If you have an existing company that needs a brand update, you may be wondering where to start to successfully rebrand. There are many reasons for updating an existing brand, and we’re here to walk you through the how, what, and why.
Here is how to rebrand a company with the same process and strategies we use for many of our clients.
Let’s jump in!
Let’s get started with a list of reasons that many of our clients come to The MMC Agency for a rebrand.
Reasons to Rebrand Your Company
Chances are, if you think you need a rebrand, you probably do.
Below are the most common reasons our clients are interested in a new visual brand identity.
Outdated branding is one of the most common reasons a client comes to us for a new brand identity. It’s not unusual for a company to start with a brand’s logo and not touch it for many years. We get it – our clients are busy running their business – that’s a great thing!
But, while the logo may have looked exciting and new a decade ago, now it just looks old and tired. The good news is that if your existing branding is simply outdated, we may be able to keep the essence of your brand and give it a refresh. This approach allows you to continue the brand recognition you’ve built while modernizing the look and feel to be current.
It also is a practical approach for clients who may have invested in building signage, car wraps, or signs and more that may not be as easily updated as business cards. A refresh ensures that your new brand still feels consistent with your old brand.
Lost Branding and Logo Files
Believe it or not, often, our clients come to us and need a new brand because they have lost access to some of their original brand assets. If you don’t have access to your original files or the original file you had is an outdated file type, it may be time for a new brand. In these cases, often, our team can take any existing image and recreate it for our clients. Whether or not we refresh it at the same time, we can deliver the updated files (and files types), so our clients can easily update their website, marketing, and more.
How can you avoid this issue?
Make sure that ANY web designer or branding agency you work with delivers your complete files. At The MMC Agency, we look at your website and logos, files, etc., as your business assets. This is why we make sure you get everything you need during our offboarding process.
Some agencies look at your files as an opportunity to hold you hostage and have to come back to them for any access, updates, or changes. Ask upfront before you sign a contract to make sure you get the assets you’ve invested in at the end of the project.
Unclear or Inaccurate Branding
If your business started with a particular product or service that you no longer offer, it might be time to redo your branding, especially if your logo reflects something you no longer offer. Sometimes this branding refresh includes a whole new company name, and other times, it just requires a new look and feels to be relevant to the company’s mission today.
How does this work?
Let’s say your logo has a house in it because when you launched your construction company, you focused on several different services. Maybe today, you only do roofing. Do the brand and logo still work?
The answer is possibly.
But if the visual elements of your brand and logo aren’t telling the story, you might need a new logo.
Mergers and Acquisitions
The rebranding process may also make sense if your company has gone through a recent merger or acquisition. If the current brand tells the story of where you used to be and not where you’re going, it’s an excellent time to create a strong brand identity and new brand guidelines that establish the company framework going forward. This is especially true when two companies merge because both have a unique brand that will be combined in the future.
While we don’t like to think about a business struggling, sometimes a company may want a refreshed brand because of its poor reputation. This could be due to any number of reasons – such as a bad product, lack of customer service, and more.
While the company must do everything to correct the core issue, the brand’s audience may continue to associate the brand’s identity with that bad experience. When this happens, a partial rebrand or brand refresh may help the marketing strategy for the future as the company works to rebuild its reputation.
With this scenario, one thing to think about is whether or not the business name will remain consistent. If everything is changing, including the brand name, website, services, and personnel, it may be time for a new brand, rather than a simple brand audit and logo redesign.
The Successful Rebranding Process
Now that we’ve discussed the why, let’s cover the how.
When you begin a total brand overhaul, it’s essential to assess the brand identity today and establish exactly what the brand should be for the future. Below are a few steps we complete to help our clients execute a successful rebrand.
Just like a brand strategy is developed for a new company, a successful rebrand starts with your rebranding strategy. Let’s cover some of the steps that go into rebranding strategies below:
Understanding the company values and the company’s vision.
At The MMC Agency, we work with our clients to understand the mission and values of each brand before we dive into any brand strategy. The reason is that each brand should be authentic, and without understanding who they are, it is almost impossible to create something truly authentic.
Let’s say we were working with two hotel brands. One focused on creating exciting getaways for families, and the other focused on delivering exceptional, luxury experiences for every guest.
Without knowing each brand’s values, we might create a logo and visual assets that tell the wrong story. And in turn, we might attract couples looking for a luxury getaway that will be disappointed to find the resort is full of loud, happy families – and vice versa.
Another example might be if our visual assets told the story of exotic locations, but our client believes in serving locals and not targeting international markets. There would be a huge disconnect between the story our brand elements were telling and the authentic brand essence our client wants to create.
By understanding the values and vision, we can better reach the target audience and stay authentic to who our clients want to serve.
Reviewing the existing brand.
In any brand strategy, understanding the current brand – from brand story to brand voice and brand image – is critical.
Just like any business strategy, when you understand the data you have, you can use it to be more successful in the future. This examination doesn’t mean that you have to run focus groups on everything you’ve done, but it does mean that taking the time to review what you have is important.
At The MMC Agency, we look at an existing brand to better understand the current positioning in the market. This includes all of the visual elements, such as colors, fonts, etc. From there, we look at the stated mission and values of the brand to see what aligns and what doesn’t.
Many people are surprised that their stated mission and values aren’t represented in their brand’s personality.
Looking at the competition.
