How to Successfully Rebrand Your Business

Does your brand feel outdated, or are you looking to change your brand entirely? If so, it may be time for a rebrand. 

Many entrepreneurs and business owners believe that a company’s “brand” is simply the company’s name and logo.

I hate to burst your bubble…that’s not true! A brand is more than just its underlying company’s name and logo.

Should you be considering a rebrand for your business? When is it time to rebrand your business? In today’s blog, I’m going to share with you the advantages and disadvantages of rebranding and the types of rebranding to choose from. Then, you can use our rebranding checklist to make sure you don’t miss any of the important details!

Why Rebrand Your Business?

Are you trying to determine if your business needs a rebrand?

Before you dive into this rebranding checklist, establish whether your business needs a rebrand. There are plenty of benefits to a new identity, but unnecessary change can harm your business in the long-run.

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Necessary Reasons to Rebrand

  • There has been a significant change to company structure, like an acquisition, merger, or division.
  • There has been a major change in product or service offerings.
  • The current brand has negative associations.
  • The market or industry has changed significantly in a way that puts your current brand at a disadvantage in comparison to your competition.
  • The company is fighting for digital real estate due to another company with a similar name or identity.

What type of rebrand do you need?

As you start to compile a rebrand checklist, it’s essential to know that you don’t always need to do a complete brand overhaul.

Let’s look at three types of business rebrands:

1. Full rebrand

A full rebrand involves changing every aspect of your brand. This rebrand includes creating a new name, logo, and tone of voice for your company. With a full rebrand, you create an entirely new identity for your business.

Nike is a prime example of a full rebrand. When the company was founded, it was initially called Blue Ribbon Sports. Seven years later, Blue Ribbon Sports did a complete rebrand and became Nike.

In the process of this rebrand, Blue Ribbon Sports changed everything, from their color palette to their logo, to take on the new Nike brand name. If you do a full rebrand like Nike, you’ll change nearly every aspect of your brand.

Choose a full rebrand if… you want to reinvent your company and establish a new identity. You should also do a complete rebrand if your business isn’t standing out in a competitive landscape anymore and needs a boost.

2. Visual rebrand

You may not need a full rebrand for your business. You may still have core components of your brand that you want to keep, but you also want something fresh and new. If this describes your business, you might need a visual rebrand.

A visual rebrand involves creating a new:

  • Logo
  • Color palette
  • Visual identity

FedEx is an excellent example of a visual rebrand. Previously, their logo was red, white, and blue and said Federal Express. After a visual rebrand, it became FedEx. The color palette changed to purple and orange.

Choose a visual rebrand if… you want to keep core parts of your brand but change much of the visual aspects. If you’re looking for a style or color refresh, this is the best type of rebranding for your business.

3. Brand refresh

This is the least intensive way to rebrand and can be done more gradually rather than all at once. It involves updating aspects of the brand and visual identities such as colors, fonts, or even aspects of a logo. It works well when the brand still fits the company but feels a bit outdated.

Dunkin’ is an excellent example of this.

With their recent brand refresh, they dropped the “Donuts” part of their name and opted for a darker orange for their logo. Dunkin didn’t change their overall color scheme or font style. They simply gave their brand an update without changing much about their company.

Choose the brand refresh if... you want to keep the core components of your brand but give your brand an update.

What is a Rebranding Strategy?

The next step in the rebranding process is to establish a rebranding strategy. Anyone can rebrand, but doing so with grace and attention to detail is what really sets a business’s new identity apart from the rest. This rebranding strategy will lay the groundwork for how to actually implement your new brand.

In order to make sure that rebranding goes smoothly, it is crucial to set a timeline, identify branded pieces that will need to be updated, and assign responsibilities to everyone involved in the project. There are a great deal of moving parts and pieces in rebranding, so breaking them down can make them more manageable. We’ve laid out the steps that your company should consider taking in our rebranding checklist.

 

Business Rebranding Checklist

Logistical & Legal

The logistical aspect of the process can be so overwhelming that it can keep companies from rebranding for years. However, with proper planning, you can space items out over time to make them less intimidating. Here are the steps you’ll need to go through:

 

  1. Attain new trademarks for a new brand name, new taglines, and / or new product names.
  2. Obtain new URLs.
  3. Plan how to communicate the changes internally. Pick a date for items like email signatures and voicemail messages to be updated. Consider an all-hands meeting / presentation to share the new brand and its messaging. Everyone on your staff needs to be able to advocate for the new brand or it will be impossible to have a seamless and positive transition.
  4. Consider timing. Your accountant will thank you for planning around tax season.
  5. Consider hiring a lawyer to assist and catch any loose ends with business permits, trademarks, etc. for your local and state jurisdictions.
  6. Consider outsourcing to a marketing agency, as they will handle the logistics for you, and can give you a new perspective from outside of your business.

Visual

The visual aspect of a rebrand will require a personalized strategy that’s completed in an efficient manner. Catching every last visual detail is what makes a rebrand stick in the minds of your target audience.

 

  1. Establish a clear review and approval process for new branded pieces. Whether the rebrand is happening internally, or you’ve outsourced to an agency, it is imperative to have a clear understanding of how pieces will be reviewed and who has the final say.
  2. Get second and third opinions. If the rebrand is occurring internally, it is crucial to step away from it and get opinions from people who are representative of your audience. Your new brand needs to resonate with them, not you.
  3. Create a new style guide for an internal review that includes usage guidelines for the logo, fonts, colors, etc.
  4. Create a list of every item that needs to be redesigned. Once you’ve established a new style guide, this list will be your guiding light. Start with urgent items and pieces that will truly define the brand. Then, knock out small items like letterheads and email signatures after you have the new brand’s creative direction better established.
  5. Send out a new style guide and asset kit externally to relevant partners who need access to your logo and identity.

Internal

This is normally the last step of a rebrand because it can occur behind the scenes without the public being aware. However, making sure to catch every last instance of old branding or an old name goes a long way to bring personal ownership to a new name or identity. Be sure to double check the following for references to your business’s old identity:

 

  1. Bills, checks, and internal signage.
  2. Phone systems, voicemail messages, and phone greetings.
  3. Server and file names.
  4. Computer logins.
  5. Any labeling on company-owned property.
  6. Interior design.

Think a rebrand is right for you?

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