December 01, 2015

10 Ways to Set Yourself Up for Rebrand and Brand Refresh Success

The end of the year is coming up, and looking back at your brand in 2015 you realize that something seems just a little… off. Sales weren’t what you wanted them to be, your brand awareness and public relations wins came few and far between, or maybe you’re seeing competitors in your space start to slowly take away market share.

As you take stock of all of the factors that go into an organization’s success, the strength of your brand may not be at the top of the list. But chances are, it should. Your brand is one of, if not the most powerful asset for your organization when it comes to presenting yourself to the consumer and staking your claim in the marketplace.pablo

Going through a brand refresh or a total rebrand can be an intimidating and overwhelming experience, a strategic move many companies are hesitant to take. This doesn’t have to be the case. Here are 10 steps that will help ensure your brand refresh or rebrand will get off on the right foot:

1. Discuss plans and outline expected benefits with company leadership. Keeping the leadership teams involved early on in the process will help ease the transition, in addition to increasing buy-in from those in key decision-making positions.

2. Conduct market research to understand how the external audience perceives the brand. Your audience will be the primary guide to how the refresh/rebrand process will be received. Before you begin, find out where you stand with this group, providing a benchmark on where to begin.

3. Audit all sales and marketing materials to determine the scope and associated expense of a rebrand/refresh. Will your new brand need to be changed on everything from business cards to email signatures? Sometimes these lesser-known touch points can be overlooked and cause an inconsistent branding look, hindering your new brand’s success.

4. Identify the primary benefits associated with the brand. A rebrand/refresh doesn’t have to include changing every aspect of the brand. Find out what your audience feels are the areas that set your brand apart, and then determine which of these should be carried through and included in the new brand.

5. Identify all stakeholders and brand touch points to determine the appropriate timeline for a brand refresh/rebrand. Just like Rome, new brands aren’t built in a day. They take a process that must be calculated and depends on input from key stakeholders and the time necessary to ensure that all touch points are updated and are on brand.

6. Determine whether the changes are an evolution of the current strategy or a revolution calling for greater change. Rebranding or refreshing involves more than logo and name changes. It encompasses a brand strategy element as the driver of all subsequent moves. Is your new brand going to become an offshoot of your current brand strategy, or will it be taken to the next level and include a new outlook on what your brand strategy will be?

7. Set clear goals to measure the short- and long-term successes of the initiative. Before you start on the journey, set the markers to which you’ll measure the impact. Measurement is a vital part of determining whether the changes are putting your brand on the right path, or whether it’s time to alter the course.

8. Appoint focused, influential team members to a core project team to oversee the implementation process. The core project team will not only need to make decisions throughout the process, but will need to earn buy-in from across the company, especially from those on the leadership team.

9. Identify the ways in which the brand refresh/rebrand will impact each department. Some of the departmental impacts will come to light right away, but a truly successful new brand touches each area of business – make sure that they don’t come as a surprise, or have unexpected consequences on the brand or the business.

10. Create talking points outlining why the changes were necessary and the expected benefits to the company and customers. Especially if you have a lengthy history or have strong brand loyalists, there will be questions that come up in regards to the new brand. Be prepared to answer these with confidence and the ability to explain the positive benefits that will come from the rebrand/refresh.

Addison Whitney is a global branding firm with a passion for building strong brands.
To learn more about Addison Whitney, visit our website at, or contact us here.

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