How to Rebrand a Company (With Types and Essential Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published May 6, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A brand is how an organization presents itself by incorporating multiple elements to establish its public identity. Sometimes, a company may decide to change aspects of its brand in a process known as rebranding. Understanding how to rebrand can help an organization improve its brand and potentially benefit from increased sales or audience recognition. In this article, we explain what rebranding is, discuss how to rebrand, explore why companies do it, and provide some tips for rebranding.

What is rebranding?

Rebranding means transforming or re-establishing a company's identity. This marketing strategy often focuses on reconnecting with customers, but it can also help organizations expand into new markets. A rebranding campaign may involve changes to the company's logo, name, and marketing package design. Rebranding typically requires careful planning and strategic execution to ensure success. There are two main categories of rebranding:

  • Proactive rebranding: Proactive rebranding is when a company uses an opportunity, like expanding into different market segments or modernizing its image, to align with current social values.

  • Reactive rebranding: Reactive rebranding is a strategy that organizations may use to respond to an issue or challenge. The reasons for reactive rebranding can be external or internal, such as mergers and acquisitions, the emergence of new competitors, legal challenges, unforeseen events, and sudden shifts in social trends.

Related: What Are Branding Strategies? (With Definition and Benefits)

How to rebrand

You can follow these steps to learn how to rebrand effectively:

1. Examine the organization's core values

The first step in creating your rebranding strategy is usually to examine an organization's core values. You can create a clear vision and mission statement if the company doesn't already have them, or consider updating the current ones. The company's values and mission are key to establishing a clear corporate identity, which is a central part of any branding initiative.

Related: What Are Leadership Vision Statements? Definition and Examples

2. Conduct research

You can research consumer trends, market shifts, competition, and current social values when developing your rebranding strategy. It's important to consider issues beyond those that prompted the rebrand to help ensure that you have a broad understanding of market factors. For example, while you may have decided to rebrand due to the emergence of a new competitor, it's also important to monitor market trends to determine the most effective time to release a new advertisement campaign.

Related: Research Skills: Definition and Examples

3. Consider which aspects of the current branding to keep

Even with near-total rebranding, there may be some aspects of your brand you don't want to change. You may consider which elements of your current brand are working well, and include them in your new branding strategy. Keeping some brand elements can be an important way to provide a sense of continuity.

4. Determine what needs to change

Depending on your reason for rebranding, the aspects that you want to change might be intuitive or require further research. Rebranding can be a chance to address additional issues, so it's useful to evaluate all aspects of the business and address opportunities for improvement. You may find that there are multiple areas that can benefit from updating, and you can often save time and money while avoiding the potential confusion of making all the changes at once.

5. Consult with stakeholders

You can collect opinions and feedback from your stakeholders, including investors, employees, customers, and your community. This can include meeting with stakeholders, conducting surveys and using social media posts and polls to gather feedback. Obtaining feedback early in the process can help save money by avoiding the costs of making changes later.

6. Outline your rebranding strategy

Rebranding can involve a total overhaul of the organization's image and identity, or can be more subtle. After determining what needs to change and what doesn't, you can develop a clear strategy. This may include changing the company's name, updating your logo, developing a new online presence and creating new marketing materials. Use the feedback collected from your stakeholder consultations to help refine your strategies.

7. Notify the company of your plan to rebrand

When you have a strategy in place, you can announce your plan within the organization. Notify all divisions and teams of the rebranding and their responsibilities within the strategy. It can be helpful to include in your communications your overall vision and, if appropriate, some background on the reasons for the rebranding. Aim to engage all members of the organization in embracing the new corporate identity.

8. Put a project manager in place

A successful rebrand can often involve a significant commitment of time and effort, and usually requires cooperation across multiple departments. Putting a project manager in place can streamline the process. The project manager can plan and track deadlines, manage the budget, and provide support to coordinate tasks across multiple teams and divisions.

9. Publicize your rebranding

With your strategy and project manager in place, and internal stakeholders on board, you can publicly announce your rebranding. Engaging customers early in the rebranding process can be an effective approach, as it may reduce the potential for confusion and help them feel connected to your brand. Social media can be an effective tool to share your rebranding journey with your customers.

10. Assess your campaign

Throughout the launch and rollout of your rebrand, collect feedback and monitor progress to evaluate the effectiveness of the campaign. You can use this information to make small changes along the way, or to inform future brand development efforts. It's helpful to identify the metrics you may use for assessment during the planning process.

Why do companies rebrand?

By looking carefully at your reasons for rebranding, and examining the underlying causes, you can gain some important insights to help develop your rebranding strategy. Here are some reasons why a company may choose to rebrand:

Changing or expanding target audience

Maybe you want to access new market segments, or address demographic shifts in your customer base. For example, if your product or service focuses on consumers at certain stages of life, such as new parents or retirees, your target audience's values and tastes can change over time due to generational differences. Alternatively, you can expand your offerings to include products or services that appeal to different demographics, or market your existing offerings to a wider audience.

Looking closely at the needs and values of the consumers you want to engage can be an important step in determining whether you're ready to rebrand, and the elements you want to incorporate into your new image.

New geographic locations

Whether the company is expanding to global markets, or opening new locations on a smaller scale, rebranding may help you connect with customers in your new locality. Cultural values and local demographic factors like average age, language and local tastes and preferences can all be important factors to consider when developing your new image. If you're expanding to a new geographical market, it's a good idea to do some research about the local culture and preferences.

Competition factors

A common reason for rebranding is to differentiate yourself from competitors. It may be in response to a new competitor entering the market, or to continue rebranding in an existing competition. It's important to research your main competitors and consider what you can learn from their experiences. You may note your comparative strengths and unique value proposition, then incorporate these into your rebranding strategy.

Shifts in technology

Technological innovations can have a major impact on many businesses, even those operating outside the technology sector. Changes in technology can impact consumer habits and provide new channels to engage with customers. For example, you can update a logo or brand package to ensure that it's as effective for digital applications as it is for print.

In recent decades, advances in technology that have presented practical challenges that inspired companies to revisit their branding strategies. With the emergence of smartphones, it became necessary for many companies to adapt their websites for optimal functionality on mobile devices, sometimes prompting updates to overall tone and look. For organizations in the technology sector, new trends can emerge quickly and have a significant impact on consumer habits. Rebranding can be an important part of maintaining relevance and staying competitive.

Changes in consumer habits and preferences

Consumer tastes can change over time, and often relate to evolving social trends and cultural values. Rebranding may involve realigning the company's values with those of your target audience, and considering whether your mission and vision are reflective of these values. Surveys can be helpful for understanding consumer habits.

Related: 6 Tips for Managing Customer Relationships (With Benefits)

Organizational changes

Changes within an organization can prompt a rebranding. Mergers, acquisitions or major changes in management are all reasons why a company may choose to rebrand. Organizational changes may also include a revision of core values, or a shift in focus.

Tips for successful rebranding

Here are some tips to help you implement a successful rebranding:

  • Transparency is important. You can reduce confusion and improve engagement by making sure that you inform your customers, employees, and other stakeholders about your rebranding through clear communications.

  • Engage your customers. Throughout the rebranding process, it's important to remain connected with your customers. This can include both your existing customers and new clientele you're hoping to attract through your rebranding.

  • Aim for clarity and consistency. When rebranding, you may still maintain a clear identity that aligns with the company's values and vision. Having a consistent corporate image can help with brand loyalty and recognition across multiple rebrands.

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