Strategy, Design

The Ultimate Guide To Logo Rebranding.

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logo rebranding

In a world of visual storytelling, a logo is more than a decorative element; it’s the most critical brand asset for increasing memorability in the minds of consumers. A logo must resonate yet remain etched in time so that your products become more than a use-case; they become a habitual response where consumers look to no other option. Every brand must consider these important facts before engaging in logo rebranding.

While there are many resources on creating a new logo, we’ve decided to give you, the reader, a look at the SmashBrand process for redesigning a logo. In this complete guide, you will learn how to tweak or overhaul your logo to capture contemporary consumerism while retaining any aspect of brand heritage that research suggests will lead to greater customer loyalty. Let’s get started.

When To Consider A Logo Rebrand

Making a spur-of-the-moment decision to rebrand a logo will always be a bad idea. Unfortunately, it’s the strategy many brands take, often leading to a loss in brand identity. Even more critical than product rebranding, having an appropriate “when and “why” for your logo redesign is a fundamental line item on a rebranding checklist. Here’s a look at some of the most important rebranding questions to ask for deciding when to update your branding.

Shelf Competition

Feel like you are getting lost in the crowd? Consider performing a logo refresh during a packaging redesign to help stand out on cluttered retail shelves.

Consumer Trends

Have consumer trends evolved in a way that puts your logo out of touch? You should review your logo design to see if it speaks to today’s consumers.

Retailer Demands

In some situations, retailers may suggest that your brand is too similar to that of competitors. You may need to redesign your logo to satisfy retail partners.

Product Expansion

Introducing new, diverse products and need to adjust your brand architecture? Updating your logo to fit your brand and line extensions may be necessary.

Read More: A Complete Guide For Rebranding Products.

Name Change

Are you being forced or volunteering to change the name of your brand? A logo rebrand will be necessary.

DTC To Retail

Are you a direct-to-consumer brand entering the retail market? These new channels will require you to rethink your logo’s appearance in a physical store.

Global Markets

Are you taking international expansion seriously? You may need to modify your logo so that it is culturally adaptable.

Seasonal Relevance

Are you creating a limited-time or holiday strategy? Consider a temporary logo tweak that distinguishes yourself in a way that temporarily attracts and excites consumers with your scarcity offerings.


Have you recently joined forces with another company? Creating a unified logo that encapsulates the new brand identity may be time.

Brand Maturity

Have you outgrown your bootstrap budget startup look? Returning to the drawing board to create a mature, refined logo is not too late.

Messaging Clarity

Do you feel like your original logo design was a mistake? That gut feeling may be right, indicating it’s time to rebrand so your logo communicates your brand essence.

Audience Shift

Have you recently identified that your product serves a different market and are looking to target a new (perhaps more narrow) demographic? Updating your logo to appeal to this new audience can help your brand become distinct from competitors.


Are you on the verge of disrupting your industry? If your product is as much of a game changer as you think, make sure your logo mirrors the impact you are about to have on the market.

Digital Transformation

Is your brand going digital or went digital without considering a rebranded logo? Optimize your logo during a website rebrand to be impactful across all screen sizes and platforms.

Crisis Recovery

We hate to ask, but are you hoping to recover from bad press? While you will need a PR expert to carry the heavy load, you may need a new logo that signifies a fresh start and regained trust.

Investment or Funding

Have you recently received an investment in your company? While it may sound silly, a logo refresh may be necessary to represent this new growth phase of your company. Cultural Sensitivity

While this is a lengthy list of your reasons for rebranding, you may have one we have not yet considered. Ultimately, the real “need” of rebranding your logo comes down to what consumer testing indicates. You will learn more about this further along in the article.

The Risk of Rebranding A Logo

Now that we’ve hinted at the need for consumer testing, it’s a good time to talk about the risks of changing one of the most critical elements of your company’s branding. Here’s a look at the potential risks of rebranding a logo.

Read More: The Worst Rebranding Failures From The Biggest Names.

Throwing Away Brand Equity

Do not immediately assume that your existing customers will accept a logo rebrand. Even the best of logo rebrands will have some customers scratching their heads. It’s an unavoidable fact, but the risk presents itself when your logo rebrand causes people to miss (brand recall) and misunderstand your brand.

The Cost of Logo Rebranding

Most logo rebrands have little to no impact on brand awareness or customer loyalty. And while the decision makers might say, “Well, it was worth a shot,” the reality is that this effort cost them dearly. A rebrand that does not elicit a positive impact is a net negative for the company as it exhausts much-needed capital and resources you could use elsewhere.

Read More: Breaking Down The Costs Of Rebranding.

Creating Consumer Confusion

Whether it’s your target audience, industry media, or the internal team, if the rebrand creates confusion, it will hurt short-term and long-term revenues. Like a country’s flag, a logo is what people most identify with, and they will not stand up and solute if they feel confused about its meaning.

Johnson & Johnson Rebrand Case Study

One logo rebranding example that makes you say, “Huh,” is Johnson & Johnson. The company’s brand management management team decided to rebrand this iconic logo in a way that removed a significant piece of the brand story and memorability.

“Wow. It lost its special-ness, and any indication of caring or human empathy. To me, it looks like a 1970s old-school manufacturing company logo.” – Christy Lebor.

How To Rebrand A Logo

Like every aspect of changing a company and its products, having an effective rebranding strategy is pivotal to the campaign’s success. But before you get to the strategy side of branding, you must first engage in brand understanding.

Conduct Market Research

Market research is a critical component of the rebranding process. It’s the 30,000-foot view that gives you the lay of the land so that you can identify the stickiness of consumer trends and have a historical view of your industry.

