Article

Rebranding Your Business

How To Rebrand Your Business

February 8, 2022

Jump to a section
Share it!
Sign up for our newsletter
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
This is some text inside of a div block.

A rebrand happens whenever you change anything about your company’s branding. Whether it’s your logo, colors, or even your business name - a rebrand changes something at your business that is visible to the public.

Need an example? If you heard of the company formerly known as Facebook changing its name to Meta, that’s a rebrand. Airbnb changing its logo in 2014 is another example of a rebrand. And if you've ever visited Trainual before, you might have noticed a few changes in our look.

If you’ve been in business for a while, your current brand has likely developed and matured over time. And everything - including your visual identity, voice, marketing, product, team, and culture - has changed with it.

Eventually, these parts can start to feel like a bunch of mismatched concepts all lumped together. AKA a Frankenstein brand.

But your business doesn’t have to stay that way. A rebrand refreshes your look, helps you reassess your goals, and realigns your company’s purpose.

Admittedly, the challenge of executing a rebrand can be daunting. Because whenever you change anything about your public image, there are a lot of moving parts involved.

But, if you have the proper process in place first, changing your brand can be a worthwhile and rewarding project. And a good rebrand can lead to increased awareness of your business and your mission.

So, having just completed a complete rebrand ourselves, here’s how a rebrand goes: 

Step 1: Answer the why before you begin

There are probably as many reasons to rebrand as there are types of companies. But most commonly, it’s because your business needs a refresh.

Maybe your company culture has become more collaborative over time. Or maybe your website just looks like it’s from 1999.

Either way, you need to know your specific “why” for rebranding. Because without a focus, goal, or challenge to overcome, there’s no way to know what the rebrand should look like. And that means your new brand - no matter how different or eye-catching - can end up a flop.

Here are some other reasons why you might need a rebrand:

  • You are launching a new product
  • Your company mission or vision has changed
  • Your customers’ needs have changed
  • You want to differentiate yourself from competitors

Whatever your reason for rebranding, keep it top of mind for the rest of the process.

Step 2: Research yourself objectively

By researching your brand objectively, you can see exactly where your company is at today. So, you can figure out the specific details of what your new brand should look like and what the rebrand should stand for.

But since you already know your company inside and out, being objective is often easier said than done. And to be truly objective, you need to step back and look at your company as an outsider.

That way, you can find the brand details that don’t align with who your company is today (and need to be part of the rebrand).

Plus, you’ll also want to research your competitors to understand what they are doing in the market. And, more importantly, what they aren't doing. That way, you can use your differences to stand out from the competition.

Here is what you should research about your company:

  1. Who is your target customer?
  2. What do you accomplish that your competitors don’t?
  3. What part of the brand is currently working and what isn't working?

By answering these questions, you’ll be able to pinpoint exactly what needs to change about your current brand. And what your rebrand should accomplish.

Because if any part of your brand doesn’t align with your target customer, company mission, or core values, there’s a problem area you need to tackle. And the problem is what you should spend the most time addressing in the rebrand.

For example, let’s say your company’s website copy and phone app copy uses slightly different tones - one is friendly, and the other is formal.

When your company rebrands, your focus should be on having a consistent brand identity. And more specifically, creating a brand that uses one writing style.

Plus, your company could use data from both sources to see which writing style appeals better to customers. For example, say the copy with a friendlier tone brings in more traffic and conversions. Your company should use that tone exclusively.

🔥 Tip: If you’re struggling to look at your company objectively, ask people outside of your business, like 3rd party providers helping you with the rebrand. They provide a new perspective on what your new brand needs to do to highlight your business’s vision and personality.

Step 3: Set your goals 

Once you have your reason for rebranding and your company research done, it’s time to layout your goals. Decide on the level of change you want to make: a partial rebrand or a total rebrand.

A partial rebrand is for companies that only need a refresh or refocus. Meaning, you just update your logo, font, and colors. Like when Taco Bell refreshed its logo in 2016 with a minimalist and modern look.

A total rebrand is a complete overhaul of everything. AKA changing your messaging, imagery, and even potentially your name (this often happens with mergers). Meta is still a great example of this. But there’s also GoDaddy, which pivoted its brand from “making domains sexy” to “serving everyday entrepreneurs.”

