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How to Rebrand Seamlessly and Successfully

Cassette tapes, VCRs, pagers, leisure suits, dinosaurs — all of these things had their heyday, but now they’re probably better left in the past where they belong. The same goes for logos. If people were still using flip phones back when your logo was designed, or if it looks so outdated that they might as well have been, it could be time to leave your old look in the past and move on to something fresh and new.

OK, you say, I get the point, but rebranding is a huge undertaking, and I don’t know where to start. Fair enough. But you can make the process a lot simpler, and more successful, by keeping a few key considerations in mind (and of course, the Mustang Marketing team is always here to help).

Decide: Refresh or Redo?

Before jumping into rebranding, it’s important to decide whether you want to start over completely or just give your existing look a bit of a facelift. As you’re thinking about this, there are a few questions you’ll want to ask yourself:

  • How much brand equity do you have? If your audience has already come to strongly associate your existing look with your brand, deviating too far could create confusion and/or distaste for the new design. 
  • Does your current look accurately represent your brand and its values? If your brand includes elements that might be viewed as problematic or offensive, it is absolutely time for a major change. Or, if your brand has evolved to a point where your logo no longer makes sense (e.g., it shows a hamburger, but now your company only makes pizza), it’s also likely time for a total overhaul. 
  • What will the change communicate? Often, major changes in a brand’s look coincide with major changes at the company (new ownership, new product focus, new values, etc.). If you’re looking to pique interest in an exciting new direction your organization is heading, or demonstrate an intentional, significant shift from the way you operated in the past, this could be a great way to do it. However, if nothing else is changing at your organization, completely revamping your look may mean you’ll need to reassure your audience that everything else is continuing as usual.

Keep the Future in Mind

Whether you decide to just lightly refresh your logo or go for a full-on rebrand, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of the moment and forget to think about where you’re headed. But unless you want to start the whole process over in another few months, it’s vital to take the future into account.

As an example, if you’re planning on adding a new, fourth branch to your organization in the near future, creating a logo design with three pillars to represent the existing three branches of your organization would be shortsighted. Similarly, if you’re thinking about letting go of one of your product lines or services soon, incorporating it into your logo would be a mistake. 

Make sure the design you choose reflects your organization as it is now, but also gives you the flexibility to grow and change over time.

Prepare for Launch

Congratulations! You put together a new look for your brand, and maybe even a new tagline or name. It’s everything you hoped for and more! But don’t forget that reimaging your brand is only the first step. Without an effective launch plan, even the best new brand concepts fall flat.

Take some time to map out how you will share your new branding with your audience. Will you send out an e-blast? Announce the news on social media? Distribute a press release? Host an event? Remember that you will also need to update most of your existing marketing materials, from your website and email signatures, to your signage and swag, to your brochures and business cards. 

Decide on a day you will officially launch your new branding, and with that day in mind, create a timeline for updating your collateral and implementing your launch efforts.

If it sounds like a lot of effort, that’s because it is. But it is absolutely worth it to ensure your new brand is well received and contributes positively toward your overall reputation and goals.

Recently, Mustang went through a rebranding of our own — and the process reminded us just how much we enjoy helping other organizations “shake up” their own brands. (We also recently helped Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District, New Horizons, El Camino Real Charter High School, and COSCA with their rebrandings.) Ready to make some changes? We can’t wait to help!