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From the daily agenda to long-term goals, checklists are invaluable for navigating simple and complex processes. When transforming your existing brand into a new, dynamic identity, our definitive rebranding checklist is the ultimate guide, ensuring you cover your bases and set yourself up for a successful transition.
Determine Your Rebranding Why
When engaging in a rebranding initiative, anticipation creates excitement, causing the fundamental question of “Why?” to be overlooked. Yet, understanding the reasons for rebranding is a critical first step, shaping every other decision in the rebranding process, as it directs the brand strategy, ensuring all team members recognize the reason for change.
A sample of potential reasons for rebranding may include:
Outdated Brand Identity:
Creating a new brand identity can bring new life to a forgotten brand.
Shift in Company Mission:
Bringing brand awareness to a new set of values and purpose.
Adapting to consumer expectations, emerging trends, and preferences for the target audience.
Scaling your brand to international markets and serving a global audience.
Mergers and Acquisitions:
Harmonizing multiple brand identities into one.
In nearly every situation, there will be multiple reasons for rebranding, so don’t feel obligated to choose a single one, but do focus on the top three reasons.
Is it the right time for rebranding?
Even with a handful of reasons, it may be the wrong time to begin the rebranding process. A vital box to tick on the rebrand checklist is confirming that you have enough time, resources, and capital to create new company branding. In some cases, deferring to the next quarter may be a better idea as you clear through the current brand’s inventory, inform partnerships about the upcoming brand identity change, and allocate enough money and staff for the initiative’s duration.
Establish Your Rebranding Budget
As a rebranding agency, an issue we experience with start-ups and brands in desperation is diving headfirst into rebranding without fully considering the costs. A well-defined budget ensures you do not cut corners or run out of fuel to complete the process. A prepared budget creates a roadmap for efficiently allocating resources; with a margin of safety, be prepared for the unknown.
Consider the following factors when creating your rebranding budget.
The fees for acquiring outside expertise, including consultants and rebranding specialists.
All expenses related to market data and communications with the target market in surveys and panel interviews.
This includes expenses for redesigning all visual elements, such as logos, color schemes, and packaging. These costs vary significantly depending on whether you opt for in-house designers or a high-profile design agency.
All brand testing including design and message testing to confirm the best strategy to push forward.
Effectively launching your rebrand demands a comprehensive marketing strategy, which means budgeting for social media campaigns, PR, and an event or product launch.
Rebranding often involves new trademarks or revisiting existing contracts, which incur legal costs. These are especially important if you’re making a significant change, like renaming the company.
These may include changing signage and business stationery to updating software and digital platforms to reflect the new brand.
Create Your Rebranding Team
Deligating the rebranding process to a single individual is a recipe for mediocrity and missed outcomes. It takes diverse internal and external team members to create the best strategy, refined and optimized for penetrating the target market. Here’s a look at potential candidates for your rebranding effort.
Internal Team Members
Fully understands the intricacies of the brand and the environments in which the product is presented.
Provides valuable insights into distinct brand messaging and competitor’s positioning.
Able to bring ideas to the table on best presenting visuals and messaging into a cohesive look that stands out.
Can clarify the timeline, budget, and other executive understandings.
Experts in strategic messaging and design for peak performance with the target audience.
Ensure the rebrand adheres to intellectual property laws, contracts, and regulatory compliance.
Manage public image and communication, orchestrating a seamless transition to the new brand identity.
Perform Extensive Research
Now that you’ve assembled a team, it’s time to begin the research phase. This process resembles how to brand a new company, with the added dimension of factoring in your existing branding’s role in shaping the future direction of the rebranding process. And this is where our research begins.
Nearly every company carries some brand equity, some worthy of carrying over into the rebrand. The research process includes reviewing all brand collateral, marketing materials, customer conversations, and social listening to understand how consumers see fully, feel, and what they believe about the brand. Brand research also includes surveys or consumer panels created to understand the brand’s current visual identity and voice.
One of the biggest mistakes a brand makes when rebranding is not performing competitor research. Through competitor analysis, you can find gaps permitting distinct brand positioning that can penetrate a particular category. In a competitor audit, you will employ some of the same tactics as brand research, perform retail audits, and acquire existing market research on the competition nearest to your products.
Understanding the most recent trends guides you in what messages to bring forward and how to articulate them in a way that resonates with existing customers and new audiences you hope to target. With trend research, we want to understand how best to integrate one or more into your particular category for maximum impact on purchase intent.
Each sales and marketing channel will have a unique design, layout, and competitive set. Channel research identifies ways to rebrand yourself with distinct visual appeal to target audiences frequenting these platforms or environments. For example, a nutritional supplement company selling in Costco may need to rebrand differently than one in Walgreens. While your branding cannot align with every channel’s best interest, it’s best to consider your most important channel partners in your rebranding strategy.
Choose Your Form Of Rebranding
With a complete understanding of the brand, competitors, and channels, it’s time to decide how intensive the rebranding process will be. In this situation, we have two main options and a misunderstood third, a component of rebranding.
The first choice is the Partial Rebrand, a strategic option that allows preserving certain brand elements while infusing fresh elements to revitalize the overall identity.
