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Lessons from our company's rebrand

27th Jun 2017
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For many companies, the brand provides an essential way for people to understand what you offer in a short, simple way. But what happens if your company grows or changes its approach? This is something that we have gone through at Freshworks, so we thought we’d share the lessons we learnt.

Our company started with a help desk tool that assisted customer service teams working with customers. The original brand – Freshdesk – represented this product offering well. It helped potential buyers get the feeling that the tool would help service teams work in new ways.

After two years, we launched another product that provided more in-depth customer management that followed IT service management rules. Fast forward another couple of years, and we added a customer relationship management product more aimed at selling. After this launch, we looked at how well our branding and marketing was performing. We found we had got much bigger than when we had started out and we were much more than a company that made helpdesk software.

It became clear that with this expansion our branding was starting to confuse customers. Some of our customers who stopped by to say hello to us at our booth at an ITSM event asked us if we competed with our other product as they thought they were different companies. After a few months of launching our sales product, we found that people were searching for our main brand and CRM terms more than the sales product directly.

For us, this marked a key decision point. Should we stick with our existing approach and rebrand our products, or should we take a different path? What best represented what we want to do as a company now compared to when we made the original decisions around brand when we launched?

Our approach was based on how the organisation views its product and company strategy today, rather than when we started. Before, we always received advice on not doing anything that was outside the overall brand narrative. For us, this brand narrative has changed so much that a company rebrand was justified.

So, what can other companies learn from us?

  1. Ask if your brand is working for you or against you

Our brand was a strong one, but it was not aiding our efforts across all our product offerings. Rather than being a single product company, we had expanded to cover a range of areas. It made sense for the company brand to change while the product brand remained the same.

For other companies, the overall company brand may be stronger than the individual products. Changing these products so they align more with what the company wants to achieve would therefore make a lot more sense.

  1. Ask if your company still stands for the same things

As you make the move to offer more than one product, you can expand your opportunities and increase your sales. However, are all those sales targeting the same buyer, or are their additional ones? Will they change over time?

For companies where there will be a mix of different potential buyers – for example, when some deals might be by team specialists concerned with solving a specific problem and others will be with senior business leaders looking at company-wide results – the end result may be the same. However, when you are selling different products to different teams that are not linked up, you will need your brand to work in a different way.

Couple this with company priorities changing over time? A rebrand may be necessary.

  1. Ask if this can be a fresh start

A rebrand is not a small undertaking. It can take a lot of work to get right internally, and it can take time to get the new brand right for customers as well. However, it can offer a bigger opportunity as well.

In our case, we took this opportunity to make the word “fresh” part of our overall messaging to customers and prospects. By re-inventing our brand, we wanted to expand our horizons. For others in the same position, a rebrand can give you a chance to take stock and change what you do for the better.

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