But don’t think for a second that one option is better than the other. There are pros and cons to each path.

For instance, a partial rebrand is easier to tackle. And when you change one thing, it can still make a massive difference in how the public relates to your company. But the con is a partial rebrand may not be enough to realign your company with your values or mission.

On the other hand, a total overhaul takes more time and more people to complete. But if your brand needs a new image (because your current one is outdated), you can hype up the press for the changes and make the rebrand a big reveal.

For example, let’s compare a rebrand to freshening up a single room in your house. You could buy all new furniture, lay down flooring, and change out the windows and lighting - the room feels completely new. But sometimes, all you need is a fresh coat of paint to make the room feel refreshed.

When it comes to your brand, you can apply the same idea. Sometimes you need to change everything. But other times, a new brand color or font can make a huge difference.

Step 4: Get the people you need

A successful rebrand can be a big undertaking on your own. And depending on how much you want to update, you’re going to need at least a few people to make it happen.

Contracting a design firm is a great way to make your ideas happen if you want to do a complete overhaul. Plus, because you won't be rebranding your company often, hiring employees just to work on the rebrand doesn't make sense.

If you are only making minor changes in your rebrand, you could also outsource the work to freelancers. They can work on the small visual changes your rebrand needs while you focus on running the business.

For even smaller rebrand projects where time isn’t an issue, you could save money by doing the work yourself. But generally, you can find brand agencies and freelancers for any budget.

Step 5: Build out your visual system

Before we dive in, you should know that this step often takes the longest time to complete. When defining your visual brand identity, you’re exploring everything from typography (AKA the style of your text) to colors to logo design. And you can’t choose the right options in haste.

Plus, at this point, people often overlook the overall brand identity. Which goes beyond the font, colors, and logo to streamline a brand’s image across all touchpoints.

When refreshing your visuals, your brand identity should include the following elements:

  • Illustration style
  • Photo style (including photo filters and image shape)
  • Product mockup examples
  • Content and communication style
  • Iconography style (AKA symbols on your website and marketing materials)
  • Brand voice

Because when you provide a consistent brand experience, your brand feels more professional. And, as a result, it leaves a more memorable impression with the people who interact with it.

🔥 Tip: What you can "systematize" in your brand is seemingly endless (and not always required). But if you can create a consistent experience across every touchpoint, your brand will make a better, more lasting impression.

Step 6: Build your website

Once you have your visual identity squared away, the first place to start is your website. In this digital age, 70-80% of consumers research companies online before making a purchase. Meaning, your website is the entry point for people looking into your business.

To begin, you’ll want to start with your homepage - it’s what everyone sees first. And once you lock down the look and feel of this page, you can build all the other pages off of that styling.

Here are the elements you definitely want to lockdown:

  • Company logo
  • Brand colors (main, secondary, accents)
  • Primary and secondary font
  • Brand identity elements (from Step 5)
  • The general flow of the website

Once you’ve locked in all the elements, you can build an outline of your homepage. You want to layout the flow of the page by deciding what sections should generally look like.

Once your homepage outline is finalized, use it to create outlines for your other subpages. Then, make quick wireframes (or visual guides that show the framework of your web pages) for the homepage and each subpage.

Once you have all wireframes set, you can build out everything in your website builder. So, you can either use something like Squarespace or Wix to get up and running quickly. Or, you can use a more robust platform like Webflow or WordPress for more flexibility.

As you build out the website, continue to refine details like copy, design, and even add in animations for extra flair. Then, take time to do a final polish on the website (invite some extra eyes to help you finalize the site).

Here at Trainual, we knew we wanted our website to reflect the fun and quirky nature of our voice and style. So, we brightened our brand colors, updated our fonts, and added visual elements that highlight the best parts of our product.

And in doing so, we went from this:

Website homepage, with a laptop screen, dark purple ackground, and text saying "Your Business Playbook, SOPs, & Training made easy"

To this:

Website homepage with a bright purple background, overlayed software, and text saying "Train and scale your team with a playbook"

The end result: a refreshed look that highlights the fun and casual tone that we use throughout our website and makes us more approachable for small business leaders looking to grow their business.

