The Ultimate Rebranding Checklist And Success Roadmap.

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Rebranding Checklist

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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 comprehensive 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. It shapes every other decision in the rebranding process, directs the brand strategy, and ensures 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Outdated Brand Identity: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 Structure and Mission:

Bringing brand awareness to a new set of values and purpose. 

Market Changes: 

Adapting to consumer expectations, emerging trends, and preferences for the target audience.

Global Expansion:

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; instead, 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. 


Strategy Costs:

The fees for acquiring outside expertise, including consultants and rebranding specialists.


Research Costs

All expenses related to market data and communications with the target market in surveys and panel interviews. 


Design Costs:

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.


Testing Fees: 

All brand testing, including design and message testing, to confirm the best strategy to push forward.


Marketing Expenses:

Effectively launching your rebrand demands a comprehensive marketing strategy, which means budgeting for social media campaigns, PR, and an event or product launch.


Legal Fees: 

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.


Miscellaneous Expenses:

These may include changing signage and business stationery to updating software and digital platforms to reflect the new brand.

Establish Your Rebranding Budget

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

Brand Manager:

Fully understands the intricacies of the brand and the environments in which the product is presented.

Marketing Director: 

Provides valuable insights into distinct brand messaging and competitor’s positioning. 

Design Department: 

Able to bring ideas to the table on best presenting visuals and messaging into a cohesive look that stands out.

Key Stakeholders:

Can clarify the timeline, budget, and other executive understandings.

External Partners

Branding Agencies:

Experts in strategic messaging and design for peak performance with the target audience. 

Legal Advisors: 

Ensure the rebrand adheres to intellectual property laws, contracts, and regulatory compliance.

PR Firms: 

Manage public image and communication, orchestrating a seamless transition to the new brand identity.

External Partners

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. 

Brand Research

Brand Research

Nearly every company structure carries some brand equity, some worth 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 and feel the brand fully and what they believe about it. Brand research also includes surveys or consumer panels created to understand the brand’s current visual identity and voice.

Competitor Research

Competitor Research

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.

Trend Research

Trend Research

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.

Channel Research

Channel Research

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 third is a misunderstood component of rebranding. 

Partial Rebrand

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.

Full Rebrand

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.

Full rebrand

Rebrand vs. Brand Refresh

When researching the types of rebrands, you may come across the term brand refresh. This term refers to a more subtle approach to redesigning a brand, but it isn’t enough to qualify as a partial rebrand. A brand 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. Once we understand the target audience’s interests and current brand perception, we can let our creative juices flow for copywriting and design. 

Brand Messaging

Brand Messaging

Every rebrand strategy will lead to messaging that articulates the essence of your brand’s evolution. Your messaging strategy brings the brand story to the forefront, 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. 

Visual Identity

Visual Identity

The messaging strategy creates the initial direction for the visual rebrand. Now is the time to flesh out those concepts into distinct brand visuals that convey the emotions you want consumers to feel and understand. Each element must align, from the font to the color choices, to communicate these core brand messages. 

Document Brand Guidelines

Document New Brand Guidelines

Brands must create a visual and content style guide to ensure consistency across the future brand assets they develop. These new 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. 

Brand Assets
  1. Logo Design

    While it doesn’t have to be the initial design, creating a new logo can make the remaining design process more accessible. This new logo provides traction on the rebrand and direction for the remaining assets.

  2. Packaging Design

    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.

  3. Website Design

    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.  

  4. Digital Assets

    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. 

  5. Other Touchpoints

    The best brands can create rebranding consistency across all touchpoints, including email signatures, business cards, social media content, and marketing materials such as signage and displays. It’s important to consider all touchpoints as marketing channels, even if they are incremental; they can attract people to your brand or steer 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 channel distribution initiative.

Pre-Launch TeasersPress Release CirculationSocial Media Blitz
Media Kit CreationInfluencer PartnershipsEmail Campaign
Webinar BriefingCustomer TestimonialsRetargeting Ads
Internal AlignmentEvent/UnveilingSEO Update
Launch Day DeckFAQs and How-tosCollaborations and Sponsorships
Asset OverhaulCrisis Communication PlanMetrics Monitoring
Logo UnveilingMedia InterviewsIterative Feedback
Style Guide DistributionOp-Eds in Industry PublicationsAffiliate Partnerships
Visual MockupsSocial Media AMAs (Ask Me Anything)Geo-Targeted Ads
Employee TrainingPodcast AppearancesPress Kit Distribution
Customer Onboarding UpdatesNews Coverage MonitoringLanding Page Optimization
Post-Launch SurveyEmployee AdvocacyUpdate in Online Directories
Follow-up WebinarsPost-launch Public BriefingPhysical Store Signage Update

Establish Reporting Metrics

Establishing reporting metrics is the only way to understand whether it was a successful rebrand or the result of some other brand strategy. Companies of all sizes can leverage free tools such as Google Analytics and Google Trends for reporting. 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. 

KPI CategoryKPI NameDescriptionMethod of Measurement
Financial MetricsRevenue IncreaseThe growth in sales revenue after the rebrand% Increase in revenue compared to pre-rebrand period
Financial MetricsProfit MarginThe percentage of revenue that exceeds costs and expensesNet income / Revenue x 100
Financial MetricsROI (Return on Investment)The effectiveness of the rebranding investment(Net Profit / Cost of Rebrand) x 100
Sales MetricsPer Store SalesThe average sales revenue per retail locationTotal Sales / Number of Stores
Sales MetricsAverage Transaction ValueThe average value of each sales transactionTotal Revenue / Number of Transactions
Customer BehaviorRepeat PurchasesThe number of customers making more than one purchaseCount or % of customers with more than one transaction
Customer BehaviorConversion RatePercentage of visitors completing a desired action (e.g., purchasing, signing up, etc.)(Conversions / Total visitors) x 100
Customer BehaviorCustomer Retention RateThe percentage of customers who continue to buy from you(Number of returning customers / Total customers) x 100
Customer BehaviorChurn RateThe percentage of customers who leave your brand for a competitor(Customers lost / Customers at the start) x 100
Customer EngagementNet Promoter Score (NPS)Customer’s willingness to recommend your brandSurvey-based scores ranging from -100 to 100
Operational MetricsInventory TurnoverThe number of times inventory is sold and replacedCost 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.

The Only Agency To Guarantee A Retail Performance Lift.

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