How to plan for a rebrand

Lisa D'Andrea
Dec 2, 2019
Branding

Is a fresh new look on the cards for you in 2020? 

It sounds simple enough, but when you start thinking about all the colour palettes, styles and fonts available to you it can quickly feel overwhelming.

There are lots of beautiful visual identities out there. And everyone will have an opinion about which is the nicest. But not all of them are going to represent who you are and resonate with your customers.

That’s why the secret to creating a timeless new look and feel without drowning in a sea of fonts is a clear, strategic process.

It will help you get clear on what you want to communicate so you can make decisions without second-guessing yourself and focus your attention on the opinions that truly matter.

Ready to plan your rebrand? Here's how to do it—

Step 1: Take Stock of Where You Are

Before you move forward with guns blazing ready to tackle your rebrand I suggest taking a teeny step back and take stock of what you already have. I know, I know it’s not as exciting as the new branding stuff, but if you don’t know where you are, how are you supposed to know where you’re headed?

Your Brand Positioning

First, you’re going to understand how your brand is perceived by others— especially by your customers, but also by colleagues and team members. You can find out by asking them, conducting surveys or looking through existing testimonials or reviews. You might think you already know the answers (and you might) but instead of assuming, it’s always best to know for sure by asking.

Questions to consider—

  • Are you clear on your ideal customer/s? Who are they, what do they ?
  • What words do they use to describe your brand and how it makes them feel?
  • Do they perceive you as different or unique to other competitor options? How?
  • Are people able to easily explain what you do?
  • Are people able to explain your values/how you do things differently?

Your Brand Look & Sound

How you communicate, visually, verbally and in writing can influence how customers perceive your brand. So next, let’s take stock of your current look and sound. 

Questions to consider—

  • How would you describe your visual identity?
  • How would you describe your brand voice?
  • Do you and your team feel proud of/confident in your current visuals? Why do you think that is?
  • Do you and your team feel proud of/confident in your current writing style? Why do you think that is?
  • Are your visuals consistent across different platforms? Why do you think that is?
  • Is your brand voice consistent across different platforms? Why do you think that is?
  • What visual identity assets do you currently have? These are the components that form a design, for example— logos, colour palettes, photos, icons, patterns etc. 
  • What marketing assets do you currently have/use? These are the final marketing pieces you use to promote yourself like websites, brochures, instagram templates, ads, business cards, email signatures etc.
  • Are there any visual identity assets or marketing assets that you wish you had but don’t? Or assets that you have but never use?
  • How do your customers respond to your current visuals? Take note of any comments triggered by your visuals.
  • How do your customers respond to your current writing or communication style? Take note of any comments triggered by your visuals.  

Your Brand Experience

Whether you have a shopfront or sell online, consider how your customers currently experience your brand. Think about every step in their journey, from discovery and pre-purchase, to purchase, delivery, use, maintenance and disposal. 

Questions to consider—

  • Are there any parts to the customer process that they struggle with or that cause problems, delays or confusion for them?
  • Are there any parts to the customer process that they struggle with or that cause problems, delays or confusion for you?
  • If/when you get complaints, what are they in relation to? Is there a common trend?
  • What makes your customers choose you? What keeps them coming back?

Step 2: Where Do You Want to Go?

The million dollar question. Every business grows and evolves and in the process, sometimes they find their brand no longer represents who they are, what they stand for, what they do, or their ideal customers. Now, instead of taking stock of the brand you were, it’s time to consider what your brand is becoming.

Your Brand Positioning

Questions to consider—

  • How do you want your customers to perceive your brand?
  • How do you want your brand to make your customers feel?
  • How do you want to be perceived in relation to other offerings on the market?
  • How would you like your customers to describe what you do?

Your Brand Look & Sound

Questions to consider—

  • How do you want your customers to describe your visual identity?
  • How do you want your customers to describe your brand voice?
  • What visual identity assets will you need moving forward?
  • What marketing assets will you need moving forward?

Your Brand Experience

Question to consider—

  • Do you need to change any parts of your process to elevate your brand experience and streamline your internal processes?

Step 3: Create Your Gameplan

Once you have evaluated your current brand in step one, and worked out how you want to be positioned after your rebrand in step two, you’ll need to work out a gameplan to get there.

What action steps do you need to take to evolve your brand?

  • What will your revised brand voice sound like? Start thinking about the words and phrases that you would like to include or exclude from your vernacular. 
  • How will you build out your new consistent brand voice? Will you create your own voice and tone rules? Will you hire a copywriter to assist you?
  • What will your refreshed visuals look like? Start looking for logo, colour and type inspiration that mirrors how you want your customers to perceive you and how you want to make them feel.
  • How will you build out your new consistent brand visuals? Will you create your own visual identity? Will you hire a designer to assist you?
  • What will your new brand experience look like? Do you need to create, purchase or organise anything to implement your new processes?
  • What brand and marketing collateral will you need to create or update? From your logo to your website, create a list of items you’ll need.
  • How will you rollout your new look, feel and sound to your customers? Plan out a rough timeline for your big reveal. Remember to think about how long it will take to create your marketing collateral, update your website and how long you’ll need for printing.

I highly recommend reaching out to professionals for guidance and expert opinions, but ultimately, the clearer your vision for your brand, the better results you will get. Your creative team can only deliver if they understand your direction, and by planning upfront, you can get all your ideas out of your head and onto paper.

So, answer these questions as best you can (preferably with a cocktail in hand— it’s almost holiday time right?) and you’ll make sure your new brand is a knockout.

Was this post helpful? We're planning our content for next year and would love to know what kind of content (and in which formats) would be most helpful to you as you grow your business. Let me know in the comments.

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