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Small Business Marketing Tips for Rebranding Your Family Business

Updated: May 31, 2023

What is the Best Rebranding Effort for Your Family Business?

Small Business Marketing, Branding and Your Family - Your loved ones have spent decades working hard to create a successful family business and everyone takes great pride in the legacy they are leaving behind. Whether it is the results of an expansion or a change in leadership, a rebranding effort is needed and finding a marketing branding approach that refreshes your business while still honoring the previous generation is the key.

Family Business Marketing Experience

Over the years, our marketing team has had the privilege of working with several family businesses looking to rebrand without sacrificing their company heritage. Every time we go through this process, we are reminded about how important it is to have experience in managing those delicate dynamics. It is critical to work with a marketing company that understands how to navigate the process carefully and productively. As a little window, below are five tips we found common to the successful rebranding of any family business:

1. Rebranding your family business requires extreme patience

There is often a lot of history and many stakeholders that are involved in a family business. Tensions can run very high when making decisions about the company throughout the branding process to ensure the family legacy remains intact. As a result, it is important to work with a marketing company that has a plan that allows people to be heard while staying focused on the task at hand.

"It is important to listen and engage as many family members on the front end to make sure everyone feels heard and then relaxes about the rebranding process. Start the process by creating a casual lunch or dinner to warm things up and get the juices flowing. Once ideas are being shared, it is critical to mock them up quickly. The process of brand development can help family members visualize ideas and as a collective decide what stays and what goes –resulting in a brand everyone can champion."

2. Branding Legacy is Critical: Multigenerational Branding and Marketing Discussions

Marketing is constantly changing and, depending on when your family business was created, this may be one of the reasons you are considering rebranding.

One of the discussions that always seems to come up is “tried and true” methods that have grown the business versus the recommended “new marketing” of today. We specifically recall a conversation about lead generation –the older generation used pen/pencil planners and kept their database to themselves. The new generation was requesting email marketing and CRMs.

Be prepared to discuss the changes in marketing overall, especially from a customer experience perspective. This is important so that it makes it less about a “younger perspective” versus a well thought out business decision. At the end of the day, a rebrand that honors the vision and legacy of those that started the company will help everything else fall into place.

"Family businesses (like EWISE) often work very well with other family businesses. The twist and turns of building a successful company can be challenging but it is better to work with a team that knows how to capture positive aspects and elevate a company’s legacy in a triumphant manner since they have been there and understand."

3. Rebranding: From a Small to Large Family Business

What usually triggers a rebranding effort is the fact that the family business has changed –and more than likely has grown. This is important to understand because sometimes the rebranding ideas from some family members are based off their perception from when the company was smaller versus how it operates today.

Rebranding is a business decision. If you want to capture bigger opportunities, your family business needs to look like it can accommodate larger orders. Creating a brand that reflects both your journey from small to large (with family care) while also honoring the new company you have become is also critical.

"Have a list of your competitors as well as companies you want to emulate during these rebranding discussions. That will help keep it less about how things were done in the past and more about what your identity needs to be in order to continue to grow and benefit future generations."

4. Trusting and Leveraging the Rebranding Process

Rebranding is about listening and turning ideas into something tangible that represents the essence of your organization’s identity. It is also about your:

  • Branding Message: Creating messaging clarity that is a common denominator across multiple areas of the business. Family members can be very passionate about their “role” within the organization and want to emphasize their department in messaging and design versus others. Again, be patient and make sure to give equal weight to all areas of the business when coming up with a clear message that effectively represents the entire organization.

  • Creative Brand Design: Not everyone values the importance of design as a communication tool until they go through a rebranding process. Things like imagery, color pallet, and font may seem trivial to the process until they see it in applied form. Being patient and making sure you turn ideas into something verbal and visual for the family to react to will help everyone understand brand design’s importance.

"Take your time with this process. It may be especially slow at the beginning but stick with it. Creating visual and verbal brand mockups based on discussions will help accelerate the process and confirm to all vocal family members that they are being heard."

5. Find a Marketing Team that Understands Family Businesses

Family Business Marketing that Works

Marketing can be perceived as a function that is less about the legacy and more about sales –which can create a lack of cooperation from key family members. Working with a marketing team that understands the dynamics of a family business will help drive conversations about rebranding down a productive path.

"Marketing and branding for a family business that is focused on honoring the history/legacy of those that started the organization, and then setting it up for future generations is the goal. A new brand is all about evolving the company to secure a family’s future."

Looking for a marketing company that serves Atlanta and understands business growth? We’re happy to help, contact us.


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