How to Launch a Rebrand

You have approved your final logo design and now you are patiently waiting to receive all of your new logo files. You are relieved the rebrand is finally over and you can’t wait to hop online and update your business profile image with your new logo.

Stop right there.

You are missing a crucial piece of every rebrand – a launch plan. You have spent time, money and a lot of thought on the new image of your company and although you see light at the end of the tunnel, there are just a few more steps to lay the groundwork for a smooth and strategic transition.

Step 1

Make a list of all touch points of your brand. Where do customers (and potential customers) come in contact with your brand. Start with the following list but be sure to add to it based on your own business needs:

  • Signage
  • Website
  • Business cards
  • Name tags
  • Social media
  • Email signatures
  • Online directories
  • Marketing materials (brochures, flyers, etc)
  • Online ads
  • Letterhead
  • Online portals
  • Google My Business listing
  • Uniforms

Are you already calculating the dollar amount associated with this? I completely understand. There are going to be budget restrictions, you are a small business after all. Start by making note of the items on your list that are free (social media, email signatures, online portals, etc.). Now consider a potential new customer. They heard about your business from a friend so they search online to find contact information for your business. The logo on the website doesn’t look anything like the signage they saw when they drove by your location recently and the Facebook page has a completely different look. Think about the confusion a situation like this could cause. Do your best to update as many things as possible on your launch date. If larger expenses like outdoor signage or letterhead aren’t in your budget at the moment – calculate when you can update them and put it on your calendar.

Step 2

Create a launch calendar. Start working backwards from your launch date to set deadlines for yourself and your designer. Be sure to consider production timelines associated with things like business cards and brochures. Because it is important to update as many points of contact as possible on the launch date, you will need to set aside time to do so. Block the morning on your calendar. Bring in an extra staff member to help with the extra tasks required that day. If you are a one man show, ask a friend to help out for the day or hire a virtual assistant so you can be free to follow through on your brand update plan.

Step 3

Consider your audience. Who is in your brand tribe, your inner circle? These are long-time customers of your business as well as employees, vendors and even friends/family. These are the people that talk about your business to others. It is important to make them feel included in the rebrand process. While I never recommend including that many people in your decision making process for your new logo, it is crucial that they don’t feel alienated by your new brand. Brainstorm the best way to roll out your new look – it could be as simple as an exclusive sneak peek or a more involved launch party with free (newly branded) swag. The key is to create buy in and generate excitement.

Step 4

Write your brand story. Consider the “why” behind your rebrand. Often times I work with clients who needed a brand shift because their old logo didn’t accurately describe the quality of their product or service. Perhaps you have shifted direction in your business. Whatever the reason for your rebrand, work it into a story that emphasizes the unique selling point of your business. While I certainly find the design identity strategy and lingo thrilling, chances are your audience will not. Focus less on the design aspects of your new logo and more on the things you audience cares about. What is changing for them? What aspects of your business were the inspiration for the rebrand. Keep it short and simple. You may need to create versions of this story, in various lengths, to share across different platforms. Perhaps a simple two sentence version will be posted on Facebook with your new logo on launch day and a more detailed version turned in to a blog post. Airbnb has a great example that can serve as inspiration, although their explanation is longer than I would recommend for the average small business.

Step 5

Gain extra publicity. A rebrand launch is a great time to generate extra awareness of your business. Submit a press release about your rebrand to the local newspaper. If you are member of a business association or Chamber of Commerce consider a ribbon cutting ceremony or hosting a networking at your facility. Request that these organizations help promote your new brand across social media. Online business can request to be guest bloggers and featured on vlog or podcast interviews.

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