We love a good rebranding. It’s a great way to brush off the dust, turn the page, tell a new story, and create some real excitement for your staff and your audiences.
Except when it isn’t.
What makes a rebrand effort go bust? It might not be the new direction, design, or messaging that prevents you from sticking the landing. You may have taken all the right steps and really nailed it on those fronts. The problem might be all around you, lurking there before — and long after — the creative work is done.
The devil is in the (budget) details
Your team may start the rebranding process by assessing just how bad your old brand is — be it a gut-wrenching or satisfying task — and then, internally or with a creative agency, identify a new creative direction. This is typically a highly strategic and collaborative process. And it’s a gratifying one, to finally launch a new logo, messaging strategy, and visual look that you’re really proud of.
But hold on. Before that process even starts, you need to do some math. Yes, the boring stuff. You must add up the total cost of replacing the existing physical infrastructure of your brand: those places out in the world where your brand identity currently lives. It may seem obvious, but beyond your stationery, e-signatures and website, there may be a long list of items you’re not thinking of that will need an update, such as:
- Building signage
- Other outdoor signage
- Indoor signage
- Vehicle signage/wrap
- Sales collateral
- Event/tradeshow materials
- Promotional items
- Display advertising
- Co-branded marketing
- Sponsorship materials
Those can really add up. Without knowing the realistic costs of your brand launch, you may not have the budget, or the buy-in from top management, to replace all of your infrastructure within an ideal timeframe. You’ll find yourself launching a fresh new brand while the old logo hangs around for years like a bad smell. And if your brand launch includes a new name, you can guarantee confusion, dilution, and a dip in credibility the longer you let both brands live together in the same environment.
Successful rebranding needs planning
The best course of action is to make a thorough budget and realistic timeline for your rebrand rollout. If your launch plan is not a one-time splash but more of a fade in/fade out process, keep it contained to a reasonably short timeframe, such as six months or less. Then stick to it.
If your organization can’t stomach the costs of replacing all your brand infrastructure, delay the brand launch until the total investment is possible. A successful rollout may be worth the wait.
So, before you jump into the fun stuff, start with some eyes-wide-open planning. You’ll find that your brand launch will be a much more successful one.