How to make sure your rebrand goes smoothly and easily.


By Joe Cardillo

April 7th, 2021


How to make sure your rebrand goes smoothly and easily.


By Joe Cardillo

April 7th, 2021

Let’s be honest, for many business owners branding ends up being one of those “I’ll get to it later” things.

Let’s be honest, for many business owners branding ends up being one of those “I’ll get to it later” things.

You’re out there identifying who and where your customers are so you can get revenue flowing.

All is going well, but suddenly you realize your business name, brand tagline, website colors and fonts, or maybe even all of your visuals and messaging need a serious upgrade.

When the time comes for a rebrand, a good plan makes all the difference. And, it doesn’t have to be complicated! That’s why we created this resource.

If you’re looking to:

    • Make sure your rebrand starts smoothly and stays on track
    • Put together a package of genuinely cool looking elements
    • Roll out a rebrand that makes people go “WOW”

Then you’ll appreciate the no-nonsense advice and recommendations we gathered from business owners, designers and experts across the Ureeka Community.

Ready? Let’s dig in…

Be clear about “the why”

First and foremost, all of the brand strategists and designers we connected with said you MUST be clear about your goals for rebranding.

Len Romano, the founder of Ripe Inc, specializes in branding and rebrands and has worked on thousands of projects over the last 20-plus years. He says the biggest mistake he’s seen is rebranding without “the why.”

Firstly, define and accurately identify what’s not working and what you hope to achieve by rebranding. What problem(s) are you trying to solve and what are the goals after solving them?

Also a big part of the “why” is the “who” – as in, who it’s for.

A great rebrand requires that you stay focused on your audience. What matters to them, what they are passionate about and what their challenges are.

It may sound simple but making sure that “who” is front and center in the early stages of rebranding is critical, a point that Karen Moss, founder of No Moss Brands, notes many companies forget about.

I can think of rebrand examples where a company actually created market confusion with their true target by trying to appeal to the C-suite, not the target.

You might be surprised to know that even big brands aren’t immune to rebrand mistakes, with notable failures by Pepsi, Animal Planet and Mastercard in the last decade or two.

Your rebrand will go 100% smoother and faster if you get your strategy and positioning in the market clear so that everyone can work together toward your goals.

Get specific about rebrand elements

Have you thoughts about all of the potential elements impacted by a rebrand? If not, make sure to write it all down before you start!

Here are a few areas your rebrand may touch:

    • Logos on printed materials, your website, and in social media profiles/icons
    • Packaging or in-store experiences (especially important for retail and/or e-commerce businesses)
    • Tagline or brand values as mentioned in phone calls, support emails, sales and business development meetings
    • Typography, fonts, colors and shapes (for ex. rounded or square edges)
    • Creative choices on brand imagery or photography
    • Style guide or brand book that outlines usage of any branding elements

Sierra Corneil, a brand strategist who also serves as channel manager for Ureeka’s marketing efforts, says that a rebrand can impact obvious elements like a logo as well as more subtle aspects like how creative choices get made in marketing campaigns or storytelling…

[A mistake] I see a lot is when people don’t view creative as a strategic move — they don’t think about it as more than “what it looks like” leaving it either ignored and sub par OR totally off for what they are trying to communicate and accomplish.

Speaking of creativity, here’s another piece of advice from the experts we talked to: be clear about who’s working on each element.

Outline roles (who’s doing what)

The process for rebranding can vary. If you’re working with a full service brand agency there are almost always clearly established roles for copy, design, and market research.

But whether it’s full service or more of a pieces and parts approach, make sure the contract, agreement and/or internal project document is very clear about who is doing what.

Vanessa Bowen, founder of Bowen Creative, says that one must have is a document signed by all parties with clear expectations…

Be clear on [each] role and what you can and can’t do. This will allow you as the client to have clear expectations and also prevent the designer and other creatives from losing their mind…it’s a two-way street, and organization and a game plan helps to keep billable hours and anxiety to a minimum for everyone involved.

Shari Drahnak, a marketing pro who has worked on several big brands, agrees and notes that defining roles up front saves a lot of time while also ensuring creativity doesn’t get lost in the process…

As an account executive I worked on a branding ‘refresh’ for a favorite client. We worked with the client’s marketing team and executive director on the discovery call, presentations etc. We were ready to move forward until someone realized the CEO of the parent org needed to be included. Unfortunately the CEO didn’t like any of the options and also requested we be removed from critical meetings with the internal team, making it harder to stay on timeline and maintain candid communications throughout the rebrand. Moral of the story: make sure you have the correct stakeholders involved in the original discovery process.

Getting a contract and plan in place with timelines, deliverables and roles helps everyone sleep better.

Plus, if there are changes needed later on it lays a foundation for clear, open communication and negotiation to keep everyone focused on the previously mentioned “why” of your rebrand.

Engage audiences early and often

Ok, say it out loud with us: rebranding does not automatically increase your audience or lead to revenue / new customers.

What rebranding can do is create a better, more satisfying relationship and connection between your business and customers. Which is why it’s a good idea to engage people early and often, both internally and externally.

Internally – Share the rebrand goals and an overview of the plan with employees, vendors, and partners. Encourage their feedback on what they like currently as what’s confusing or they’re not sure about (note: it’s usually best to avoid feedback on specific design elements).

Externally – Create a preview campaign (without sharing too much!) for your most engaged customers and invite them to take part as things get to the final stage. This can save you some heartache as well because they may see blind spots you don’t and it also helps to build excitement.

Remember that rebranding is an act of co-creation with your customers and there’s almost always a relationship worth maintaining (brand strategists call this “brand equity” which basically just means the goodwill and trust you’ve already built up).

Make a rebrand checklist

Last but not least, as you get close to launch, take an inventory of content that will need to be updated.

If you’re moving your website to a new domain because of a name change, make sure to include checklist items for redirecting your domain and all pages to the new website.

For example, Beth Moeller, a Ureeka Coach and the founder of Interactive Media Consulting, LLC, advises maintaining your old domain…

I do recommend holding onto the old domain for as long as possible (renew it as needed) and redirect pages to their new counterparts with 301 redirects. It’s a low cost way to maintain a relationship with stragglers and make sure any links you are not in control of do not break.

Here’s a rebrand checklist to help you get started…

When you’re rebranding, make sure to do these 9 things:

    1. Develop market (re)positioning information
    2. Outline roles and responsibilities
    3. Create a contract and/or project plan with timeline and list of deliverables
    4. Research the new name, taglines, visuals
    5. Review examples (what you like and don’t like)
    6. Make a list of branding elements that will need to be updated
    7. Create list of website updates
    8. Craft a “sneak peek” campaign for internal, external audiences 9)
    9. Launch! =)

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Jake Froese
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