Why the Average Rebrand Requires 7 Months and 250+ New Assets

Why the Average Rebrand Requires 7 Months and 250+ New Assets

Rebrands may not happen often, but over 80% of marketers have worked on a rebrand according to a 2023 Bynder survey. If rebrands are that pervasive, then surely they can’t be too much of a burden, right?

Actually, yes, they very much can. The same survey also revealed that the average rebranding process takes seven months to complete and requires an average of 251 asset transformations. Plus, almost 10% of marketers responded that they’ve worked on at least one rebrand that took between one and two years. That’s as long as Julius Caesar's time in power. Oof.

Why rebranding takes so long

If you’ve developed and implemented your brand properly, then it’s present across everything that you do: presentations, internal templates, social media, ads, web directories, your website, on-site signage—the list goes on. That’s a lot to take inventory of and replace and update! And especially if you don’t have a dedicated team or the time (who has the time?) then a rebrand can move at a glacial pace.

The rebranding process takes time

Here’s the good news, though: a rebrand does not have to happen overnight. Even if we wanted or needed it to, it couldn’t. You need to put in place a plan that prioritizes the most visible and important parts of the rebrand and then work your way through the tasks in an inverted pyramid strategy.

In a general sense, there are three parts to a rebrand: the brand audit, the brand development and the rebrand deployment. Below is a simple breakdown of each of those three parts and their most essential goals or functions.

Conduct a brand audit

  1. Review your rebranding and marketing goals. Unless there is a legal reason why you need to be completely rebranded by a certain time, you can progress your brand audit at your own pace. It’s critical to get this part right. Make sure you know why you are rebranding and what your goals are in the process. Is it to reach a new audience? Quell misconceptions? Rebuild a reputation?
  2. Conduct research. Look around—at your neighbors, your competitors, your market—to collect as much data and as many anecdotes as you can that will either support or oppose your plan. Who else is rebranding right now? How has that worked out? Does the data support what you’re trying to do? Who have you consulted and what do they think?
  3. Ensure internal consensus. If the decision to rebrand is a top-down decision and not accepted at every level within the business, then you will have a harder hill to climb in the coming stages of the rebranding process. All corners of the company need to agree with the long-term plan and its goals because everyone will be affected in one way or another. Create a rebrand committee if necessary.

Develop brand guidelines

  1. Ensure legality. It sounds like a “duh” statement, but it’s an oft-forgotten piece of the puzzle. It’s astute to solicit the advice of legal counsel when you undergo rebranding. Does another entity already own your copyrights? Will there be any financial repercussions of changing your legal business name? Is it a good idea to rebrand right now?
  2. Refine your audience and strategy. Once you’re empowered with marketing goals, research and internal consensus, you need to decide what to do with all of it. Do your buyer personas need to be updated? Is your current or historical messaging still resonant? Do you understand your methods of appeal and your core motivators? You care about your rebrand, but does your audience?
  3. Develop a new style guide. Your new brand and branding strategy need to be translated into a comprehensive and comprehensible guide. Your brand book is your Bible. It’s the source of truth for how to look, feel, sound, smell and taste like your business. Think of it as the evidence of consensus about your brand identity. 

Deploy new brand

  1. Update internal channels and resources. When you have your shiny new brand book, it’s time to put it into practice. For many companies, the easiest place to start is internally. If you @#$% it up, it’s not a big deal. It lets your team become familiar and comfortable with the new brand before they have to be ambassadors of it. Also, please remember that no detail is too small, and it’s much easier to update everything at once. You’ll thank yourself later for not saying, “Eh, we can update this memo later.”
  2. Update external collateral and marketing materials. To be honest, this is the scary part—but it is also the most rewarding part! It’s the first chance you get to see how the world reacts to all of your efforts. As swiftly as you can, make sure to update all of your external assets. You can’t do it all at once, but you can do some of it all at once. Update the most visible parts of your brand—namely your website, social media and any on-site signage—and work your way down the rebranding rabbit hole from there.
  3. Communicate your new brand internally and externally. People will start to take notice of your rebrand right away, but only those who regularly and intentionally engage you will get to experience it. You’ll need to create more widespread visibility. Send an email, write a press release, host a launch event, etc. As a side note, make sure you always communicate why you rebranded and/or what it means. Most consumers aren’t going to care that you got a new logo for a new logo’s sake and, in fact, may feel frustration that you used resources to do so if they don’t understand its purpose.

It is a lot of work to update collateral

Not only does the timeline of a rebrand seem to stretch into infinity, the sheer amount of labor that goes into making it happen is also daunting. However, developing a strategic plan and an inventory of branded assets can make the process feel a lot more manageable.

Below is a list of common branded assets that you’ll likely need to update as you go through the strategic rebranding process.

  • Banners and displays
  • Brochure
  • Business cards
  • Digital search and display advertising
  • Direct mailers
  • Email newsletters
  • Email signatures and body copy
  • Infographics and iconography
  • Internal documents and letterhead
  • Internal software and IT 
  • Legal documents
  • Online listings (e.g. Yelp, BBB)
  • Out-of-home (OOH) advertising
  • Pitch deck and presentations
  • Podcast
  • Product packaging
  • Publication advertising
  • Signage
  • Social media advertising
  • Social media profiles
  • Swag
  • Video templates and lower thirds
  • Website

While it makes the most sense to have a branding or marketing team update all of the assets on the business’ behalf, we always recommend providing supportive instructions on how to appropriately deploy the brand to the full team. No one’s perfect, and even with the best plan in place, you’re likely to overlook a branded asset. Rather than rely on one person or one team for all of the revisions for the rest of time, empower your employees to implement the new brand themselves as well. It’s a small way to get them invested and involved in the process, too.

Cody H. Owens,
Content Director

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