Perform A Brand Audit

Are you aware of how much brand recognition you have? Do you understand what existing and new customers think and feel when they see your brand’s logo? Before you even consider touching the logo’s graphic design, perform a brand audit to establish a baseline understanding of the brand identity by performing a customer sentiment analysis.

While you can perform some of this yourself, working with a data-driven rebranding agency will make this a much smoother and more detailed process for better clarity about what customers and those within your target audience think about your brand as it stands today.

Prepare A Brand Strategy

With a market and brand understanding, the next step is to create the logo rebranding strategy. This strategy establishes various positioning strategies where the team deliberates which is the best for the brand to move forward with.

The Pepsi Rebrand

In a category where the category leader has perhaps the strongest brand identity of any industry, your logo rebrand strategy better be on-point, or you will get destroyed by this competitor.

The Pepsi logo rebranding is an example of strategically thinking through the process, retaining memorability, and sharpening the look. Pepsi is an example of a successful rebrand that every company should include in the

Create Design Concepts

Having decided on how to position your brand through a logo redesign, it’s time to hand off a comprehensive brief to a graphic designer or firm that will create various concepts for consideration. Initially, the brand provides input into what initial concepts make the most sense for the company. When you work with a rebranding agency, they will present several refined concepts you take to consumers to remove subjectivity from the final decision.

Perform Brand Testing

Consumer testing is a logo redesign’s most important yet least considered aspect. It’s how you ensure customers will embrace this refreshed brand identity. Impactful brand testing for logo designs includes validating memorability,

Metric Description
Recognition Speed Measures how quickly participants recognize the brand based on the new logo.
Brand Recall Tests how well participants can recall the logo after a set period.
Emotional Resonance Assesses the emotional impact of the logo, such as trust, excitement, or sophistication.
Association Accuracy Check if the logo’s elements and colors align with intended brand qualities (e.g., eco-friendly).
Usability Evaluate how well the logo displays across various platforms and media, both digital and print.
A/B Testing Scores Compares the performance of multiple logo options based on metrics like click-through rates.
Cultural Relevance Assesses the logo’s reception and understanding across different cultures.
Distinctiveness Measures the logo’s uniqueness compared to competitors or logos outside the industry.
Focus Group Feedback Gathers qualitative insights that quantitative metrics might not capture.
Net Promoter Score Asks how likely participants will recommend the brand based on the new logo.
Cost Implication Considers the cost of implementing the new logo against the perceived benefits.

Prepare For Iterations

Including an iterative process within your rebranding effort ensures you squeeze as much juice as possible from the initiative. Even if testing indicates one logo design is better than the others, there’s still redesigning work to be done to improve its overall impact on the target audience. It’s the iterative process that separates the good from the great.

How To Launch A Logo Rebrand

A rebrand is a hype opportunity where you can create conversations with existing customers and the media. These conversations are like lighter fluid on a fire, but to take advantage of this opportunity, you must invest in a go-to-market strategy for the new branding. The strategy must be creative and disruptive to be noticed and catch fire.

Internal Discussions

Like Old Spice did in the late 2000s, educating your internal team about a new logo strategy ensures you are all on the same page and can speak confidently about the updated brand identity. Everyone on the team should receive the rebrand presentation deck which includes brand guidelines documenting the new visual identity and how it changes the brand moving forward.

Retailer Discussions

Communicate even seemingly small (compared to product packaging) changes like a new logo design should be communicated with your key retail partners. Including them in the rebranding rollout plan helps them clear out old inventory, signage, and promotional items that can lead to brand confusion.

Rebrand Marketing Strategy

Your rebrand marketing campaign is where the rubber meets the road. It’s the point of a new logo launch that has the most significant impact. Don’t kid yourself if you think a social media campaign and PR release are enough to create virality around the rebrand announcement. You must find unique ways to remove familiarity from the old logo and put it all on the new one.

Monitoring KPI’s

When considering key performance indicators to measure the success of your logo redesign, you must keep the overall company objectives in mind. Yes, you must focus solely on this direct change, but it should align with and contribute to broader business goals such as increased brand awareness, customer engagement, or market share.

Here are the top KPIs to monitor for a logo rebrand.

KPI Description Tools/Methods for Measurement
Brand Awareness Tracks the number of people talking about your brand before and after the rebrand. Google Analytics, Social Listening Platforms, Surveys
Website Traffic Monitors visits to your website, along with time spent and bounce rates. Google Analytics
Customer Engagement Measures interaction levels on social media platforms (likes, shares, comments). Social Media Analytics
Sales Metrics Evaluates revenue, conversion rates, and average order value. Sales Dashboards, CRM Systems
Customer Retention and Acquisition Keeps an eye on churn rates and new customer acquisition rates. CRM Systems, Customer Surveys
Media Coverage Amount and quality of media mentions. Media Monitoring Services, Google Alerts
Customer Sentiment Gauges public opinion about your rebrand. Sentiment Analysis Tools, Customer Surveys
Costs and ROI Monitors costs against outcomes to calculate ROI. Financial Analysis Software
Employee Engagement Measures internal adoption of the new brand. Internal Surveys, Feedback
Competitive Positioning Assesses market standing relative to competitors. Market Research, Competitor Analysis
Influence Reach Checks if rebranding efforts are affecting audiences beyond your target market. Google Analytics, Social Media Analytics

Data-Driven Brand Development That Can Guarantee Sales Performance.

If you need a rebrand with performance predictability, we can help. SmashBrand is a brand development agency that researches, designs, and tests all products to ensure peak shelf performance. Book a time to discuss your project with our team.

The Only Agency To Guarantee A Retail Performance Lift.

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