Rebranding your business can be incredibly exciting. However, it can be a little nerve-wracking too. We’ve helped numerous companies completely overhaul their brand and we’ve even rebranded our agency, so we totally get it. We find that research and preparation is the best way to calm those nerves and actually enjoy the process. With that in mind, we’re sharing some insights into rebranding — including why you might want to rebrand (and why you shouldn’t), costs, what a rebranding strategy entails, and so much more!
What does “rebranding” actually mean?
Rebranding is a buzz word that’s often thrown around in the marketing world. However, if you don’t live it in and out every day like we do, it can seem kind of jargony and illusive. Basically, what rebranding comes down to is changing your image. In the world of immediate feedback, companies need to align themselves with their customers’ ideals, while staying true to their overall company goals, values, and services.
What are some good reasons to consider rebranding?
There are lots of great reasons to consider rebranding. Here are just a few…
- Your brand looks old and outdated.
- Your business values, products, and services have changed.
- You want to distinguish yourself from competitors in the industry.
- You want to reach a new market or audience.
- You’re not seeing the business results you want.
- Your customer feedback is not aligned with what you thought your brand was.
If any of those sound familiar, then it might be time to consider a brand refresh. Rebranding is a big commitment, but it can definitely be a great business move when done thoughtfully and strategically.
What are some reasons NOT to rebrand?
Of course, rebranding isn’t always the right option. There are a fair share of reasons NOT to rebrand as well…
- You’re simply “bored” with your current branding.
- You’re looking for attention or buzz.
- You want to cover up a crisis or bad publicity.
If your reason for rebranding is internal and self-serving, you likely won’t see much success and may see more harm than good. At most, you’ll generate some short-term buzz which will fizzle out quickly. At worst, you’ll alienate your audience and come across as inauthentic and unstable.
Partial vs. Total Rebrand
Generally, when considering a rebrand, there are two main options: a partial rebrand or a total rebrand. There is a time and a place for both options. And every rebrand requires work and strategizing to make it successful.
A partial rebrand focuses mostly on your visual brand identity, such as colors and fonts. This is a great option for brands that are already established and simply want to modernize or reach a new audience (such as expanding internationally). The changes are subtle but impactful, and your existing audience will still recognize and connect with your brand once the rebranding is complete and implemented.
A total rebrand is a complete branding transformation. That means everything from your brand name and logo to your mission statement can be analyzed and updated. This is a great option for brands who are struggling to find their niche in the industry or companies that are going through major mergers or product overhauls that are changing the foundation of the company.
How much will it cost to rebrand my business?
This is a hard question to answer because every branding project is so different. In general, a rebrand can cost anywhere from a few thousand dollars to upwards of $150,000 and take anywhere from a few months to a year to complete.
A few factors that can impact cost include:
- How large and established your company is. There is often a correlation between the size of your company and how much money you should invest in your marketing, specifically rebranding initiatives.
- How fast you need the project completed. Quick turnarounds for a large rebranding project can up your price, similar to paying for expedited shipping. Whether you’re partnering with a creative agency or handling the project internally, a shorter deadline may mean putting other work on the back burner and/or having employees work overtime, which needs to be compensated for.
- What’s included as part of your rebrand. As noted, every project is different. Whether you’re starting from scratch or just taking a fresh approach to the existing brand can impact the cost.
- How many people are involved in the rebranding process. Rebranding often involves people from different areas of your business, a creative agency team, and occasionally even customer feedback and input. While different ideas and points-of-view are incredibly important, the number of people involved in the project can impact the price. Generally, more people means more meetings, more feedback and ideas to implement, and a longer project timeline, which all adds up.
Since rebranding takes a large investment of money and time, it’s not a decision to make lightly. We recommend talking about your needs and budget internally, and working with a creative marketing agency (like us) to make sure your efforts will really pay off in the long-term.
What goes into a rebranding strategy?
This is a great question — and one we like to talk about a lot! Every company and brand refresh is a little different, but here are a few things that are often included as part of the rebranding process or strategy…
- Your story, core values/pillars, and mission. What really sets your company apart and what matters to you? What do you do best? Realling figuring out what your core pillars are and your brand story is probably the most important part of a rebrand. They help you create a firm brand identity that pushes everything else forward naturally.
- Visuals and creatives. This gives your whole brand a cohesive look and feel across all digital and in-person touchpoints — including your logo, fonts/typography, website banners, social profiles, packaging, ads, flyers, and more.
- Tone and voice. This goes beyond visuals and helps align your messaging and engagement across channels — whether responding to followers on Twitter, posting a blog post, or sending out a newsletter. This may include developing some of the content or social engagement for you or providing a strategy and guidelines so your team can move forward internally.
- Target market and competitive analysis. This analyzes the current state of your industry — including what customers want and what industry leaders and competitors are doing. This piece of the rebranding strategy focuses on your target market, develop your market positioning, and a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis to see where you really shine and where you might be able to improve. This is an important step to help really hone your messaging and distinguish yourself from competitors.
- Project management. There are a lot of parts and pieces to a rebrand. Big picture project management helps keep all the pieces moving to keep things on track, including your budget, and make sure the whole big puzzle comes together in the end.
This is just a starting point. Plans may be tweaked or expanded depending on your specific needs and the skills and services of your branding agency partner or internal team.
What should I look for in a creative agency?
We highly recommend hiring an outside agency that will lead you through the process and finalize your new creative. Many times it takes an outside perspective to cut through the clutter and really drill down to your truths, especially when there are multiple people involved. Plus, utilizing an outside team can help relieve some of the stress on your employees and free up your time so you can focus on your ongoing tasks and business objectives.
When looking for a creative agency to partner with for your rebrand, keep the following in mind…
- Check portfolios, reviews, and testimonials. Their previous work and customers will give some great insights into where the agency really shines, their track record of success, and what you can expect when working together.
- Expertise. Not all agencies are created equal. In fact, a lot of agencies can create some decent visuals but have minimal or no experience really understanding the strategy behind it all. Don’t be afraid to ask for credentials and take a look at how long they’ve been in business and what kind of businesses they’ve worked with in the past. Finding an agency that has experience is crucial and can make the rebranding much less daunting. DAE and Company has had over 30 years of branding and rebranding for various clients.
- Ask a lot of questions. A good agency will ask you a lot of questions — and you should ask a lot of questions in return. A rebrand requires communication and transparency, so you should make sure those qualities are evident from the get-go.
- Set clear goals and expectations. To judge success, everyone needs to be on the same page. Work together to set clear goals, timelines, and benchmarks so that there are no hiccups or miscommunication along the way. Although an agency can lead you through the process, your input and involvement is crucial. A brand needs to be authentic and truthful, so it is important that the final product reflects who you are and why you do what you do.
Here at DAE, we’ve got a seasoned crew of marketers and creatives, specializing in everything from graphic design and digital advertising to account management and copywriting. We’ve worked with big-name brands on the West Coast and beyond — including Visit California, WB Records, MGM Grand, Honeywell, Google, and more.
Think we could be the right agency for you? There’s only one way to find out…