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The Ultimate Guide to Preparing for a Rebrand: 3 Crucial Steps

Follow these steps to prepare for your brand refresh

5 min.
A purple field with a green smiley face, a yellow indifferent face, and a red frowning face.

Whether you're branding a new business or rebranding a decades-old company, the journey to sharing your vision with the world can feel overwhelming. There's the extensive RFP process in which you'll look for the right brand agency to support your efforts, there's the team meetings to make sure you're all aligned on your vision, and there's the big task of updating all your existing collateral and marketing materials to meet your new brand standards.

When done correctly and in a way that supports your long-term vision, the branding process can be a months-long endeavor, but one that is well worth your time and money! But, before you begin, there are a few core tasks you should complete to make sure your efforts are worth your while!

1. Understand and Determine Your Budget

Building a brand is an investment—in yourself, your business, and your future. And it's not just a financial investment—it's a time commitment.

First, look at your finances and understand if a rebrand or brand refresh is something you can pursue at this time. A full rebrand (one that's rooted in strategic decision-making) can cost anywhere from $5,000-$50,000, depending on the expansiveness of the brand and the expected deliverables. This range doesn't include the cost to implement the brand and update existing collateral.

I don't share these numbers to scare you but to set realistic expectations. Many people think they can hire their cousin's daughter to design a logo for them for under $100 and call it a day. And while sure, you could—it doesn't mean you should! The old saying is true—you get what you pay for. Investing in a brand backed by strategy and that your audience aligns with will give you a roadmap for future business and marketing decisions and more runway for growth.

When it comes to time, you can expect to commit anywhere from 6 to 15 weeks to the branding process if you're a single-person business. The amount of time depends on the final deliverables of the project and your brand expert's process. While all of that isn't active time, you need to carve time out to speak with your brand team, provide feedback, and share information. When rebranding an organization, you can expect the process to take longer. Coordinating schedules, getting approvals, and signing contracts can make branding projects more cumbersome.

2. Conduct a Brand Audit

Before you start from square one, recognize where your brand has been. Take a look at what's working and what isn't by performing a brand audit. A brand audit is a highly visual exercise that allows you (and your team if you're working with one) to give gut reactions on recent creative endeavors.

The goal of this exercise is to pinpoint what you want to do more of and what you want to skip altogether. With a brand audit, you'll understand where you're falling short and where you're excelling so you can focus your energy in the right places. Take the time to put everything up on the wall (literally!) and recognize your efforts so far. Send surveys to past clients and customers to gather information and feedback, make a brand wishlist, and ask yourself where you really want to spend your time.

3. Set Your Brand Goals

Now that you've looked back, it's time to look forward! In a dream scenario what would building a new brand earn you in the long run? Would you grow your business? If so, how much? Would you expand your product offering? If so, to what? Think about how you want your brand to position you for your next phase of business—whatever that may look like! This information is essential for finding the right brand partner for the job.

If you're working within an organization, this is also a great time to get support and alignment from key stakeholders and team members. It's important that everyone understands the purpose and goals of the rebrand so they can be involved in the branding process in a productive way that moves you forward. It also helps set individual preferences and biases aside when your entire team aligns with one vision.

Get Ready to Brand Your Business

Branding or rebranding is a significant undertaking that requires careful consideration and lots of planning—it's not just something you do on a whim! A well-executed branding process can make all the difference when it comes to building or growing your business. Completing these tasks ensures that your brand starts on the right foot while laying a robust foundation for your business and its success.

Hey, I'm Jamie!

I want to help you see your business differently.

I believe when we see our business holistically, we can make smart decisions in the name of growth. I believe when we bring more of ourselves to our business, we attract brand super fans. I believe founders should (and can!) have more fun.

Let's re-discover your passion and define your brand's purpose...and have some fun along the way!

Jamie R. Cox | Brand Strategist

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