The rebranding complex: a self help guide - Part 1

What questions to ask yourself and challenges can you alleviate 
for the most successful outcome?

Thought piece by Justine Lefebvre. Managing Partner

If you are in business for a number of years now, typically between 3-10 years, there are a handful of sneaky questions that might start to keeping you awake at night:

  • Is our brand actually a good fit to represent us as we are today?
  • Is our brand as it is today strong enough for our ambitions in the future?
  • Should we adjust it? Now, or later?
  • Is rebranding a huge gamble though?
If you have lost sleep to one/several of those, good news is (sort of) that you are not alone! Here are a few perspectives that will (hopefully) help you find your peace of mind back


What is rebranding? There might be more options than you think… Rebranding is not just about changing a logo. It covers all the possible ways to go about enhancing a brand experience. Actually, you may not need to change your logo, at all. We talk about Brand Overhaul (or Revamp) when the entire brand gets updated: logo, story, collaterals, maybe even the name! On the other side, Brand Consolidation and Brand Extension are taking the existing brand assets (for instance, the logo, the name, aspects of your internal personality, etc.) and turning it into an integral, consistent and immersive brand experience. Your brand becomes a strong asset for your business, now and in the future.

What should I consider?

No matter the format, to most, rebranding generally sounds like a lot of work. Besides getting everyone aligned to pick ONE new direction, the even more overwhelming part would be… unrolling it! But does it really have to be this way? Here is a step by step approach to help you structure your thoughts and set yourself up for success. Go/not go? The urge for rebranding can come from various places, from an intuition that the brand is giving out a vibe that’s quite different from how its stakeholders feel on the inside to the conviction that something has to change drastically to get where you want to go. Is it worth it though? Before jumping to hard conclusions, let’s take a look at the big picture: what is driving the need for change and who is leading it:
  • Is it feedback from the market (consumers), some up and coming competitor’s performance is starting to worry you?
  • Is there internal discomfort around our personality not quite matching up with who we are? Or around having different versions between teams?
  • Or consumers not seeming to fully understand us?
  • Or simply, has the brand been growing organically with the rest of the business, and is leaving you wondering if you did enough to make it as impactful as it should be?
  • Do you have all the data you need to validate any assumption?
This should inform whether a rebranding is worth it: does it make business sense?   Go → Where to? If you have decided for the “go”, you are now left with a whole new world of possibilities. Rebranding is an exhilarating time in a company’s life (or should be!) and as all the parties get involved, you want to make sure the teams won’t lose sight of the reasons you are doing this in the first place. To find out what objectives will guide you through the process, you may want to go back to what are you looking to do with the business for the 1-5 years to come:
  • Open more stores?
  • Add new products/Services to your offering?
  • Increase basket size
  • Enter a new market?
  • Target a new consumer group?
  • Franchise?
  • Sell?
Once this is clear, it will be easier to pinpoint how to assess the following step.   How much do you need to change (brandwise)? With those goals in mind, and though there is courage and boldness in coming up with something totally new (and yes, sometimes a definite need), does it feel like everything has to change? Is that what will serve your objective best? Or can you identify some more problematic aspects to tackle first:
  • Looking at all the elements (“touch points”) that carry your brand: from your visual identity, your products and services, your stores, your online platforms, your staffs, etc. where are the the key areas of discomfort?
  • Can you put yourself in the shoes of your consumers and think of all the touch points they encounter in their overall experience? Then list up which are working/not working/not really making a difference]?
  • Talk to your marketing team, and see what is taking up much of their time, keeps coming back or is done wrong. Are they missing some brand tools? Templates? Skills?
  • Create an internal survey where you ask people to describe the brand, you might uncover the key areas that are consistent and to realign.
This will give you an idea of the concrete deliverables you may want/need out of this process but also, if you are opting for a brand consolidation, what pieces are immediately within your reach to change: what can you already clean up? Would that make it more tidy already? (sometimes it’s as simple as: “less is more?).

This is Part 1 of our two Parts article.

Read more here about:

  • How much do you need, to change ($)?
  • Going live: When?
  • Possible solutions
  • A few final tips

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