What Is Rebranding? And Why Should You Do It?

Rebranding is a big task that requires thought and consideration. However, for many organisations, it’s the chance at a fresh start, appeal to a new customer base or reposition the organisation.

What Is Rebranding? And Why Should You Do It?
Giles Taylor writes for W/Brand Design Blog
Giles Taylor, May 02, 2023

In this post, we will cover some of the fundamentals of rebranding, run through a few examples of a successful rebranding campaign, and explore the process behind it. So let’s get started!

What is the purpose of rebranding?

Tech Target defines rebranding as:

“The creation of a new look and feel for an established product or company. The usual goal of rebranding is to influence a customer's perception of a product, service or company by revitalising the brand to make it seem more modern and relevant to the customer's needs.”

The reasons for rebranding and creating a new image are multiple. These can include:

  • Reflecting a change in business focus or vision, as well as part of a significant merger or expansion into new markets
  • Differentiating from competitors
  • Appealing to a new audience
  • Exploiting the popularity of a new trend
  • Reputation management and distancing the organisation from previous bad PR

Rebranding often includes updates to the logo, brand colours and guidelines, vision statements, tone of voice, imagery, video and other marketing materials, a new website, and sometimes even a new name.

What to consider before a rebranding campaign

Although it can come with a raft of benefits and set you up for future success, rebranding is not something that should be taken on lightly. Firstly, you need to consider why you want to rebrand and what you hope to achieve. Think about your business objectives for the next 3, 5 and 10 years. Is your current brand preventing you from achieving those? Will a rebrand help you achieve your goals faster? If the answer to either of these is yes, then it is worth considering whether you want to take on a brand refresh or a complete rebrand. 

What is a brand refresh?

A brand refresh or partial rebrand is ideal for established organisations that need to retain loyalty and recognition from customers while at the same time updating their identity to keep up with modern trends and tastes. A brand refresh can include making subtle changes to elements of the brand, such as the colours, logo or sonic identity.

A brand refresh can also be a good opportunity to test rebranding ideas before committing to the full process. Examples of a brand refresh include:

Burger King

Burger King rebranding


Instagram rebranding


Ebay rebranding


Pepsi rebranding

However, if you feel that a brand refresh doesn’t go far enough to achieve your objectives, you’ll need to create a rebranding strategy.

How do you put together a rebranding strategy?

Correctly planning and executing your rebranding strategy will be key to your overall success. Although every organisation is different, there are several aspects of rebranding that are the same for everyone, and these need to be effectively planned and managed. Whether you’re conducting this yourself or employing a brand design agency, we’ve put together a process and rebranding checklist to guide you.

  • The first step is to undertake a brand discovery and audit period to ensure you align your business objectives with your overall strategy. Conduct interviews, surveys and workshops with your customers, staff and people within the wider industry to highlight where your current branding does and doesn’t work to achieve your goals. This will form the basis of your strategy and how you will measure success.

  • The next step is to create your brand strategy. Here, you’ll create a formal document that all stakeholders contribute to and agree on. This ensures that everything is covered, everyone knows their responsibilities, and you have a single source of truth to refer to.

    In this document, you’ll define what you’re trying to achieve, and how you’ll go about doing it. It will define your new brand identity including:

    • Brand DNA, architecture & positioning
    • Brand personality
    • Audience definition
    • USPs
    • Communication strategy
    • Brand name
    • Tagline & vision statement

  • Following this, you’ll start to work on the rebrand itself by creating and developing the brand identity. Incorporating what you’ve learned in the discovery phase, define and agree on brand characteristics such as:

    • The logo and signage
    • Brand colours
    • Fonts and typography
    • Visual or sonic branding
    • Messaging

    It’s likely you may go through several iterations of these, but once they’re agreed, you move onto the brand development phase. Here, you’ll define and create all aspects of online and offline brand communication and customer touchpoints. For example, depending on your organisation, you might create:

    • Brand imagery
    • Newsletters and emails
    • Social media posts
    • Campaign videos
    • Product packaging
    • Printed marketing materials
  • This process will result in the creation of formal brand guidelines. These are a complete description of your brand identity with instructions and guidance on how to implement it. These will be used as part of the creation of any content or messaging, whether it’s done by internal or external teams, to ensure that brand consistency is achieved.
  • Once this has been agreed, you’re ready for launch. You’ll need to work with all internal and external teams to create a launch plan, as well as the supporting assets that will be used. If you’re planning on working with partners, influencers, brand ambassadors or PR experts, it’s at this point that you involve and brief them.

    Post-launch, it’s a good idea to undertake a full review of the process and the results. What has worked and what hasn’t? Have you achieved your objectives? If not, why not? Conducting the same interviews, workshops and surveys with the people at the start of this process will help you to understand whether the rebrand has been a success.

At Withbrand, we offer a range of rebranding services and have expertise working on projects of all sizes. Find out how we can help you by contacting us today.

Giles Taylor writes for W/Brand Design Blog

Giles Taylor

Giles is the founder and creative director for W/Brand. A graphic designer from Reading in Berkshire, UK, he's a dad with two wonderful children who enjoys walking and playing the guitar.  

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