By PETER KAMURI
For the last few years, Mary Nyambura has been running a small hotel business near Gikomba Market in Nairobi City. Of late, however, sales have been plummeting and the future looks bleak. She is now worried that her business might not survive this stormy economic times.
Just like Nyambura, many small businesses are facing a downturn as the number of customers streaming in dwindles and the economy suffers. Although different entrepreneurs have different turnaround strategies, rebranding a business is perhaps the best method that can help bail you out.
"Running a business the same way for a long time can lead to stagnation due to loss of business. When this happens, you need to breathe new life into it. This can be achieved by injecting change â which can be a complete overhaul or a few modifications," says Andrew Ogola, a financial advisor.
"Good rebranding ideas can ensure that the business sails right through to better and more successful economic times. That is why rebranding is important," he points out.
"When you rebrand a business, it is like redefining your business and passing on information to your customers about what you are offering. This means the brand you create is what says what your business stands for. It follows therefore that a strong brand can make your business stand out from the others especially in a competitive environment," he adds.
"Another advantage of branding your business or products is that you are likely to fetch more as customers are always willing to visit your business or pay more for a branded product than for one that is not branded," he adds.
Carolyn Kirui, a financial expert working in Nairobi says branding is one way of increasing public acknowledgment of your business or product.
"It helps create a connection or a bond with your customers and in the end, you are able to make money as they will buy your products and services."
"Rebranding helps to set yourself apart from your competitors as you become more visible. That is why you should establish a brand with a strong memorable visual appeal. It should also have a moving message that will make your customers respond positively," says Kirui.