banter by piercing pagoda

Changing Your Company Identity: Banter by Piercing Pagoda

Rebranding your company can take many forms, from changing the brand name to rolling out a new business model altogether. For Piercing Pagoda, they chose to upgrade the brand by offering new customer experiences and changing its name to Banter.

Let’s take a look at how Piercing Pagoda did rebranding right and how they managed to make their customers love them even more.

is banter piercing pagoda
Established in 1973, Piercing Pagoda continues to be one of the most popular jewelry retailers in the United States (Photo from Banter)

Having been in business since 1973, Piercing Pagoda has been consistently one of the most popular jewelry retailers in the United States. With 500 of its outlets expected to bring in $1million in sales each, Banter by Piercing Pagoda has been consistent with having positive same-store sales six years in a row. 

If you frequent malls or you or someone you know have gotten your ears pierced, then you’ve probably come across Piercing Pagoda kiosks once or twice before. 

What makes Piercing Pagoda a success is that the company understands its audience and its journey. They target those who have the intention of getting their ears pierced as well as impulse shoppers so not only do they offer piercing services, but they also have products focusing on gold jewelry ranging from earrings, bracelets, and necklaces.

Their style is primarily basic but allows their customers to select from a variety of choices. They also make sure to limit associating their selections with fashion trends, choosing to follow their customers’ tastes and preferences instead. 

They have perfected maintaining the balance between offering what’s trendy or new and classic or successful styles.

The question is why would such a successful company rename its brand and how can a company rename a brand without losing its audience?

Banter by Piercing Pagoda: Rebranding Journey

banter by piercing pagoda
Since the brand is changing and offering new experiences to its customer, it felt the need to change its name into something that matches its new identity. (Photo by Banter)

So why did Piercing Pagoda change its name to Banter? Did it get a new owner?

Piercing Pagoda is still owned and operated by Signet Jewelers, so the name change isn’t because it got bought by a new company, it’s much more significant than that.

With the pandemic, consumer behavior has changed. More people have grown comfortable with shopping online for many items. Since Banter is now targeting millennials and gen Z customers, this posed a huge challenge for them especially since it’s planning to diversify its store format (transforming some of its kiosks into stores) within malls and shopping centers.

Web presence is key to Banter’s success. While piercing can’t be done online as it’s a physical service, online brand visibility is crucial to a company’s growth.

Why Piercing Pagoda Changed its Name to Banter

Signet Jewelers stated that the brand needed an update and as they are offering new things and new experiences, it just seems right to change the name into something that captures their new brand identity. 

Piercing Pagoda is now a brand that’s bold, authentic and inclusive. Its goal is to make people feel like they can be whoever they want to be. It’s a brand that wants people to get involved and engaged and that’s why they upgraded to Banter.

Turning the name ‘Piercing Pagoda’ into ‘Banter’ was just the beginning. To have a strong online presence, they also updated their website, made it more mobile-friendly, and incorporated features that will allow users to engage with their staff.

By making a bold move through a rebrand, Banter by Piercing Pagoda proved that they listen to their audience. They know that different people have different ways of shopping, so they try to adapt and cater to all their customers as much as possible.

How to Rebrand Effectively Without Losing Your Customers

how to rebrand
Always determine the reason for a rebrand. (Photo by Banter)

It’s inspiring how a half-century-old brand like Piercing Pagoda was able to relaunch itself and change into what we now know as Banter. Their ability to change and adapt shows exactly why they remain at the top of their game.

While rebranding isn’t easy, sometimes it’s the only way to evolve. There will be situations where your business may need to modernize its design as it has outgrown the one that you came up with years ago.

There’s also the possibility that the mission and vision are outdated and it doesn’t align with your customers’ preferences anymore.

Like the design, the name is no longer suited for the business and no longer reflects the brand’s identity.

No matter the reason, you have to carefully research, plan and strategize the way you will rebrand your business. 

The aim here is to add value, increase market share, and boost customer acquisition or engagement.

Here are some tips that you can use to help you deal with this complicated journey.

1. Determine the reason for rebranding

Rebranding is a major change for your company or your business. This will involve products, logo, color scheme, marketing, employees, and your mission and vision. Determining the reason for the change and locking on it will compel you to stick to your decision and succeed.

