You may have noticed we recently rebranded—new logo, new website, new name. If you’ve ever gone through this process, then you know it is a significant undertaking that requires advance planning and definitely NOT something to do on a whim.
In our collective experience with rebranding—both for ourselves and our clients—we’ve found it helps to follow a roadmap to guide you through the process. That’s why we’re sharing our tips for a successful rebranding.
Start by asking yourself the following questions:
- What are your motives?
- What do you hope to gain?
- How will your organization benefit?
- If business is good, why do you want to rebrand?
(If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? Not necessarily!)
- If your business is struggling, will a rebrand help?
(Maybe or maybe not)
In our case, after five years as Padrón Design Studio, we realized we needed a new brand that reflected the full scope of marketing services we offer. Although we’re known for our design work, we do so much more, and our audience simply wasn’t aware of all our services. Also, we had grown exponentially since our humble beginnings, and our new name allows for future expansion beyond graphic design and traditional marketing.
How do you know it’s the right time for a rebrand? Some things to consider:
- Is there a compelling need?
- Do you have enough time to dedicate to doing it right?
- Do you have the staffing (or agency help)?
- Do you have an adequate budget?
- Do you have leadership support?
If you answered yes to all of these, then you’re ready.
We were approaching our fifth anniversary and in the process of developing a new website, so the timing was right. We also had a clear need to communicate to new and existing clients that we were more than a design studio. We kept hearing from people we’ve known and worked with for years, “We had no idea you did X” or “We didn’t know you could do Y.” To continue growing our business, we needed to let everyone know across all channels that we are a full-service marketing agency.
Another reason to rebrand—our previous logo had two versions, with and without the accent mark over the “o” in Padrón. Years ago, our founder, Gracie Padrón Steimle, had been advised to remove the accent mark to appeal to a wider client base. Today, we’re confident in our ability to attract clients based on our talent and experience rather than on an Americanized name. Our new logo embraces Gracie’s Cuban heritage by proudly and intentionally highlighting the accent mark.
So you’re ready to take the leap? The key to a successful rebrand is painstaking preparation. Planning and budgeting should begin months prior. Completing the bulk of the work ahead of your launch date will ensure a smooth—and painless—transition.
Step 1: Research and Decide on a New Name
- Is the new name available?
- Does it resonate with your customers?
- Does it differentiate you from your competitors?
- Is it memorable and easy to pronounce?
- Most importantly, does it reflect your identity—now and for the future?
Once you’ve decided on a name, you’ll need to legally change it.
Step 2: Check Domain Availability
- Is your new URL available?
- If not, is there a close variation?
- Is the new URL short, easy to remember, and SEO-friendly?
- Can you afford to purchase the new domain?
Step 3: Check Social Media Availability
- Is your new name, handle, and hashtag available on your social media channels?
- If not, is there a close variation?
- Can you use the same handle across all your channels? If not, are you OK with using different but similar handles?
- Keep in mind Facebook reviews all page name changes, and that process can take several days.
Step 4: Make a List of Everything That Needs to Be Updated
(HINT: It’s more than you think)
- Style Guides
- Social Media
- Brochures, Flyers & Other Print Collateral
- Product Packaging
- Promotional Items
- Graphic Design Templates
- Email Addresses & Signatures
- Email Marketing Templates
- Google & Online Directory Listings
- Letterhead, Notecards & Envelopes
- Business Cards
- Business Forms & Documents
- Zoom Backgrounds
- Automated Phone Directories and Voicemail
- Talking Points for Receptionists & Other Staff
Step 5: Create a Budget
After you’ve made your list, then create your budget. If your budget is small, decide what absolutely needs to be updated by launch and what you could wait to update in the future. If you’re developing a new website, reprinting signs, product packaging, print materials, etc., those costs can quickly add up.
Step 6: Determine Your Launch Date & Create a Timeline
Decide on your launch date, then create a timeline of actionable items. Include due dates, deliverables, and assignees. Project management apps like Asana, Wrike, and Trello can be a lifesaver for big jobs like this.
Step 7: Start Designing
Get as much of the prep work done ahead of time as you possibly can. Start designing your new logo, get the ball rolling on the new website, compile a comprehensive style guide, develop templates for business documents and marketing collateral, redesign your ads, social media graphics and emails. Then leave plenty of time get revisions and approvals from stakeholders.
Step 8: Countdown to Launch
If you’re planning a big announcement, tease your news on social media a couple of weeks prior to your launch date. Rev up your PR machine and alert your key media contacts in advance so they have time to prepare stories to run on the launch date.
Alternatively, you could opt for a “soft launch,” and quietly update your brand in the background, saving the big announcement to occur in conjunction with a milestone like an anniversary or timed to coincide with a special event.
Either way, rebranding can be a big job, even for small organizations. Whether your in-house team can handle all the details, or if you could use some outside support, we’re here to guide you with brand audits, strategic planning, logo design, website design & development, graphic design, and more. Let us know how we can help you!