A company’s brand has to match its business strategy. If the strategy evolves, though, then a re-branding process is necessary. If just the idea of doing this gives you heart palpitations, take some tips from Robin Choy. He’s the co-founder of HireSweet, a startup that specializes in recruitment. He and his partners managed to rebrand their business successfully.

Think about the advantages of a change

It’s essential to ask yourself why you are considering rebranding your startup. People sometimes have the urge to change their image even when this will not help the company progress. Rebranding doesn’t make sense unless it reflects an evolution in business strategy.  At HireSweet, we established the initial strategy ourselves and it worked very well. Then we set new goals. For one thing, we wanted to enter the United States market. For another, we were offering our products and services only to companies that were recruiting, and we wanted to extend the offer to our candidates. All these potential changes meant that we had to reconsider our branding.

Find the right service provider

To choose the service provider that best matches your needs, seek the advice of as many people as possible, from as many different sources and networks as you can. Ask your regular customers, your incubators, your partners. Find out about your competitors’ service providers. And make an effort to check out online comments and advice as well as word-of-mouth recommendations. Before you make your choice, meet with three or four different agencies to compare their services, methods and prices.

Keep a record of what has inspired you

At HireSweet, we spent a lot of time carefully pinpointing and organizing the things that had inspired us. We collected concrete examples of other companies’ branding that we especially liked: files, screen shots, internet sites, etc. We shared all this information via Googledrive, including the reasons behind our choices. This effort allowed us to put together an extensive database to work with.

Be ready to make choices

Rebranding effectively means making many decisions and strategic choices.  As part of this process, we wrote down what our goals were and examined how we would position ourselves in the market. For example, we decided that our brand would put more emphasis on human factors than on technology, whereas our competitors generally stress technologies. We also defined strategic colors to represent our identity.

Get your whole team involved

We believe that it would be a mistake for managers to rebrand a company without involving their teams. Everyone in the company should feel truly engaged in the process if it’s going to work. Also, a lot of good ideas can come from teams who feel they have a part to play. All this takes time and care, but, for us, it was absolutely necessary. Of course, the more employees you have, the more complicated this can be…  It’s easier to put in place in a startup than in a CAC 40 company!

Robin Choy (M.16)
Even before earning his HEC Masters, Robin created Jougger, a marketplace for services provided by individuals. After he received his diploma, he and two other graduates, Paul Bachelier and Isamel Belghiti, founded HireSweet, a recruitment specialist that uses AI to evaluate engineers and startups.

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