So you’re going to rebrand? Awesome! Rebranding can reinvigorate your organization, reengage your customers, and attract welcome attention. It can create valuable momentum. But be ready. Do it right. Plan and execute with focus. Because branding that is worth doing is worth doing well.

Consider the following things before you begin. They will help you maximize your rebranding success.

Are you clear on the goals?

You should be clear on what you want the rebrand to do for your company. Clarity will provide valuable focus along the way. For instance, if your main aim is to attract a group to purchase the brand, you’ll need to approach the process differently than if you hope to increase sales to a specific customer group. Other objectives such as supporting a strategic pivot, refreshing the organization’s focus, or entering a new market will also dictate subtle (or big) differences in approach.

We’ve found that most rebrands will include both primary and secondary goals, and that’s great–a rebrand should lead to more than just one positive change. What’s not so great is going into the effort without clarity on what changes you hope to realize.

Have you defined the scope?

Rebrands vary in scope. Some are cosmetic, addressing the visual and verbal expression of the brand only. Some require a deeper dive. Questions that will help in defining the scope are:

  • Does it make sense, prior the the rebrand, to reevaluate the foundational elements such as position, purpose, benefits, and essence?
  • How much initial research and discovery is appropriate? If you are looking to enter a new market this might be a large part of the process.
  • What is the right amount of creative exploration–a couple of options? Or more?
  • Will a new brand name be required?
  • What will implementation of the rebrand include?

It’s not unusual for a company to contact us before having a clear understanding of the right scope. This is not a problem as long as the organization, and us as an agency have the opportunity to define the scope prior to starting the work.

Are you prepared?

Great branding is built on a foundational understanding of the organization it represents. Good preparation thus means having grasp on who you are as a brand. This can be expressed as Brand Architecture and includes the definition of elements such as key assets, functional and emotional benefits, brand position, brand personality, brand purpose, and brand essence. Additionally, you should be able to articulate details about your audience(s) and your competition, as these group’s activities and perspectives will prove relevant as your new brand is introduced to the marketplace.

In most rebrands, we strongly recommend our leading company stakeholders though a Brand Workshop to help establish (or solidify) these foundational elements.

Are you committed?

Being committed to the process is important. Rebranding any organization takes focus and energy. It will require (at least) an individual to take the lead. More likely you’ll want a carefully selected (but not too large) team. And those involved should plan on a minimum of three months (possibly much longer) for the rebrand. Factors that will effect timing include how much front end research is required, how deep the dive into Brand Architecture will be, and how many creative options are to be explored before one is finalized.

And speaking of commitment, there is also the financial one. Branding agency fees and associated hard cost should be established (or at least estimated) before the project begins.

Rebranding a business can be an incredibly empowering endeavor. Brand equity makes up a large part of the value of a business, and often a rebrand is needed to correct course or lay a new foundation for growth. Be sure to ask these questions up front, and get clear answers, to help insure a rebrand that leads to the best possible outcome.

For more posts about our branding and design process click here.

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