Strategy, Design

A Complete Guide For Rebranding Products.

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Rebranding Products

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There is a duality to rebranding products in that it is both exciting and frightening at the same time. It’s exciting in that it brings about the possibility of increased brand awareness for capturing more outstanding market share. Conversely, there is also the possibility that time and money invested in the rebranding process could lead to the opposite effect, with decreased brand awareness and giving up market share. 

The good news is that you’ve found this article, which walks you through each step necessary to rebrand a product successfully. Adhering to the rebranding guidelines we’ve created will positively impact the new branding you showcase to the world. 

Why Products Need Rebranding

Even if it is a collective decision, stating that it “feels like the right time” for a rebrand is not a strong enough reason for this initiative. You must understand the deeper meaning of engaging in a brand strategy that impacts everything from your product packaging to your social media accounts. By pushing forward, you will inevitably change your brand perception, and you better be confident that you are making the right decision. 

Here are several valid reasons for rebranding a product

DTC Retail

DTC To Retail

While you may have a customer base for your current brand, shifting from DTC to retail makes you the “new brand” to many potential customers within your target audience. For many retail shoppers, you will have zero brand awareness or brand recognition, requiring your packaging design to do most of the work, convincing them to try your product.



Do we have a strong enough position in the market is one of the rebranding questions every brand must ask, and there are many reasons for repositioning, but the two most common in the CPG industry are start-up brands that created regional or DTC success off a shoestring budget and brands that identify an opportunity to grow by changing their brand positioning to capture a new audience.

Read More: Rebranding vs. Repositioning: A comprehensive Guide.

The key to rebranding to optimize product positioning is understanding what to retain from your old brand identity and carrying it forward as you create a new brand identity. A rebranding agency specializing in repositioning will help you accomplish this objective.

Changing Landscape

Changing Landscape

For some brands, aspects of their initial branding will remain the same throughout their existence, but no brand can stay the same forever. Whether it’s the competitive set, consumer trends, sales channels, or marketing platforms, an existing brand must adapt to retain and capture market share. Navigating these changes can be challenging as you must find a way to remain distinct yet align yourself with the consumer’s expectations.


Aligning With Brand And Line Extensions

The more products you produce, the more critical it is to be strategic with your brand architecture. Whether through brand stretching or narrow product extensions, each product created may require subtle revisions to the existing branding (especially with packaging designs) to adapt to the new product positioning.

The Benefits of Successful Rebranding

There are many potential benefits when creating new branding for a product, but you must choose the ones most important to your brand. Identifying these benefits will help you optimize your rebranding strategy to ensure you meet these outcomes. 

Benefit CategoryExplanation
Enhanced Public PerceptionElevates your business in the eyes of the target audience, signaling growth and relevance.
New Customer BaseOpens avenues to target new demographics and broader audiences.
Competitive EdgeHelps your business stand out in a crowded market, especially if the old brand is outdated.
Realign Business ObjectivesUpdates the brand to reflect the company’s current mission, vision, and values.
Increased ProfitabilityA better brand image can lead to higher sales and profits.
SimplificationStreamlines complex or disjointed old brand elements to make the message clearer.
Adapt to Market ChangesAllows your brand to keep up with market trends, new technology, or shifts in consumer behavior.
Merge or Acquisition SynergyHelps unify merged or acquired companies’ corporate cultures and product offerings.
Employee Morale and RetentionBoost employee engagement and a sense of pride in the company.
Legal BenefitsHelps avoid legal issues like trademark disputes, offering a fresh start.
Eliminate Negative ImageHelps shed or mitigate previous negative public perceptions.
Future-ProofingSets your company up for future growth and makes it easier to enter new markets.
ConsistencyCleans up brand elements to create a cohesive, consistent brand image.
Attract TalentMakes the company more appealing to high-quality professionals.
Boosts Digital MarketingRevitalizes your digital presence, improving SEO, user experience, and online visibility.

The Risks of Product Rebranding

We cannot turn a blind eye to the risks associated with our rebranding effort. There is always a chance that our change in branding will negatively impact our engagement with the target audience. 

Risk CategoryExplanation
Consumer ResistanceExisting customers may not respond well to the new brand identity, leading to a potential decrease in loyalty or sales.
High CostsRebranding can be expensive, covering everything from new marketing materials to website updates. Not budgeting adequately can strain resources.
Loss of Brand EquityIf not executed properly, rebranding can lead to a loss of the brand equity built over the years.
Confusion in the MarketMultiple brand changes in a short period can confuse customers and may lead to a loss in trust.
Internal ResistanceMultiple brand changes in a short period can confuse customers and may lead to a loss of trust.
Ineffective CommunicationPoor communication of the reason and advantages of the rebrand can lead to negative public and internal perceptions.
SEO Rankings DropChanging domain names, website structure, or page content can temporarily affect product page SEO rankings.
Legal RisksFailing to research new brand elements like logos could result in legal issues such as copyright or trademark infringement.
Dilution of Brand MessageTrying to appeal to a broader audience might dilute the brand’s core message, alienating existing customers.
Implementation ChallengesIncorrect or incomplete rollout of the new brand elements can lead to various operational issues.
Negative Public RelationsPublic backlash can occur, particularly if the rebrand is seen as unnecessary or a move away from a well-loved identity.
Wasted Marketing CollateralOld marketing materials become obsolete after a rebrand, leading to additional costs.
Missed DeadlinesRebranding often has a set timeline; missing deadlines can lead to a disorganized launch.
Mismatch with Corporate ValuesThe new brand identity might not align with the corporate values, causing dissonance.
Customer Re-education CostsCustomers accustomed to the old brand may require significant marketing efforts to understand the new brand.