Step 7: Tie up the loose ends

The website is almost always the most significant component of a brand refresh or complete rebrand. Meaning, once you’ve finished the website, you’ve practically finished the rebrand!

1. Brand guide

Your brand guide is crucial for everyone (employees and designers alike) to know what the brand looks and feels like. And you need to make sure the brand guide reflects all the changes you made during the rebrand.

That way, anyone working with your brand knows how to represent it correctly and keeps elements of the company brand consistent moving forward.

Your brand guide elements should include:

  • Company logo 
  • Brand colors
  • Font type and color
  • Typography
  • Brand voice and tone
  • Mission statement and values
  • Market positioning (from your research)

2. Internal branding

Once you have a brand guide, you’ll want to show your employees how to apply the new elements of your rebrand in day-to-day operations. Meaning, you need to make the entire company aware of the impact this rebrand has on your visuals, messaging, and even culture.

At the same time, make sure all departments are up to speed with the new branding requirements. And how it affects customer interactions for roles like customer service, sales, and recruiting. Because you want to ensure a consistent experience across everything your company produces.

Plus, you’ll want to think through how the rebrand affects various assets, including slide decks, social media posts, and advertising. Meaning, you either want to have these assets ready at launch, or you can update them as you move forward.

🔥 Tip: Keeping your internal branding up-to-date is something you can do all the time - and not just when you rebrand. And as soon as something changes, you can update your documentation in Trainual. Try for free.

Step 8: Launch your new brand 

Now that you’ve covered all the bases, you’re ready to launch your new brand! And if you’re an SMB, that could be as simple as publishing the new website and letting your customers know. Or, you could combine the launch with an email, social, or PR campaign.

Whatever you choose to do, use this step-by-step rebrand process to launch your new brand successfully. Put your hard work to the test. And let the world see your new, beautiful branding!

Share it!
Sign up for our newsletter
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Author
Follow me!
Article

Rebranding Your Business

How To Rebrand Your Business

February 8, 2022

Jump to a section
Share it!
Sign up for our newsletter
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

A rebrand happens whenever you change anything about your company’s branding. Whether it’s your logo, colors, or even your business name - a rebrand changes something at your business that is visible to the public.

Need an example? If you heard of the company formerly known as Facebook changing its name to Meta, that’s a rebrand. Airbnb changing its logo in 2014 is another example of a rebrand. And if you've ever visited Trainual before, you might have noticed a few changes in our look.

If you’ve been in business for a while, your current brand has likely developed and matured over time. And everything - including your visual identity, voice, marketing, product, team, and culture - has changed with it.

Eventually, these parts can start to feel like a bunch of mismatched concepts all lumped together. AKA a Frankenstein brand.

But your business doesn’t have to stay that way. A rebrand refreshes your look, helps you reassess your goals, and realigns your company’s purpose.

Admittedly, the challenge of executing a rebrand can be daunting. Because whenever you change anything about your public image, there are a lot of moving parts involved.

But, if you have the proper process in place first, changing your brand can be a worthwhile and rewarding project. And a good rebrand can lead to increased awareness of your business and your mission.

So, having just completed a complete rebrand ourselves, here’s how a rebrand goes: 

Step 1: Answer the why before you begin

There are probably as many reasons to rebrand as there are types of companies. But most commonly, it’s because your business needs a refresh.

Maybe your company culture has become more collaborative over time. Or maybe your website just looks like it’s from 1999.

Either way, you need to know your specific “why” for rebranding. Because without a focus, goal, or challenge to overcome, there’s no way to know what the rebrand should look like. And that means your new brand - no matter how different or eye-catching - can end up a flop.

Here are some other reasons why you might need a rebrand:

  • You are launching a new product
  • Your company mission or vision has changed
  • Your customers’ needs have changed
  • You want to differentiate yourself from competitors

Whatever your reason for rebranding, keep it top of mind for the rest of the process.

Step 2: Research yourself objectively

By researching your brand objectively, you can see exactly where your company is at today. So, you can figure out the specific details of what your new brand should look like and what the rebrand should stand for.