The second is the Full Rebrand. Every facet of the brand is overhauled on this transformative path, from visual elements to core messaging, crafting an entirely new and invigorated identity that resonates with the target audience.
When researching the types of rebrands, you may come across the term brand refresh. The term is a more subtle approach to redesigning a brand but isn’t enough to qualify as a partial rebrand. A refresh alone doesn’t change brand positioning or how to approach the target audience.
Perform Further Research
Research isn’t a one-and-done aspect of this brand strategy. Consumer research occurs at various points in the rebranding process as new questions present themselves at each point. Continuing to research is how you get the best possible outcome for your rebrand.
Create Rebranding Strategies
With all of the preliminary steps behind us, it’s time for the fun part: creating a set of potential rebranding strategies. With an understanding of the target audience’s interests and current brand perception, we can let our creative juices flow for copywriting and design.
Every rebrand strategy will lead with messaging where you articulate the essence of your brand’s evolution. The brand story comes to the forefront through your messaging strategy, narrating the journey from your origins to your present aspirations. The goal is to create a cohesive narrative you articulate through everything from packaging to website design.
The messaging strategy creates the initial direction for the visual rebrand. Now is the time to flush out those concepts into distinct brand visuals that further drive home the emotions you want consumers to feel and understand. Each element must align, from the font to color choices, to drive home these core brand messages.
Document Brand Guidelines
Brands must create a visual and content style guide to ensure consistency across the future brand assets they develop. These brand guidelines will serve the internal team and any agencies you work with, saving significant time in communications and design iterations for outcomes misaligned with the brand theme.
Design Your Brand Assets
We’ve finally reached the point where you can let the creative juices flow (concerning the style guide) and create each brand asset to create maximum impact.
While it doesn’t have to be the initial design, creating a new logo can make the remaining design process more accessible. The logo provides traction on the rebrand and direction for the remaining assets.
The most critical aspect of rebranding for consumer brands is creating a product packaging design that resonates with consumers. Unlike other assets, this is the design they will see each time they shop and, once they acquire a customer, whenever they use the product. It has the greatest potential for influencing initial and repeat purchase decisions.
Website rebranding is, unfortunately, where things can go astray. Since this asset has multiple layers, it’s easy to let your brand voice and visual representation snowball out of control. And performing damage control will be a much more complicated process than the effort it takes to prevent it in the first place.
Maintaining consistency across your digital assets, such as social media profiles, is necessary to create memorability with potential and existing consumers. Every time the target audience sees your presence online, it should reflect what you present on your packaging and website.
The best brands can create rebranding consistency across all touchpoints, including email signatures, business cards, social media content, and all marketing materials, such as signage and displays. It’s important to consider all touchpoints as marketing collateral, even if they are incremental; they can attract people to your brand or send them in another direction.
Rebrand Launch Strategy
How you go to market with your rebrand is as vital as the rebrand itself. Whether it’s a partial or complete shift in identity, every company should have a rebrand launch checklist that is given a total effort. Here’s a sample list of potential action items for your rebrand launch campaign based on the categories of having a presentation deck, public relations campaign, and marketing distribution initiative.
|Press Release Circulation
|Social Media Blitz
|Media Kit Creation
|Launch Day Deck
|FAQs and How-tos
|Collaborations and Sponsorships
|Crisis Communication Plan
|Style Guide Distribution
|Op-Eds in Industry Publications
|Social Media AMAs (Ask Me Anything)
|Press Kit Distribution
|Customer Onboarding Updates
|News Coverage Monitoring
|Landing Page Optimization
|Update in Online Directories
|Post-launch Public Briefing
|Physical Store Signage Update
Establish Reporting Metrics
The only way to understand whether it was a successful rebrand or the result of some other brand strategy is to establish reporting metrics. Leveraging free tools such as Google Analytics and Google Trends can be implemented for reporting by companies of all sizes. Larger brands with national distribution may need to invest in more robust SaaS solutions.
Here’s a sample of potential metrics your brand will report on.
|Method of Measurement
|The growth in sales revenue after the rebrand
|% Increase in revenue compared to pre-rebrand period
|The percentage of revenue that exceeds costs and expenses
|Net income / Revenue x 100
|ROI (Return on Investment)
|The effectiveness of the rebranding investment
|(Net Profit / Cost of Rebrand) x 100
|Per Store Sales
|The average sales revenue per retail location
|Total Sales / Number of Stores
|Average Transaction Value
|The average value of each sales transaction
|Total Revenue / Number of Transactions
|The number of customers making more than one purchase
|Count or % of customers with more than one transaction
|Percentage of visitors completing a desired action (e.g., purchasing, signing up, etc.)
|(Conversions / Total visitors) x 100
|Customer Retention Rate
|The percentage of customers who continue to buy from you
|(Number of returning customers / Total customers) x 100
|The percentage of customers who leave your brand for a competitor
|(Customers lost / Customers at the start) x 100
|Net Promoter Score (NPS)
|Customer’s willingness to recommend your brand
|Survey-based scores ranging from -100 to 100
|The number of times inventory is sold and replaced
|Cost of Goods Sold / Average Inventory Value
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.