“To rebrand or not to rebrand?” – the question that most businesses will face at some point along their journey.
Pulling off a successful rebrand takes a lot more than tweaking your logo and hoping it will go over well with your customers.
Legal firm M. Prem Inc has taken the leap and rebranded their business from the ground up. The transformation has included everything from their name and logo to the type of company and the services they offer.
“We had to start from the foundation of the company,” says Monisha Prem, CEO and senior attorney at M. Prem Inc and they had to answer questions such as: What problem are we attempting to solve? Does our brand tell the wrong (or outdated) story? and Is our brand associated with something that is no longer meaningful?
Why we rebranded
Prem says the main purpose of rebranding the company was to better attend to their clients’ needs and this meant they had to change from a legal consulting company to a practicing law firm.
“We responded to client demands that we extend our offering and to comply with regulation, so we are now a full service offering law firm. By having a wide range of legal services we are now able to respond to client requirements in more ways,” Prem says.
Guided by our value system
The company’s values were a critical guide in the rebranding process and, Prem says, all their changes had to be consistent with that value system.
“We also addressed strategy development, refined target market, increased our total value proposition and clarified our objectives. A new brand is like a new broom that sweeps clean, and is refreshing for our business,” she says.
“A new brand is like a new broom that sweeps clean and is refreshing for our business”
While allowing the business to appraise its performance and improve on its services, rebranding is not always easy.
Some of the more demanding aspects of rebranding, Prem says, was the process of changing email addresses, email signatures, letterheads and business cards, as well as letting all their clients know about the change.
SME South Africa takes a before-and-after look at 4 important changes Prem and her team undertook and lets us in on why these changes work so well for the future success of the company.
BEFORE VS AFTER
1. The type of company
BEFORE: The company was previously a private company ((Pty) Ltd), meaning that it was a privately held company owned by a relatively small number of shareholders and among other things, could not offer or trade its shares to the general public on the stock market.
AFTER: As professional persons like attorneys are expected, we converted our (Pty) Ltd to a Personal Liability Company (“Incorporated”). What differentiates a Personal Liability Company from a private company, is that its directors and past directors are jointly and severally liable, together with the company, for any debts and liabilities of the company that were contracted during their respective terms of office.
This also means that we are able to offer our clients a range of legal services that we were not able to before.
2. Service Offering
BEFORE: Excelsur Legal services was a legal consulting company.
AFTER: We are now a practicing law firm and provide a wider range of legal services, including corporate and commercial law services, contracts, mergers and acquisitions, banking and finance, intellectual property and business development.
3. Name and logo
BEFORE: The previous name fit the consulting company and not the law firm it has become. We were required to change our name in order to comply with the Law Society’s specific requirements regarding the name of a law firm.
AFTER: The Law Society requires attorneys to practice under a name which consists solely of the name or names of any of the past or present members of the firm. We therefore, renamed the company to M. Prem Incorporated and because of the name change, we had to change our logo.
BEFORE: The website was suited for the old identity and had to be updated to match the new identity.
AFTER: The website now has a new layout, different content (more informative) and new name and logo. It better reflects our identity as a legal firm that is principled, practices with integrity and distinctive performance.