The challenges and rewards of rebranding

Owner of Humankind, Samantha Gadd, lets us in on her journey to rebrand her business - from the opposition she faced to the advantage it’s now given her in the market place. She is the young businesswoman behind the very successful business, Humankind. They even came in at 35 on our 2016 Fast 50 index! Her company hasn’t always been they brand we know today though. In 2015, Samantha decided that they had outgrown the HR Shop brand and it was time for a rebrand.

Why now?

That’s was the feedback that Samantha initially received when she announced her decision to staff.

“We didn’t have full agreement as to the timing of such a consuming project! But it's never the right time!,” she says.

Samantha knew in her gut thought that HR Shop didn’t represent what they were about anymore.

“We are a purpose led business and we felt Humankind better reflected our purpose and vision. We also believe our next stage of growth and business strategy will be better supported by our new brand and positioning.”

She added that while HR Shop was an awesome brand, they were limited by a name that ‘says what it is on the can’.

What’s in a name?

Turns out a lot! Samantha cites that choosing a new name for her business was one of the biggest challenges.

“The choice of the name was certainly a difficult one and was met with some negativity. I found this challenging, mostly because my leadership style is very collaborative and consultative, meaning everyone has a chance to share their views and be part of the process.”

She says that while she knew in her gut that Humankind was the right choice, she needed to allow time for everyone to feel comfortable before moving forward.

For other SME owners, take note! Samantha says that taking your time with big decision like this is well worth it.

“We now have excellent buy in and if we hadn't made the decisions as a team and spent so much energy discussing options, the execution may have been impacted negatively.”

The light at the end of the tunnel

While the rebranding process wasn’t all smooth sailing, the Humankind team have emerged with additional energy and enthusiasm for the business and the new brand.

Samantha hopes that the market embrace the new brand with just as much enthusiasm.

“The future of work is going to look very different and we are excited about the evolution of HR from a risk, compliance and process department, to being a function focused on amazing employee experiences. We hope the market understands why we have changed and what being a purpose driven business is all about.”

The lessons learnt

To other business owners who are thinking of rebranding, Samantha says you should take your time and find a expert partner to work with who ‘gets you’.

“They should be willing to invest the time up front to understand your culture because your brand is as important to your team as it is to your customers.”

She also adds that you need to be true to yourself and think long-term about what you could be in the future.

“Ensure it’s a brand that you won’t outgrow too quickly - we think Humankind has enormous potential and we're very excited to be starting the next phase of our growth journey!"

16 September, 2016 by Emily McLean, Expert insights

Emily McLean

Emily McLean

Emily McLean works in the Deloitte marketing team and closely with Deloitte Private. She loves telling the stories of those individuals and businesses leaving their mark in New Zealand's SME space while delivering news and insights to help business owners grow their companies. 

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