Insights | Branding

Things to consider when working through a rebrand

23 July 2023

Unless you're a billionaire, don't rebrand the Elon way...

Working with brands

There has been a lot of chat about the sudden ‘rebranding’ of Twitter to X this week. Amongst the ‘…is it good, is it bad?’ and ‘…is Elon a genius or a fool?’ quips, it just made me think about what an utter nightmare the marketing team would be having trying to keep up with a reactive executive that maybe doesn’t appreciate, or really care about, what goes into managing a brand (well why would you when you have rocket ships to fly?!).

Now I love a rebrand, don’t get me wrong. I can’t count how many rebrands, renames, logo updates and refreshes I’ve worked on. That’s probably why this seemingly snap rebrand of a major household name gave me palpitations when I read about it. 

Managing a brand is not easy. It’s complex, it requires thinking, planning and in some cases, architecture. You need to know your ‘house of brands’ from your ‘branded houses’. And it means a lot to those that are trying to grow and develop it. It becomes part of you, you feed it, you nurture it and watch it grow (hopefully!). Most of us, who don’t have billions in the old savings account or an unlimited marketing and PR budget would not be playing so fast and loose with a brand with equity like Twitter has. But I guess that’s what makes the likes of me and Elon, very different!

When its good to rebrand

Many are suggesting that Twitter was getting dusty, needed a regroup, needed to be more future facing to compete, and all of that I can get totally on board with. 

Often a rebrand is hugely beneficial to a business. It can help align, it can help reposition, it can set you up for growth, allow for diversification or extension to the product portfolio, and it can do a great job internally to bring your employees into the fold and get them excited for what’s next…  

But it’s the way that it’s planned, communicated and executed that will determine the success of the rebrand project. Honestly, it’s hard work. And it takes time, budget and a mammoth project plan!

From my experience…

So here’s 5 tips on how to go about successfully executing a rebrand project, and my heartfelt well wishes go to the team now mainlining coffee to get the ‘X’ out there in a clear, concise and timely manner! 

  1. Have a rationale for the change. Change can be good, but make it worthwhile for employees and customers. Make it make a difference. Make it matter
  2. Communicate. Talk about it, it’s a new chapter in your business story, it’s important and exciting. Bring it to life!
  3. Slow down. There’s nothing wrong with a teaser campaign. Nothing wrong with a 6 months roll out – so long as point 2 above has been done well, and everyone both internal and external knows what, why, and when it’s all happening
  4. Find yourself some advocates. Find the stakeholders that are going to champion the change, and so help you on the road to implementation. Particularly when objection handling… because there’s always going to be someone who doesn’t like the colour, the strap-line, the logo.. And that’s cool, they just need to be sold the bigger picture and that’s easier with some back up
  5. Audit, plan, execute. You’ll find a whole bunch of assets no-one has used for 5 years but now all need rebranding, like, yesterday. Re-writing. Repurposing. It’s not all logo and colours, it’s messaging, it’s tone of voice. And its not only a marketing department job – you’ll need a stakeholder from all the major units, eg HR, Finance and Product so help investigate what their rebrand requirements are. Rebrand projects get big quickly, you’ll need a mighty project plan and a team of very patient people to get it done!

Struggling with what comes next?

If you need some help with your business’s next chapter, whether that’s a potential branding project, new website, marketing strategy or just a hand working through a change planning execution, give us a call, let’s meet for a coffee and talk it through.

Published by

Katie Lawerence

Marketing and Growth Director