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Ready To Rebrand? Take These 15 Important Steps

The Expert Panel was initially published at Forbes.

Our founder and managing partner, Terry Tateossian, gives her take on the subject as well. You could read her  opinion under number 4. Make Sure Your New Brand Elements Are Available For Use.

Here comes the full article:

Whether it’s a single element of your existing brand or a total overhaul of your company’s identity, a rebrand is no easy task. There’s a lot of planning that must happen before you develop and reveal your new look. You want to develop something that reflects your current direction without alienating the loyal customers who helped you get to where you are.

If you’re contemplating a rebrand in the near future, there are a few key actions you should take. To find out more, we asked a panel of Young Entrepreneur Council members how they recommend approaching this task.

1. Determine Whether You Need A Full Or Partial Rebrand

A successful rebrand takes significant time and resources. Before you jump headfirst into rebranding, evaluate whether you need a complete rebrand or a partial rebrand work for you as well. A quick touch-up that focuses on fixing the pressing issues can prove to be just as effective as the complete makeover a total rebrand offers, for a fraction of costs, so evaluate your need and choose wisely. – Rahul Varshneya, CurveBreak

2. Understand Why You’re Doing It

Before you go chasing after the next shiny thing for your company you have to really understand why a rebrand might be something critical. A lot of the time it is actually not as relevant as you think, but when it is, it should be because it represents a major shift in your company’s vision. – Nicole Munoz, Nicole Munoz Consulting, Inc.

3. Know Your Vision

The first step in rebranding is to know your vision. Think of it as an outline for the future. Understanding where you want your brand to go will help you make all your decisions moving forward. This vision will also be your roadmap if you ever get stuck, giving you something to step back and look at to help you rediscover your path. – Rana Gujral, Behavioral Signals

4. Make Sure Your New Brand Elements Are Available For Use

The most important rebranding step is searching trademarks on the USPTO website. It’s heartbreaking and doesn’t make much sense to fall in love with a name and try to patent operations when they’re, in fact, legally out of reach. In addition, you want to check if the domain name is available, as well as all the social channel handles you would prefer to use. – Terry Tateossian, Socialfix Media

5. Ask Yourself If You Can Execute Consistently

Rebranding is fun. It’s when you get to address aspirations and make lofty goals for the company and the vision. Strong branding doesn’t come from big wishes and larger dreams. It comes from the brand executing consistently, every day. When rebranding, ensure that what is discussed and planned can be manifested and executed. Otherwise, the rebranding efforts will be an exercise of frustration. – Jason Khoo, Zupo

6. Understand Your Audience

A brand is meant to resonate with a particular group of people. So for a rebranding project to be effective, you must have a thorough understanding of your audience. What do they value? What is their viewpoint? Branding by nature is about meaning-making. People associate emotion, experiences, and ideas with symbols, colors and words. You must understand how your audience creates meaning. – Keith Shields, Designli

7. Talk To Existing Customers

Taking the time to talk to your current customers can help inform the direction you take with your rebrand. It’s tempting to go big and go for a complete rebrand. But sometimes that takes you too far away from what you’re truly known for. Talking to your biggest fans helps avoid a situation where they bounce after a rebrand. – Yaniv Masjedi, Nextiva

8. Identify What Sets You Apart

You need to figure out if rebranding is the right thing to do. So first, you need to identify what it is about you that sets you apart. Why do you want to rebrand? Will it bring more positive results? You need to do your research before committing to anything so you know you’re making the most beneficial move for you. – Jared Atchison, WPForms

9. Preserve Your Core Values

With a rebranding, it’s important that you don’t alienate existing customers. To accomplish this, you need to identify and preserve the core values they care about so you don’t lose them in an attempt to broaden your horizons. The biggest mistake you can make is driving away previous purchasers in an attempt to capture new buyers. – Firas Kittaneh, Zoma Mattress

10. Align Leadership First

Rebranding is more than just logos, website or clever marketing. Those things are expendable over time. To get your internal team to buy into new messaging, and for external target audiences to buy from you, the leadership team must be aligned. Who you are, what you do and who you do it for are answered by your goals, mission, personas and positioning—which is all agreed upon first by leaders. – Phillip Oakley, Common Giant

11. Notify Your Team

Rebranding is a hefty task that requires an entire team that’s on the same page. It’s crucial to notify your team about the upcoming changes so everyone knows what they’re responsible for. This allows for a much smoother rebranding process that saves everyone headaches. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

12. Get Staff Buy-In

Staff buy-in will contribute to the success of your rebranding project. Communicate and sell the benefits of the rebrand with your team. Team input is vital for buy-in, so set up a structure for them to give constructive feedback. Make sure to keep your team updated with how the rebranding is going. – Matt Diggity, Diggity Marketing

13. List Important Brand Touchpoints

Brand touchpoints are every event and location where your audience comes in touch with your brand. It’s important to make a list of all key brand touchpoints to redesign them. Your brand touchpoints need to reflect the new changes, so it’s important to identify and improve each one. – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

14. Determine What Can You Save

When rebranding, remember that you don’t have to scrap everything. It’s important to take a look at your current brand and see what you can save. Figure out what works well with your audience and improve upon those aspects instead of getting rid of it altogether. – Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster

15. Don’t Forget Your Core Identity

Rebranding doesn’t mean that you forget your core identity as a business. When rebranding, ensure that you remember what customers expect from you and incorporate that into your planning. You can build your rebranding strategy in creative ways to share the same core messages but in a more powerful way. – Blair Williams, MemberPress