Types of Product Rebranding

It’s important to distinguish the various types of rebranding as they each require a unique cost, resource investment, and differing completion timelines. 

Cosmetic Rebrand

Cosmetic rebranding is the simplest (yet still deserving of deep research and testing) form of rebranding, where you make minor changes to visual aspects, including font choices and color schemes. A cosmetic rebrand applies to every part of branding, from the logo to the packaging design. What doesn’t change is the core identity, positioning, or core offerings. 

Partial Rebrand

Partial rebranding is more than a brand refresh; it involves updating visual elements, purchase driver distinction, and means of brand storytelling. What doesn’t change is the brand positioning, the company mission, and core values.

Complete Rebrand

Including what we’ve discussed in cosmetic and partial rebranding, a full rebrand transforms all business touchpoints. In some cases, this includes changing major business components, such as a company name, but more often, it includes recreating the visual identity, brand philosophy, and business strategy. An entire rebrand requires the company to rethink its position in the marketplace, how it speaks to consumers, and what visual representation best suits the business. 

Creating A Product Rebranding Strategy

An effective strategy enables a company to get the most out of its product rebranding campaign. While the inner workings of every strategy will be unique, there are fundamental rebranding steps every brand must take. Here’s a look at each step necessary for a product rebrand.

Market Research

Market Research

While many brands perform market research to validate the effectiveness and desirability of their product design, fewer commit to researching the best ways to brand their product. Unfortunately, only a small percentage of companies make this investment in their rebranding campaign. 

You cannot rebrand effectively without understanding your market. Brands of all sizes must research to find gaps and opportunities. While you can conduct research on a shoestring budget, working with agencies specializing in consumer research can help you identify the best way to put yourself forward.



Having a well-thought-out budget is one of the most critical steps on a rebranding checklist, and it doesn’t get enough attention. Not allocating enough capital and team member time to the initiative is often why new branding doesn’t see the light of day or fails to capture attention when entering the market. 

Messaging Concepts

Messaging Concepts

The language consumers encounter, whether auditory or written, plays a vital role in successful rebranding. From the package design to the marketing strategy, the messages you convey and how you articulate them through your brand voice make a significant difference in memorability and the level of brand value consumers hold for your company and its products. 

Design Concepts

Design Concepts

While visual rebranding is often the first aspect that comes to mind during rebranding, it enhances your various communication channels. Visual rebranding applies to every aspect of the look, from creating a new logo on the product to overhauling how it appears on the website. 

Read More: The Ultimate Guide TO Website Rebranding.

Rebrand Validation

Rebrand Validation

Brands shouldn’t leave validation to how the media, existing customers, and the target market feel about the new brand presentation. Confirming the impact comes through continuous and rigorous rebrand testing. At SmashBrand, we perform package design tests to ensure maximum recall for the brand name and purchase intent for new customers. 

Shockingly, even many big names inadequately perform brand testing, which is why we see national brands on the list of rebrand failures. Proper rebrand testing occurs throughout the entire development process, providing insights that help you create new iterations.

Steps For A Successful Rebranding Launch

Every rebrand comes with hype that brands can leverage for enhanced velocity and increased reach. But to take advantage of this natural element of rebranding, your launch campaign must take the necessary steps to ensure consistency and visibility. 



Once the product rebrand is complete, the first step that a company must take is creating and providing the team with a rebrand presentation deck and brand guidelines that include a style guide. Putting a brand guideline in place immediately ensures the team makes the necessary changes to social media profiles, marketing material, and anywhere else they present the product. 


Internal Communication

Whether to address reservations or prevent accidents, a brand must go to great lengths to communicate the product rebranding. The creative director and brand manager can use this to inform and excite the team about the changes. While this may seem unnecessary, it will significantly affect everything from social media activity to meetings with channel partners. 


Go-To-Market Strategy

Strong brands recognize the significance of a well-executed go-to-market strategy, seizing the opportunity to showcase their most innovative ideas. Whether through in-store displays or social media campaigns, presenting the new packaging design resulting from the rebrand in a unique manner is key to capturing sustained attention.

Measuring Performance

Assessing the effectiveness of your rebranding effort is essential for understanding its impact and making data-driven adjustments. Monitor CPG KPIs such as brand awareness, customer engagement, and market share after the rebrand launch. You can also measure performance by looking into website analytics, social media metrics, and sales data to gauge initial reactions and long-term trends.

Measuring Performance

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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