There comes a time when every brand needs to consider making changes. For some, that may mean creating or refining the products or services they currently have, while others may look to change their purpose or messaging. Rebranding an identity of any size is met with the same question: where do we start?
Consider why you think this rebrand is needed. Is your brand’s message not connecting with your target audience? Are your graphics outdated? Have you developed beyond your original intention? Fully understanding the reason behind a rebrand will help guide the direction you need to pursue as each scenario may result in a different first step. If you are looking to update the messaging you use to connect with your target audience, you may not need a full rebrand but instead can develop a new campaign or promotion. Outdated graphics can lead you down the path of updating for the sake of having a fresh new look, or allowing you to change your entire brand identity. Addressing and promoting the growth of your brand as you have leveled up could bring your focus to the new features or how to update the existing branding to now include new aspects.
Once you have identified the reason behind the change, determine what about your brand needs to be changed and what work that requires. If the mission or purpose is changing, see how many things that may have an impact on. How might that change the experience for a top level executive, an entry level staffer, and a member of your target audience? Considering the path your brand identity takes through multiple levels of individuals will reveal all of the potential touchpoints, making it easier for you to identify the items to focus on. Graphic or logo changes can be a little more straightforward, researching all the places your logo is used and where it will need to be updated.
A rebrand of any scale will mean working with creators and artists, sometimes hiring outside agencies or freelancers to make your vision a reality. Work to outline what the desired impact will be from these changes to help define what the changes should look like. Inspiration can come from anywhere and you may already have in mind references from other brands that resonate with your concept. Developing an idea of the desired outcome is best so you know what you want to aim for, though it’s ok to start off with a few different ideas at first to see what feels right. Sometimes, you just know it when you see it! As long as you have some solid ground identified and understood, talented creators will be able to grow something beautiful from a seed of an idea.
Once a rebrand is completed, when is the best time to launch it? The answer for that varies depending on how much was changed and how your brand interacts with the public on a daily basis. You may consider a big change around an important calendar date like the beginning of the year or anniversary of an event relevant to your brand. It can be announced alongside a new product or service, bringing your new direction to light as well as the new things you offer. You may even decide to announce it on a random day, for no particular reason at all. When it’s your brand, you get to make the rules! Having a clear and concise plan for how the rebrand should be launched is crucial; identifying every piece of content that will need to be updated, how announcements should be made, and whether you are making a clean break from your old brand identity or keeping the new and old running together.
Rebranding may sound like a lot of work, but the work will pay off. Having the opportunity to push a reset button or clarify what matters most to your brand is extremely valuable, and can be great fun when you get everything just right. Take pride in the message you share with the world, and make it the best it can be.