Embarking on a rebranding effort with your company is always an intimidating venture to undertake. It can be a long and expensive process, with many moving parts. For one, you have to be sure you keep the integrity and existing reputation of your company in tact by continuing to deliver great service throughout the process. This can be a challenge with so many new ideas coming through so quickly. Laying out a detailed plan and key players early on is important to keeping things running smoothly and keeping customers happy. We took a look at some of the key points in the brand development processes, and highlighted some tips and tricks to keep your company on the right path throughout.

Here’s what you need to know before diving into a rebrand.

Define Your Team and Goals

Because a rebrand is such a large effort, be sure you can fully understand why your company is seeking to rebrand. Is your company feeling stale? Are you trying to stand out in a new market place or reach a new target audience? Maybe you’re trying to re-engage a tried and true client base by shaking them up.

Whatever your goal is, be sure that your internal team is on the same page about the outcome. A common problem for companies taking on a new rebranding project is a lack of management buy-in. Determine your stakeholders early on, and lay out a process for reviewing and approving your upcoming changes. This will keep the project on pace and everyone on the same page. Additionally, because rebranding your company takes a significant amount of time, be sure to plan out your resources ahead of time. Managing time and resources from the beginning will help ensure that your business continues to run as smoothly as possible for your existing customers.

Pick a Partner

Most legacy companies partner with a marketing/advertising agency when they start their process of rebranding. To ensure that you get the right fit for your company, asking some qualifying agencies for a Request For Proposal (RFP) is the best way to start. This will let you know not only if an agency can get the job done, but if they will be a good partner. With a process as overwhelming as this, partnership is more important than ever. 

Determine Your Vision and Mission

Understanding your company’s values is critical in the beginning states of a rebranding project, especially for legacy companies whose customers have set expectations. Having a firm understanding of your company’s vision and mission is going to set the stage for all of the creative deliverables that follow. Before embarking on new logos, tag lines and all of the other typically fun parts, determine who your business is, and what they seek to accomplish. These will be your compass as you move forward in the rebranding process. 

Consistency is Key

One of the trickiest parts of rebranding a legacy company is finding a balance between the old and the new. Some things are going to change, and it will be hard not to reveal everything as you go. But the one thing that must be done throughout the process is customer satisfaction. It should not be noticeable to the outside customer that your business is being overhauled in some way. It should impact them positively in the end, or not at all. Maintaining a high level of service during your rebranding will go a long way in the end. 

Make a Splash

You worked hard for month and all your partnerships and research has led to the announcement of your rebrand! Now be sure to announce it to your customers, make a splash on social media, and be sure to use your new look and feel to consistently package and message your business. 

What Works

While every company will have its own needs when it comes time to rethink their brand, having a concrete understanding of the values beneath the company is critical. A new brand should drive home your values, and allow you to better sell your product or service. It should help you help your customers. Thinking critically in the beginning stages will lead to this working out well and taking a brand to the next level. 

A legacy brand that you may not have realized went through a significant successful rebranding is Airbnb. From the bright salmon color, to the unique custom font, Airbnb went from your grandfather’s brand to the millennial favorite we know and love today. They took their brand belief (that anyone can belong anywhere) to the next level by creating a logo that stands out, and using their new look and feel to create messaging that resonates with their customers.

Image via UnderConsideration

What Doesn’t Work

A trap that many companies fall into when they are rethinking their brand is familiarity. They know they want to do something different but they don’t want to stray too far from their comfort zones. Staying within these boundaries can be a smart move, but it is often limiting, and more confusing to customers than helpful. As the saying goes: you only get one chance to make a first impression. 

Take the recent brand refresh done by Best Buy. In May, they unveiled a new brand that was a year in the making, that led to a social media whirlwind. The main criticisms? It’s too similar. And not just too similar to their old logo — too similar to another beloved brand, Bud Light. As more and more companies develop unique new looks and custom fonts, it’s more important than ever to stand out in a new way. 

Image via Best Buy

While taking on a rebranding can look daunting from the starting line, as long as you stay true to the roots of your legacy company, letting your vision and mission act as a compass, you’re likely to be heading in the right direction.