phone with my new tag line, maybe, or getting used to tweaking my new website, and getting used to how it feels and how I present myself to the world. That’s okay. That’s going to be very natural to have some apprehension.
But embrace that, kind of be okay with that, and then once you get past that, commit. We don’t want to kind of do this halfway. We don’t want to just kind of throw a new brand out there and just kind of say well, okay, it’s kind of all right. I’m just going to be kind of uncomfortable. Get comfortable and commit. Really be willing to be proud of that new logo, be proud of your new business name. Say it over and over when you’re talking about your business so you get used to it. Be proud of that new website. Share it. Make sure that you really kind of plug in that new brand to your community and the people you serve so that you are gaining momentum with it and it does what it’s supposed to do, which is to work for you and help you grow your business in the right direction.
So that is my take on rebranding. I’d love to hear, Allissa, any thoughts you have as well or anything maybe I’ve left out.
AH No, I think that covers it. I think a really important — I just want to kind of reemphasize this — is to set a timeline and have some accountability for yourself. If you’re going to do it — because it’s really easy like me to put it off for a long time. And if I hadn’t had that deadline of other people wait for my information in order to get the new website up, I probably never would have done it. So if you’re like me and you need external accountability, find a way to set that up, whether it be some kind of business coaching or just a peer mentor that you work with where you can set deadlines. Whatever it takes for you. If you’re internally motivated, then just set your own timeline for getting this done and then get cozy with being uncozy and do it. That’s what I got.
MR That’s fair. I like it.
AH All right.
MR All right, excellent. I’m good if you are.
AH So let’s take it home. Anyone, if you have questions about your massage business, you can email us at massage — no. You can email us at podcast@massage —
AH — email@example.com. That goes right to Michael and I. And we would be delighted to answer your question either via email or in another upcoming podcast episode. Tell your friends if we’re helpful to you. Show them, maybe, how to listen to a podcast. And if you like our podcasts, we would love for you to leave us a review on iTunes or Stitcher or Google Play or, I don’t know, Alexa and — oh, we’re on Spotify now too.
MR We are.
AH Yeah, so leave us a review. That helps other people find us and we enjoy being found.