The Simple Checklist for Rebranding

Branding

In the uber information era we all inhabit nowadays, rebranding has become a popular way of keeping customer engagement strong in the long term. But it’s important to make sure you’re rebranding with a clear purpose and strategy—otherwise it can get altogether chaotic and potentially very damaging to your business. 

Why do you need a rebrand?

One of the first things to do is be sure your company in fact does need a rebrand. Reasons to rebrand might include:

  • A major change to your company structure—like an acquisition, a merger, or a split.
  • A significant change in your products or services.
  • Negative associations with your brand.
  • Changes to the market that give your competitors an advantage.
  • Another company with a similar name or identity is messing with your mojo.

What type of rebrand do you need?

Although there is no magic formula for when and how to rebrand, understanding what type of revamp you’re after is key—a full rebrand vs a brand refresh, for instance. Once you’ve determined that you will be rebranding, check the following items off your list to ensure your do-over goes as smoothly and successfully as possible!

1. Notify stakeholders

Before actually commencing your rebranding, be sure to notify your key stakeholders—clients, vendors and partners. You don’t want to be the bearer of unexpected news after the fact which makes an important ally’s job that much more difficult.

2. Tackle logistics

The logistics of rebranding can be tedious, overwhelming, and seemingly endless. But with proper planning, it doesn’t have to be a battle.

  • Think about your timing—for the sake of tax season.
  • Acquire any necessary new trademarks for your new brand name, taglines, or new product names.
  • Get on getting those new URLs.
  • Schedule a meeting to share the new brand and its messaging so all staff can successfully advocate on its behalf.
  • For a helpful set of fresh eyes, consider outsourcing to a branding studio.

3. Engage with optics

Catching every last visual detail of your rebrand will be what makes an impact on the minds of your customers and would-be customers.

  • Establish a very clear process for reviewing and approving new branded pieces.
  • Get multiple opinions on everything. Again, this is where an outside set of eyes may come in handy.
  • Make a new style guide (potentially with the invaluable help of a designer) and include usage guidelines for your logo, fonts, colours, etc. Send out your guide externally to partners who need access to your logo or other aspects of your identity.
  • Make a list of everything that needs redesigning. Start with the most urgent things which will outwardly define your brand and once you’ve got your footing, tackle smaller items like letterheads and email signatures.

4. Dot your Is

Making sure to catch every single occurrence of your old brand or name will go a long way toward instilling your new brand with a sense of ownership and authenticity. Be sure to check the following for traces of the old you:

  • Interior design and internal signage
  • Labeling on business-owned property 
  • Bills and checks
  • Phone systems and voicemail messages
  • Server and file names
  • Computer logins

As with any checklist, you’re sure to think of other tasks specific to your business that need to be considered in your rebranding efforts. Ultimately, while rebranding can be effective at growing your business or startup, be sure to give it a great deal of thoughtful consideration and planning before jumping in!