How to Rebrand

Wanting to rebrand is not a bad thing. Embrace change and get excited about the future!

By Cat HowPosted in Ideas

Hey - you. Yes, you. If you’re reading this then maybe you’re thinking about change. Change is good. Change is exciting. Change is the only constant in life… So if you’re looking for change, let’s look at how to best go about actioning it.

Perhaps you’ve got a company which has evolved beyond what it started out as, and has new ambitions and dreams? Perhaps you founded a start-up on a shoestring and branding was the last thing you wanted to spend money on? But - now that your start-up is viable and has grown year on year - you’re wanting the brand and your company’s values, beliefs and aspirations to sing from the same hymn book.

Or perhaps you’re in the marketing department of a company whose brand you really think could do with a refresh. Yes, your CEO might not think it’s necessary, but you know that it is absolutely vital in communicating more effectively with your customers. And potential ones too.

It’s important to note that wanting to rebrand is not a bad thing - it’s actually a good one! It shows that you are aware that your offering could be better communicated. But make sure you know who you are as a brand, and what you are best known for before you embark on the journey. This is key.

We rebranded our company within a year (read about our rebrand here), and followed a basic set of rules to make sure we did it properly. We do this with all our clients. Our work was changing which meant our audience was changing too. We needed to act.

Always start with research

Research is fundamental to any brand that is built, and therefore any rebrand. Before you even consider changing things up, you need to make sure you know why you are doing it. Then you can think about how. In order to establish why - start with your company’s mission, vision and values. Get your team together and work out who you are as a company. Write this all down - we use a Brand Strategy grid to help work us through this - and the result is a document which forms the cornerstone of your brand and which should inform all design and messaging thereafter.

Communicate with all members of your team

It’s important that everyone in your team understands why you are rebranding - including stakeholders. Make sure you communicate why the company is needing to rebrand, so that no one feels left out. In fact, including them in the process will almost certainly make staff understand the brand more, and feel more passionate about it.

Have a strategy for the rebrand

A rebrand is not just a new logo and a refreshed website design. It has to apply to every single element of the company - so not an easy decision to make if you have branded offices, cars or other expensive collateral that needs to be updated. But if you rebrand, updated it all needs to be. There is nothing worse than having stragglers of a previous brand still present when a new brand is launched. There has to be a clean break for brand consistency and clarity. It will take time to get all these elements together, but it will be worth it.

Think about what to keep, and what to drop

Rebrands usually involve changing or refreshing the graphical elements of a brand, so thinking of ways to create continuity between your old brand and your new one is a must. Do you need to keep a certain colour? Do you need to keep a certain font? Always ask yourself why, and make sure you have the answer! But sometimes the break needs to be more extreme - and you want to change your company’s name. This is a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly, but is also wholly legitimate if you do it well and make sure the new name coincides with the other business principles you’re changing at the same time.

Have a strategy for the rollout of the rebrand

Make sure then when you launch, you do it with a bang! Everything should be ready and updated so that you can start using the new brand from day one. This takes time. Certain elements may be finished before others - business cards before your website, for example - but it is important to be patient. A launch week is a good idea, to make all employees engage and feel excited about the new brand and ease the transition. If you have a new Brand Guidelines document (we produce one for every brand we create), share it with your employees so that they know the origin and meaning behind the new brand. As soon as everyone is onboard, and everything is ready… then you’re good to go.

But most importantly - enjoy the journey! Rebranding should feel like a breath of fresh air for a company and is one of the most exciting things you can put it through. It can take time - from taking the initial leap of wanting to change something you already have; to winning everyone round and redesigning and implementing all the new elements. But done properly, it’s always worth it. It’s a wonderful opportunity to re-engage with your customers and show them the brand you’ve become. Go on. Embrace change.

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