Your reason has to be essential to the growth and development of your business, if not then there might be easier solutions you can implement other than a rebrand.

If you look at Piercing Pagoda and study the reason for their rebranding, you’ll see that the main reason for the change is because of the shifting customer behavior. This means that their customers are now going online and while Piercing Pagoda is working to upgrade their kiosks and turn them into stores, they need to attract and engage customers effectively.

Their goal is to become more visible online and to attract their target audience by being where these people are. Changing their name into something more modern and suitable to their image is an excellent way to kickstart their initiative to connect with their customers who are online.

Whether you’re trying to appeal to a new target market, refresh your current image, or simply want to modernize your look, it’s important to have a clear goal in mind before starting the process. This will help ensure that your rebranding efforts are focused and effective.

2. Do your research 

Once you’ve developed a clear idea of your goals, take some time to research more about branding, interview successful entrepreneurs, read books, attend symposiums, look up helpful branding tips and study other companies in your industry that have successfully rebranded. This will help you determine the right direction for your own rebranding efforts and ensure that you stay on track throughout the process.

3. Evaluate all aspects of your brand 

When it comes to rebranding, it’s important to take a holistic approach. This means evaluating all aspects of your current brand, from your logo and website design to your marketing materials and social media presence. Once you’ve identified areas that need improvement, you can start making changes that will help strengthen your overall brand.

4. Plan a rebranding strategy 

Once you’ve evaluated your brand, it’s time to create a rebranding strategy. This will help ensure that the process goes smoothly and that all aspects of your business (including your marketing efforts) are aligned with your new brand identity moving forward.

5. Prepare to address customer concerns

Your customers, especially the loyal ones, will question your decision to rebrand. So be ready for the questions that are going to come your way. 

One way to prepare for it is by using the feedback of your employees and a number of your loyal customers. 

Get their insights and consult with them at every stage of the process. So if you want to make sure you get things right, be sure to reach out to them for input. They can provide you with answers that you can then use to answer the questions of the general public. 

What Banter did was provide a page that’s accessible to their customers at any time. They answer questions like “What happened to Piercing Pagoda?” “Why did it change?” “Does Piercing Pagoda still have the same owners? Was Piercing Pagoda Purchased?” “Does Banter still pierce ears?”.

All these important questions that impact their clients are being addressed with absolute clarity on their website so customers and potential clients don’t have to wonder about what happened and why.

6. Make noise about your rebranding

Once you’ve successfully rebranded your company or business, it’s important to make sure that your target audience is aware of the changes. The best way to do this is through a well-planned advertising campaign, which can help establish trust and credibility with potential customers in a very short period of time.

Banter by Piercing Pagoda made sure that its customers are aware of the changes as it did not only release email notifications to its subscribers and released website and social media updates, but it also got the press talking about the change. 

You can see popular publications like RollingStone and Adweek writing about the news.

Don’t hide your rebranding, instead, publicize and celebrate it.

7. Give your existing customers a heads up

Be transparent with your customers that you’re going to be rebranding.  You don’t want them to be unpleasantly surprised with a new logo or color scheme. You might also consider giving them a heads up on any changes in your product line or service offerings so that they can be prepared for what’s to come.

8. Train your employees

Once you’ve rolled out the new brand identity to customers, it’s important to make sure that your employees are trained on how to represent the company going forward. This includes everything from customer service and sales interactions to social media use and more.

9. Monitor your progress

As with any business initiative, it’s important to monitor your progress when rebranding your company or business. This will help you determine whether or not the changes you’ve made are having the desired effect and, if not, make necessary adjustments along the way.

Re-establish Your Brand for Success

Rebranding is a lot of work and carries a lot of risks. You have to think about what you want your customers to think about your brand and then also think about your stakeholders. It isn’t just dealing with a new name, logo, or design, but it can also involve developing a new identity, mission and vision.

If you’re thinking about rebranding your business then always consider your reason for rebranding and your strategy before tackling this task. If your vision, mission, company values, and the market does not reflect your brand, then rebranding is the right move.

Just don’t forget to put your customers at the center of your rebranding strategy. Engage your core audience throughout the process and let your customers know about your plan for a rebrand. This will make them feel respected and more involved, which will then cause them to celebrate rebranding your business with you.

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