As consumers, we are regularly bombarded with messages through dozens of marketing channels. We consume content on our daily commutes, on our phones, on our TVs. It’s everywhere. It’s one of the reasons that launching in a new market can be so difficult. Without solidified brand loyalty, how can you stand out in a very, very crowded new market?
Understanding just how many marketing materials we see daily is one of the reasons we look deeper into the competition during a brand strategy.
We want to know what your potential customers are seeing and evaluate what they expect, what they like, and how we can use that data to better understand how your brand story can find its unique place in the market.
Taking a look at our client’s inspiration.
Just like we want to know the mission and values to build something authentic, we want to know what our clients are drawn to as well.
If you hate yellow and we create an entire brand around it – we probably aren’t going to make you happy – even if it’s a good fit for your audience.
We want every rebrand launch to be an authentic brand that our clients love, and that helps attract their ideal clients.
What Goes Into a Rebrand?
So, now we know the why and the how, let’s talk about the what. Outside of a simple refresh, a company rebrand is often just like creating a new brand identity from scratch. Sure, we might have more information because the business has been in operation, but we don’t want to take that information for granted. We complete our due diligence on every piece of the brand to make it successful.
So what exactly are those pieces? Here’s a shortlist.
Most of us know what a logo is because it is so essential in the overall brand identity.
When it comes to a brand, it’s helpful to think of it as a personality. It has a look, a feel, and a voice. A logo is the equivalent of your face. It’s a recognizable feature that is unique to you. When you walk into the room, your friends know who you are, and hopefully, they’re excited to see you!
At The MMC Agency, when we assess a logo, we want to make sure that it represents the whole brand. Not only should it meet current design standards, but it should be a visible representation of who our client – and their company – is.
Our logo experience starts with the primary logo. Whether we’re doing a simple update or a complete brand overhaul, we want to create a foundational logo that will be used on the website and primary marketing materials, like business cards or proposals.
From there, we build a secondary logo and unique sub-marks. These logos match the look and feel of the primary logo, but they may be a smaller component like just the icon or company name. For some businesses, a stamp may also make sense.
At the end of the logo redesign, our clients usually have between twenty to fifty files that give them everything they need to effectively use their new logos on the website, any brand material, social media, and more.
During rebranding, we also assess the brand colors. We may keep a core color in many cases but update the secondary and accent colors to help the brand look modern and current.
In some cases, the original colors may have just been by default and never really worked for the brand. For those situations, we may present two options for colors. The first will be more in line with the original, and the second may be what we would suggest if we were building with intentionality – from scratch.
Your typography says a lot about your brand, from bold sans serif to delicate scripts.
Like colors, we want to better understand if your typography was chosen by default (raise your hand if your brand type is Arial or Calibra) or if your typography is creating a solid connection to who you are.
What is copy? It’s not JUST the words on the page. It’s also the voice, style, and way your brand messaging connects with your potential clients.
Copy often needs to be assessed (and in some cases redone) during a rebranding. If what you’re saying isn’t working, we want to know why and create a new voice and tone that works well for your unique and new brand identity.
After you’ve redone your brand, what comes next? In many cases, the answer is a new website. Uploading a new logo on an old site is like printing out a picture of someone else and pasting it on your face.
First of all, it won’t look right (trust us), and second of all, it can undo all of the trust you’ve built with someone you know. The same is true with a brand – because remember, it’s a brand personality.
The reason you invested in a rebrand is the same reason you should consider a new website. You want to update your image or present yourself in a professional way, so don’t stop short of updating your online home – and in many cases, the center of your business.
Website Design Steps
Contrary to popular belief, a website project doesn’t have to be exorbitant. It also doesn’t have to be overwhelming or take forever.
At The MMC Agency, we know what our clients have dealt with in the past, and it’s exactly why we’ve refined our process to be simple, straightforward, and easy to complete.
Here’s a sneak peek at what it looks like to design a website with our team.
- We onboard our clients with a simple contract and deposit, all of which can be completed easily – and electronically.
- Next, we send out our comprehensive questionnaire. Our clients don’t have to know everything they want to put on the website. They just have to start by answering questions about who they are, what they offer, etc.
- From there, we use the responses to dig deep into their brand today and create a strategy for what the new website should accomplish (and how we’re going to do it).
- Once we have the strategy in place, we get to work designing a guide – with everything from color palettes and inspiration to a site map that will help us build a next-level, easy-to-use website.
- From there, we begin building a homepage preview. This is an exciting step because it combines all the elements and showcases them on that foundational homepage.
- If our clients like what they see, we move forward and build the remaining pages from there.
- Once the website is complete and optimized for SEO and mobile, we schedule a date for the site to go live!
- After (or just before) the new website is up, we deliver some fun social templates for our client to announce their upgrade – and we created customized training videos, so our clients understand how their website works and how to keep it current.
- There you have it – if our client is staying on for maintenance or marketing support, we keep the ball rolling. If not, they’re ready to go with a brand, website, and strategy in less than ten easy steps!
As we mentioned above, the most common reasons for a rebrand are outdated brands, lost files, unclear or inaccurate branding, mergers, and reputation management. There are also other reasons we didn’t cover.
Either way, if you’re a business owner or chief marketing officer and think you may be ready for a rebrand, give us a call.
Our team would be happy to help you assess your brand and see if it makes sense to make a few changes.
We’ll take the time to understand your needs and answer any questions. We can also explain our process, prices, and timelines if you want to learn more about working with The MMC Agency team.
We can’t wait to talk with you!