When I was 12 I played football for my local team, Newquay FC. I wasn’t brilliant (finding my niche in midfield of the B team), because at this point I was getting so involved in “computers” and “what they did”, I rarely saw the light of day let alone the pitch! I loved the social side of the sport however; I liked being part of a team and like every other 12 year old boy with aspirations and visions of being scouted for a world class club, I saw the value in being good at it.
My B team side struggled to stay in the under 11’s league let alone our own, not because we weren’t capable, but because no one believes in a B-team! Besides losing games we suffered in a number ways; the all-star A-team seemed to get preferential treatment despite begrudgingly handing over the same £3 pocket money every training session. Let me give you a few examples:
• Second hand kit with no embroidered shield to identify us.
• We weren’t given footballs to use so had to bring our own.
• No free sausage and chips at the club house post match.
• We weren’t assigned a coach so relied upon dads volunteering their time.
One season, the Sheikh Mansour of fathers saw faith in our little team and decided to give us a bit of a rebrand. I remember it like it was yesterday; coming home, running up the stairs with a brochure full of new kits and balls to choose from, excitedly narrowing down our options to get us the best kit in the league.
After a long selection process with many formal meetings by the sideline, we decided as a team that we wanted to look like either; the all reds, the three lions or the gunners, so we could pretend to play like the pros on the pitch. Little did I know the impact it would have on our insignificant B-team.
We decided on the Brazil team colours you can see me wearing here:
To the amazement of all who witnessed it, ourselves included, we won the next match we played
… and the 2nd
…and the 3rd!
Sure, we probably still ended up in 4th or 5th place at the end of the season, but we certainly started playing and enjoying the game a lot more than we did before.
‘Ok’, I hear you say, ‘that’s great, but how does this heart-warming childhood story relate to branding?’ Well, let me explain.
The company I work for, Optix Solutions, just rebranded after having the same logo for 15 years. No, we didn’t copy Brazil or any other company in our rebranding efforts, we ramped up the brand to something more suited to our services and, more importantly, the value we are passing on to our customers.
We learned a lot about who we are as a team and business, and where we are headed. Everybody in Optix is singing from the same consistent hymn sheet: Delight, Engage, Support our 3 core values that we refined.
We are acting far more proactively as a team with a clear vision. All round, we feel like we’re all going in the right direction with a strong team. So now, just like me proudly sporting my Brazil coloured kit at Newquay FC, I’m showing all my friends and family who I work for and explaining what I do, to see how I can help them with their businesses.
Most businesses know how important their brand is for the client, but I don’t necessarily think they understand the importance to each person and team within their organisation. Our work place is our kit, our services are our games, we want to be proud of who we are, and tell the world what we do and how well we do it.
So think; when building a business case around rebranding, consider the value of creating stronger core values and tighter teams which work with greater synergy based around a firmer identity and focus.