But since you already know your company inside and out, being objective is often easier said than done. And to be truly objective, you need to step back and look at your company as an outsider.

That way, you can find the brand details that don’t align with who your company is today (and need to be part of the rebrand).

Plus, you’ll also want to research your competitors to understand what they are doing in the market. And, more importantly, what they aren't doing. That way, you can use your differences to stand out from the competition.

Here is what you should research about your company:

  1. Who is your target customer?
  2. What do you accomplish that your competitors don’t?
  3. What part of the brand is currently working and what isn't working?

By answering these questions, you’ll be able to pinpoint exactly what needs to change about your current brand. And what your rebrand should accomplish.

Because if any part of your brand doesn’t align with your target customer, company mission, or core values, there’s a problem area you need to tackle. And the problem is what you should spend the most time addressing in the rebrand.

For example, let’s say your company’s website copy and phone app copy uses slightly different tones - one is friendly, and the other is formal.

When your company rebrands, your focus should be on having a consistent brand identity. And more specifically, creating a brand that uses one writing style.

Plus, your company could use data from both sources to see which writing style appeals better to customers. For example, say the copy with a friendlier tone brings in more traffic and conversions. Your company should use that tone exclusively.

🔥 Tip: If you’re struggling to look at your company objectively, ask people outside of your business, like 3rd party providers helping you with the rebrand. They provide a new perspective on what your new brand needs to do to highlight your business’s vision and personality.

Step 3: Set your goals 

Once you have your reason for rebranding and your company research done, it’s time to layout your goals. Decide on the level of change you want to make: a partial rebrand or a total rebrand.

A partial rebrand is for companies that only need a refresh or refocus. Meaning, you just update your logo, font, and colors. Like when Taco Bell refreshed its logo in 2016 with a minimalist and modern look.

A total rebrand is a complete overhaul of everything. AKA changing your messaging, imagery, and even potentially your name (this often happens with mergers). Meta is still a great example of this. But there’s also GoDaddy, which pivoted its brand from “making domains sexy” to “serving everyday entrepreneurs.”

But don’t think for a second that one option is better than the other. There are pros and cons to each path.

For instance, a partial rebrand is easier to tackle. And when you change one thing, it can still make a massive difference in how the public relates to your company. But the con is a partial rebrand may not be enough to realign your company with your values or mission.

On the other hand, a total overhaul takes more time and more people to complete. But if your brand needs a new image (because your current one is outdated), you can hype up the press for the changes and make the rebrand a big reveal.

For example, let’s compare a rebrand to freshening up a single room in your house. You could buy all new furniture, lay down flooring, and change out the windows and lighting - the room feels completely new. But sometimes, all you need is a fresh coat of paint to make the room feel refreshed.

When it comes to your brand, you can apply the same idea. Sometimes you need to change everything. But other times, a new brand color or font can make a huge difference.

Step 4: Get the people you need

A successful rebrand can be a big undertaking on your own. And depending on how much you want to update, you’re going to need at least a few people to make it happen.

Contracting a design firm is a great way to make your ideas happen if you want to do a complete overhaul. Plus, because you won't be rebranding your company often, hiring employees just to work on the rebrand doesn't make sense.

If you are only making minor changes in your rebrand, you could also outsource the work to freelancers. They can work on the small visual changes your rebrand needs while you focus on running the business.

For even smaller rebrand projects where time isn’t an issue, you could save money by doing the work yourself. But generally, you can find brand agencies and freelancers for any budget.

Step 5: Build out your visual system

Before we dive in, you should know that this step often takes the longest time to complete. When defining your visual brand identity, you’re exploring everything from typography (AKA the style of your text) to colors to logo design. And you can’t choose the right options in haste.

Plus, at this point, people often overlook the overall brand identity. Which goes beyond the font, colors, and logo to streamline a brand’s image across all touchpoints.

When refreshing your visuals, your brand identity should include the following elements:

  • Illustration style
  • Photo style (including photo filters and image shape)
  • Product mockup examples
  • Content and communication style
  • Iconography style (AKA symbols on your website and marketing materials)
  • Brand voice

Because when you provide a consistent brand experience, your brand feels more professional. And, as a result, it leaves a more memorable impression with the people who interact with it.

