Is It Time to Rebrand? Six Questions to Ask Your Team.
A strong brand experience is imperative in today’s competitive, crowded business climate.
A solid, differentiated brand can help your company stand out and grow. And, for most, there comes a time when an update or refresh becomes necessary. Whether born from a need to respond to shifts within the market, to communicate a change in business strategy, or simply to more clearly articulate the value you offer relative to your competitors, a rebrand offers an opportunity to more authentically reflect who you are and what you stand for as a business.
And, exciting as it is, undertaking a rebrand is no small feat. It requires significant time, resources and budget coupled with the ability to make challenging decisions quickly. If you find yourself at a juncture where you are considering a rebrand, we encourage you to pause before embarking on the effort to assess whether your organization is truly ready. Doing so will ensure that you don’t stall out, burn out or unnecessarily waste valuable resources along the way. We offer six important questions to consider to help determine if you are truly ready to rebrand your business.
1. Are you clear on your business strategy?
The best brands are crafted to support an established business strategy. Getting clear on the key elements of your business strategy prior to beginning the branding process is essential. If your organization is unable to answer questions about what products and services you offer, how they are packaged, who your target audience is, what financial goals you are trying to meet, and the best sales approach for achieving them, you run the risk of significant delays to your branding project. With your strategy firmly in place, all members of the team are aligned from the beginning and ready to hit the ground running.
2. Are you clear on what you hope to accomplish?
There is typically a trigger that signals the need to take a fresh look at your brand. It could be a merger or acquisition, new leadership, lack of awareness, misperceptions, new/evolved offerings, or a desire to stand out in an increasingly commoditized world. Consensus on what you hope to accomplish ensures that the project can be evaluated from a common set of standards at every milestone, making it far more likely that your brand will achieve your core objectives.
3. How will decisions be made and who will make them?
Thinking through who will need to be involved with the rebranding process and what their respective roles will be are critical to the success of your efforts. Your top leadership will likely be heavily involved in upfront meetings and need to be available to review and approve work at key phases of the project such as research planning, findings and recommendations, strategic recommendations and creative development (including logo design, visual identity concept and implementation). Are you clear who will establish the brand strategy and how decisions will be made at each stage? Once you have identified the key players and how decisions will be made, you can better evaluate a realistic timeframe and design a process that supports you in meeting it.
4. Do key stakeholders have sufficient bandwidth?
Branding is a time-intensive effort. Uncovering the needs of your company, brand, customers, and the market will require time and input from numerous stakeholders. While your agency is there to help you craft the most compelling brand identity possible, they will also rely upon experts within your organization to get firmly rooted in who you are, what you do, and how you do it including leadership, sales, customer service, employees and customers (likely current, inactive, lost). This partnership between you and the agency is what will drive the success of your rebrand. Before getting started, give careful consideration to whether key contributors have the time to be involved during the rebrand process and if there may be competing priorities that might render them unavailable or stretched too thin.
5. Do you have the budget to fully implement a new brand?
When updating your visual identity including logo, colors, type, imagery and/or photography, the implications can be far-reaching. While you might initially incur fees for retaining an agency to create your brand, once established, every asset containing the old look, feel, logo and messaging will need to be updated. This includes social media, stationery, promotional items, signage, fleet vehicles, uniforms, collateral, literature, and much more. These items will need to be re-printed or updated electronically and distributed in a timely manner so that you do not have two brands co-existing. A good way to begin understanding more comprehensive costs is to catalog every item that will be impacted by the rebrand and determine the costs and timing for making updates. Also critical to a successful brand launch, is getting all employees on board. Don’t forget to budget for this aspect of the branding project as well. Making this investment will pay dividends as it assures that employees are aware of the new brand and can amplify your new message as they share with others.
6. Have you allotted enough time for the process?
You have a global executive meeting in three months where you want to announce the new brand. That’s likely not going to allow enough time to achieve the results you hope for. Branding takes more time than you likely think and timing can vary considerably depending on the access and availability of key stakeholders in the discovery phase. If you have clarity on the review and approval process you will follow, who will be involved, as well as an understanding of the lead time required for fabrication and/or printing of new materials, you can acknowledge realities that can inform a realistic timeframe for launching your new brand. Don’t rush the process – your brand’s perception is a valuable asset. A rebrand is exciting and important, something that will be with you for years, perhaps decades to come.
Whether you are looking to stand apart from your competition, share your story in a more compelling way, or communicate more clearly about your products and services, Savage helps organizations build purpose-driven brands that endure.
Learn more about the branding services we offer to help businesses thrive today and prepare for tomorrow.
Sarah has built a dynamic career on the belief that there are no limits to what she can do. Her ability to embrace and balance lifestyles and cultures makes her an especially powerful player in the marketing field. As a brand strategist at Savage, her biggest motivator is helping companies find their true purpose—an endeavor that certainly requires the ability to step back, breathe and look at the big picture.