Written by Caroline Cox on Dec 13 , 2021

Successful rebranding requires a lot of planning and coordination. Here’s how to tackle the task like a boss. 

Here you’ll find: 

  • Reasons why companies rebrand
  • The steps that go into a rebrand
  • How to conduct a company rebrand 
  • Common rebranding mistakes to avoid 

The goal of a company rebrand is to create a new and differentiated brand identity. 

Rebrands can happen for any number of reasons: maybe your business has expanded what it offers, it was bought by or merged with another company, or you just need to hit “hard refresh.”

Of course, rebranding isn’t always the answer. If not done properly or at the right time, it can result in negative effects. (For proof, look no further than Facebook changing its name to Meta.) 

However, in the right situations, a rebrand can be just what your company needs to keep growing. Let’s find out if a company rebrand is the right move for you and how to conduct a company rebrand successfully in any market.

people having a company rebrand meeting

It’s wise to start by conducting extensive market research to make sure you still have a firm and accurate grasp on who your customers actually are. (Image via Pexels)

When is it time for a company rebrand?

Let’s be real: rebranding is a time-consuming, meticulous, multichannel process.

It’s also sometimes essential to change how a company is perceived and increase its marketability. 

While even well-established companies often rebrand at one point during their growth, hopefully it’s something you only have to do once.

Common reasons for a company rebrand include: 

  • Outdated 
  • Mergers or acquisitions
  • Major change in offerings
  • Significant shifts in the market
  • Doppelgänger names 
  • Evolved target audience
  • Bad reputation

Steps to marketing a company rebrand

Making changes to your company’s appearance or values often requires the marketing team to work in overdrive to update the brand’s current assets, create new ones, and get the word out in time for the relaunch. 

Marketers can take these steps to help manage a smooth transition during a company rebrand without losing brand loyalty from previous customers. 

1. Take a closer look at your brand’s target market

It’s wise to start by conducting extensive market research to make sure you still have a firm and accurate grasp on who your target audience really is. If you’ve been in business a while, you may find that your audience has evolved, matured, or pivoted entirely from what you originally thought. 

Once you understand who will be buying your products or services, keep them in mind during the rebranding process so you can better communicate and build connections with those customers moving forward.

2. Ensure your new brand voice aligns with your company’s mission

A company’s values don’t often change, since they’re generally baked into why it was founded in the first place. 

However, it’s common for a company rebrand to include updating the company’s vision and/or mission statement. During this part of the process, make sure all marketing materials are updated to reflect the brand’s new voice. This may include adjusting: 

  • Website copy
  • Newsletters
  • Brochures
  • Social media bios
  • Digital ads
  • Internal messaging
  • Brand style guide, if you have one

3. Create a new style guide

Speaking of style guides, if your marketing team doesn’t have one already, now is a great time to create one.

A brand style guide is a valuable internal resource. It codifies everything from your brand’s color scheme and logo variations to the correct tone of voice to use when writing copy to make sure all team members are consistent and on the same page.

airbnb logos old and new

Online travel marketplace Airbnb’s updated logo is more modern and easier to repurpose.

4. Redesign the company’s logo 

In many cases, a company rebrand involves modifying your logo. 

A new logo can help modernize a well-established company or better align with its offerings. 

A logo is often the first impression someone gets of your company, so it’s wise to leave designing to the pros, in our experience.

Marketers can work closely with executives to sync expectations and have a clear vision to bring to the designer (whether in-house or contracted), who can then create a handful of options. 

When redesigning your logo: 

  • Keep the design simple
  • Make sure it’s versatile (easily repurposed on merch and viewed in different sizes and colors)
  • Ensure it speaks to your target market
  • Consider its longevity

5. Spread the word about the rebrand

Having returning customers land on your site and see something completely different from what they’re used to can be confusing. It also may impact trust in your brand if they feel blindsided about a big company change.

Mitigate this potential problem by having a clear strategy about how you’re going to promote your rebrand. Often, this can be as simple as an email blast, a few social media posts, maybe a short blog post, and even a press release if warranted.

The important thing is that you keep current clients in the loop. 

Tips to ensure a successful company rebranding

Decided it’s time for a rebrand? Here’s how to do it right. 

Determine the right type of rebrand

Rebranding can be as in-depth or as simple as you need. Ultimately, it depends on your goals and reasoning for changing your brand in the first place. For example, maybe you just need a new, more modern logo, not an entire site redesign.

With a partial rebrand, the core elements of your brand remain. Only specific facets are adjusted, such as logo, colors, or font. A full rebrand will consist of projects that are a bigger undertaking: a new name, totally different website design, or a drastically different product or service.

Pro tip: Think of a partial rebrand as a touch-up, while a full company rebrand is like a complete makeover. 

Build out your strategy

To ensure a rebrand goes smoothly, you should establish a plan that lays out the timeline, brand pieces requiring updating, and everyone’s tasks for the project. 

Think of this as your game plan to ensure every team understands their role in conducting the company rebrand and have a complete list of all marketing materials that require updating.

People sitting around a table

As with most changes, the first step to a company rebrand is establishing a plan to set yourself up for success. (Image via Rawpixel)

Identify the best communication channels for the announcement

As we touched on a bit above, it’s essential to be transparent when conducting a company rebrand.

To effectively communicate updates and announce the changes at your company, you can work smarter vs. harder by identifying the best channels on which to reach your target audience.

If you’re going to send out an email and also post on social media, for example, make sure your message is direct and aligned across the board. Be clear about what the changes are, any impacts the changes will have on clients, and what they can expect.

Marketing mistakes to avoid when conducting a rebrand

With all the moving parts of a company rebrand, it can be overwhelming to keep everything on track. 

One way to ensure success is to avoid falling victim to these common mistakes: 

  • Not letting existing customers know about upcoming changes
  • Not considering the SEO impacts of a company rebrand
  • Moving forward with a rebrand without an established strategy
  • Not updating all brand assets before the relaunch 
  • Creating new designs that too closely align with a popular fad 
  • Not updating your site via a staging site to test it out before launch

The takeaway

As with most changes, the first step to a company rebrand is establishing a plan to set yourself up for success. 

As brands grow and evolve, a rebrand is a natural step to ensure you’re not falling behind in the midst of fast-moving markets, new competition, and ongoing trends.

The above tips can make you feel confident moving forward to update your brand, whether your changes are large or small.

 

Caroline Cox

Caroline Cox

Caroline is HawkSEM's content marketing manager. She uses her more than 10 years of professional writing and editing experience to create SEO-friendly articles, educational thought leadership pieces, and savvy social media content to help market leaders create successful digital marketing strategies. She's a fan of seltzer water, print magazines, and huskies.

Questions or comments? Join the conversation here!

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