🔥 Tip: What you can "systematize" in your brand is seemingly endless (and not always required). But if you can create a consistent experience across every touchpoint, your brand will make a better, more lasting impression.

Step 6: Build your website

Once you have your visual identity squared away, the first place to start is your website. In this digital age, 70-80% of consumers research companies online before making a purchase. Meaning, your website is the entry point for people looking into your business.

To begin, you’ll want to start with your homepage - it’s what everyone sees first. And once you lock down the look and feel of this page, you can build all the other pages off of that styling.

Here are the elements you definitely want to lockdown:

  • Company logo
  • Brand colors (main, secondary, accents)
  • Primary and secondary font
  • Brand identity elements (from Step 5)
  • The general flow of the website

Once you’ve locked in all the elements, you can build an outline of your homepage. You want to layout the flow of the page by deciding what sections should generally look like.

Once your homepage outline is finalized, use it to create outlines for your other subpages. Then, make quick wireframes (or visual guides that show the framework of your web pages) for the homepage and each subpage.

Once you have all wireframes set, you can build out everything in your website builder. So, you can either use something like Squarespace or Wix to get up and running quickly. Or, you can use a more robust platform like Webflow or WordPress for more flexibility.

As you build out the website, continue to refine details like copy, design, and even add in animations for extra flair. Then, take time to do a final polish on the website (invite some extra eyes to help you finalize the site).

Here at Trainual, we knew we wanted our website to reflect the fun and quirky nature of our voice and style. So, we brightened our brand colors, updated our fonts, and added visual elements that highlight the best parts of our product.

And in doing so, we went from this:

Website homepage, with a laptop screen, dark purple ackground, and text saying "Your Business Playbook, SOPs, & Training made easy"

To this:

Website homepage with a bright purple background, overlayed software, and text saying "Train and scale your team with a playbook"

The end result: a refreshed look that highlights the fun and casual tone that we use throughout our website and makes us more approachable for small business leaders looking to grow their business.

Step 7: Tie up the loose ends

The website is almost always the most significant component of a brand refresh or complete rebrand. Meaning, once you’ve finished the website, you’ve practically finished the rebrand!

1. Brand guide

Your brand guide is crucial for everyone (employees and designers alike) to know what the brand looks and feels like. And you need to make sure the brand guide reflects all the changes you made during the rebrand.

That way, anyone working with your brand knows how to represent it correctly and keeps elements of the company brand consistent moving forward.

Your brand guide elements should include:

  • Company logo 
  • Brand colors
  • Font type and color
  • Typography
  • Brand voice and tone
  • Mission statement and values
  • Market positioning (from your research)

2. Internal branding

Once you have a brand guide, you’ll want to show your employees how to apply the new elements of your rebrand in day-to-day operations. Meaning, you need to make the entire company aware of the impact this rebrand has on your visuals, messaging, and even culture.

At the same time, make sure all departments are up to speed with the new branding requirements. And how it affects customer interactions for roles like customer service, sales, and recruiting. Because you want to ensure a consistent experience across everything your company produces.

Plus, you’ll want to think through how the rebrand affects various assets, including slide decks, social media posts, and advertising. Meaning, you either want to have these assets ready at launch, or you can update them as you move forward.

🔥 Tip: Keeping your internal branding up-to-date is something you can do all the time - and not just when you rebrand. And as soon as something changes, you can update your documentation in Trainual. Try for free.

Step 8: Launch your new brand 

Now that you’ve covered all the bases, you’re ready to launch your new brand! And if you’re an SMB, that could be as simple as publishing the new website and letting your customers know. Or, you could combine the launch with an email, social, or PR campaign.

Whatever you choose to do, use this step-by-step rebrand process to launch your new brand successfully. Put your hard work to the test. And let the world see your new, beautiful branding!

Author
Follow me!
Article

Rebranding Your Business

How To Rebrand Your Business

February 8, 2022

S
E

Organize the chaos
of your small business

No items found.
No items found.