The brains behind rebranding: Two types of experts you need by your side

The brains behind rebranding: Two types of experts you need by your side


Philip Guiliano, Jo Clarke

When marketing leaders start thinking about rebranding, the project’s creative aspects are usually top of mind. So, for many organizations, it’s an easy decision to hire a branding agency to help develop the best brand strategy and artistic elements to express their new identity.

But too often, what’s missing from early rebrand planning conversations is the how of bringing that creative vision to life.

Rebrand roadmap - from development to implementation

This high-level infographic provides a look at the steps involved in your brand conversion from a brand implementation and development perspective. Learn what happens in what order during a typical rebrand so you can build your rebrand roadmap for success.

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Rolling out a rebrand extends far beyond brand and marketing into every corner of your business. And the best way to set your organization up for success is to engage an implementation partner to work in tandem with your branding agency from your rebrand’s outset.

Working together, your branding agency and implementation partner can execute a consistent, on-time, strategically focused rebrand that uncovers hidden opportunities to maximize efficiency and cost savings. Here’s a look at what both types of experts do well — and why you need both skill sets on your side.

Your branding agency is the “right brain” of your rebrand

To reach the business goals driving your brand transformation, you need an outstanding brand strategy that’s creatively expressed in just the right way. You might be tempted to lean on your in-house talent to spearhead your brand’s conceptual transformation, but engaging an expert branding agency is often the best way to bring the level of creativity, market insight, and strategic expertise you’ll need to drive your business goals forward.

Branding agencies are the “right-brained” architects who will help you:

  • Dream up the creative aspects of your new brand — from developing an overarching story to designing the logo to specifying a unique tone of voice
  • Understand the market so you can craft a brand that will resonate with your audience
  • Define your brand guidelines and ethos so employees can live it out appropriately
  • Develop an entire brand system that meets your strategic and business goals

All of these are business-critical objectives, and you shouldn’t short-change any of them. But as valuable as a branding agency is, they’re simply not equipped to roll out your new brand and operationalize it across your entire organization.

That’s where a partner like BrandActive comes in.

An implementation partner is the “left brain” of your rebrand

Many marketing leaders don’t yet know that a brand implementation partner like BrandActive even exists. So, they’re also not aware of the numerous ways we influence a rebrand’s success.

BrandActive is the detail-oriented, “left-brained” specialist who digs into all the particulars of rolling out your brand change. We don’t conduct focus groups with your audience or identify the white space in the market your rebrand can fill. But we do employ a unique blend of big-picture thinking and meticulous attention to detail to bring your brand to life in all the spaces and places it appears.

This includes providing in-depth services such as:

  • Conducting advanced cost modeling, scenario planning, and forecasting to build a data-driven implementation plan
  • Helping you make the most of your organization’s CapEx and OpEx policies to minimize your rebrand’s impact on the bottom line
  • Taking a complete inventory of all your branded assets (e.g., fleet vehicles, websites, workwear, digital content, signage, social media platforms, and more) to get an accurate understanding of your project’s scope
  • Working closely with your operations team and vendors to convert your branded assets effectively and efficiently
  • Creating a realistic branded asset conversion timeline that aligns with your desired launch strategy
  • Eliminating redundancies and finding opportunities for ongoing efficiencies and cost savings
  • Providing thorough guidelines and asset management specifications that work hand-in-hand with your agency’s brand guidelines to equip employees to apply the brand correctly over time

Put simply, BrandActive works to activate the new brand in the marketplace, handle the logistics, and determine how much it will cost (and how long it will take) to migrate your branded assets.

Should you handle rebrand implementation internally?

The lion’s share of your rebrand’s cost and timeline will be devoted to the nuts-and-bolts details of implementation, so it’s critical to get them right. This is not something to delegate to your internal team without understanding the toll it will take on them.

Engaging an implementation partner after finalizing your visual identity may impact how your design holds up through rollout.

Without the help of an outside partner, implementation will add significant amounts of work to your employees’ already full plates over many months — even years. Furthermore, since most employees have never been through brand change before, they may not grasp all the ins and outs of enacting a change of this magnitude.

BrandActive can execute end-to-end brand change and put long-term processes and procedures in place for your team to continue to follow once the rebrand is complete. We free your team up to do the revenue-generating, value-driven work only they can do.

The power of a “whole-brained” approach to rebranding

Your implementation partner cannot replace your branding agency, and your branding agency cannot replace your implementation partner. Having them work together from the beginning is the best way to maximize your rebrand’s ultimate impact.

When an implementation partner is part of early planning conversations, we can:

  • Help you secure funding for your entire rebrand at the beginning of the endeavor (as opposed to cobbling a budget together based on incomplete information and requesting funding in stages)
  • Protect the integrity of your branding agency’s concepts by considering what it will take to achieve a consistent look, feel, and level of quality across all branded touchpoints
  • Evaluate your branding agency’s creative vision and foresee any challenges we might encounter when it’s time to apply the design to your branded assets

Let’s expand on that last bullet point. If you wait to engage an implementation partner until after you’ve finalized your brand’s visual and creative identity, you may find your design can’t hold up to the rigors of implementation.

For instance, a logo with fine lines and subtle gradients might look beautiful on a computer screen. But those details may not make the desired impact when they’re applied to the side of a building. Similarly, a logo that’s accompanied by a long tagline might look great on printed collateral. But applying a text-heavy design to workwear is difficult — and often cost-prohibitive.

These are the details you need to know before you finalize your new brand. BrandActive can help your branding agency understand the implications and ramifications of each creative recommendation they make. And when you have access to the full picture from the get-go, you will be able to create an accurate budget and timeline for completing your brand transformation.

Put both sides of the brain to work for your rebrand

Branding agencies bring a unique, irreplaceable set of skills to the rebranding process. So do rebrand implementation partners. And while both sides of the brain are powerhouses on their own, you need both if you want your rebrand to make the largest possible impact.

It’s never too early to begin thinking about how you will activate a rebrand. So even if you have only recently begun to weigh the benefits of brand change, let’s talk.