If you’re considering a rebrand, you already know you’re on the brink of making a momentous business decision — one that could positively impact your organization for years to come. After all, a well-planned rebrand might allow you to better position your company, maximize your brand impact and marketing ROI, and drive your organization’s strategic goals.
Rebranding is exciting. But actually implementing a new brand identity isn’t easy, nor is it simple. From creating detailed lists of branded assets and aligning stakeholders to establishing a realistic budget and hammering out a tailored rebranding plan, there is a significant amount of work to be done.
And it all starts as soon as you decide to pull the trigger.
The beginning of your newly hatched rebranding project is critical to establishing your rebrand’s ultimate success. What you do (or don’t do) in the next few months will make all the difference.
Here’s how to get started on your rebranding project plan — and what you should be sure to prioritize — as you get started.
What to do first when rebranding: a checklist for rebranding success
The time clock begins ticking after you have secured approval for the rebrand.
Of course, a lot goes into getting that approval to move forward. To start, you need to be clear about why you are considering a rebrand in the first place and what your proposed brand change will do for your business. You may be responding to an M&A transaction, advocating to modernize your brand, or something else entirely. In any case, you’ll need to get specific about what you want to achieve. Perhaps you’ll strengthen your brand’s perceived value, clarify your organization’s positioning, or pave the way to enter a new market.
Whatever you do, don’t forget that rebranding presents a natural opportunity to streamline your brand and marketing operations and capture long-term cost savings in the process.
So, the moment you get the go-ahead to rebrand is the moment the ticker starts counting down to launch. Over the next few months, you’ll need to set a number of balls in motion in order to lay the foundation for a seamless rebrand. Specifically, you’ll need to:
Understand the scale of the financial and resource commitment required to transition branded assets
When planning a rebrand, companies usually want answers to two common questions: How much will it cost? And how long will it take? To answer these questions, you must first get a picture of everything your rebranding initiative will touch by taking an inventory of your branded assets. These might include:
- Products and packaging
- Printed materials, including marketing collateral, billing materials, and HR documents
- Signage and wayfinding
- A fleet of vehicles and heavy equipment
- Branded uniforms, badges, and/or personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Websites and other digital properties or assets
Define your rebranding strategy
Your planned rebrand is the what. Now you need to think about the how. Your rebranding strategy supplies the answer to that question. It’s the unique approach you’ll take to bring your new brand identity to life.
There’s no one right way to implement a rebrand. But that doesn’t mean anything goes. There is a best-fit solution for your particular situation. To get it right, you’ll need to ensure that your rebrand strategy flows from your larger business strategy.
BrandActive can recommend a rebranding strategy that aligns with and supports your broader vision. For example, if you’re rebranding to repair reputational damage or racing the clock to beat a legal rebranding deadline in a split-off divestiture, you’ll probably want to launch your new brand as quickly as possible. That will almost certainly mean transitioning all of your assets in one push as part of a big-bang rollout.
On the other hand, if your goal is simply to evolve your brand, you might find that a phased approach is the more sensible option. First, you might focus on a high-impact segment of branded touchpoints, such as the most visible customer-facing assets, or those found in a particularly important geographic region, or assets related to a specific popular product line. Then, over the next couple of years, you might slowly transition the remaining lower-priority items, such as internal IT servers, in a way that takes advantage of existing operational cycles and drives down costs.
Create an optimized budget to achieve your rebranding goals
Preparing an accurate, optimized budget for a rebrand is no small feat. Yet you’ll likely need to do just that soon after your organization has committed to the rebranding. When you partner with BrandActive, we’ll take the lead in pulling together all the necessary details to construct and refine your rebranding budget.
Along the way, we’ll show you that rebranding doesn’t have a fixed price tag. Just as there are many ways to approach your rebranding strategy, there are many ways to price and fund a rebrand. We use robust scenario planning exercises to explore multiple rebranding approaches and the budgets needed to support them. The variables we consider include:
- Rebrand type and scope
- Timing, with careful consideration for a “big-bang” launch
- Branded asset treatment and strategy
By reviewing multiple options, you can establish a plan of action and develop a budget that filters your organization’s rebranding wish list through the lens of your unique business needs and objectives.
Secure buy-in from your executive team
With a rebranding strategy and budget scenarios in hand, it’s time to make your case and win over your executive team to your rebranding implementation plan.
Remember, you’ll need to have bulletproof facts and figures to make the case for your approach, the cost, budget cycles, and overall time, and these need to show your leadership team how the rebrand implementation plan will support moving the needle on your business’s goals.
Assemble a rebranding team and establish a project structure
Pulling together a rebranding team and establishing a project structure is arguably one of the most important things you can do to ensure the success of your rebrand. Your rebrand implementation team should extend beyond your marketing team and include key players from across your organization. Ask yourself:
- Who is responsible for your various branded assets and touchpoints?
- Which teams will need to work together to convert all of the touchpoints to the new brand? (Don’t forget to include your legal and regulatory teams, especially if you are pursuing a name change or undertaking a global rebrand.)
- How will you handle reviews and approvals, from creative designs and branded asset prototypes to funding requests?
- How will you flag and document risks?
- What is your plan to track progress on the project as it advances?
BrandActive can advise you on who to include in your core rebrand planning team — and how to structure your project for success.
Start to create a detailed rebranding plan
With executive approval and a finalized budget in hand, the final task in your rebrand sprint is mapping out a detailed rebranding plan. That means documenting:
- What exactly will happen and when
- Who is responsible for each to-do item
- Interdependencies between various tasks (and how you will handle them)
- Checkpoints and measurements to track progress
- Resourcing requirements
- Your communications plan, both internally and externally
Weaving together so many moving parts into a cohesive plan can be challenging. But with the right support, it’s possible to craft a rock-solid rebranding plan — one that sets you up to hit the ground running.
Ready to get started? We’d love to hear from you.