Branding and rebranding – how to rollout a new brand identity

Branding / 08.11.21
Mark Vaesen

When you roll out a new brand identity there are a lot of jobs to do, and most of them all at the same time.

Keeping all these plates spinning can be a tricky feat, but it’s essential if you want your new brand identity to roll out smoothly and with only positive impacts.

Planning a new brand identity rollout

In our experience of rolling out new brands – not just for our clients, but also our own rebrand a few years ago – we’ve learnt one important lesson: if you fail to plan you are planning to fail.

(To be fair, Benjamin Franklin came up with this first, but he probably wasn’t talking about rebranding when he said it).

Many businesses put so much work into developing their new brand identity but then assume that, once it’s ready, the rollout will just be plain sailing. But there’s more to it than you might think.

We’ve come up with the ultimate checklist of everything you need to plan for when rolling out a new brand identity.

Checklist for rebranding

We’ve listed here all the things that you might need to think about when rebranding. Some of these won’t apply to you unless you’re changing your business name as part of your rebrand. Download and amend our checklist to create your own plan.

Download the brand rollout checklist

Download

Your team

  • Make sure all the senior managers in your business are on-board with the rebrand and the reasons for it. It’s important that your internal communications are consistent and positive.
  • If appropriate, share the process of rebranding with your team. Feeling involved in the decisions and having time to get used to the coming change will make it easier for them to adapt. You’d be surprised how emotionally attached people become to a brand they work for.
  • If you can’t share the rebrand before it rolls out, carefully plan how you’ll communicate this to your team. And don’t be surprised if it takes them time to warm to the new brand identity.
  • Make sure you demonstrate the business case and benefits of the new brand identity.
  • Communicate the changes to any businesses, influencers or other agencies who you work in partnership with.

Website and email

  • Register a new domain name, if required and…
  • Set up your new email addresses and ensure the old ones are forwarded.
  • Design and build your new website – or change the brand identity elements on your existing site.
  • If you‘re building a new website, you’ll almost certainly get rid of your old one. Therefore you’ll need to redirect it to the new site to ensure that the SEO authority is also redirected. Only if there’s a compelling reason should you retain the old site. If you do retain the old site then consider putting an announcement on it inviting users to click through to the new one.
  • If you have a new website and are closing the old one, you need to update Google Analytics with the new URL. If you’re keeping both the old and new sites, then you’ll need to set up a new Google Analytics account for the new website.
  • If you’re keeping your existing site, remember to update all your Page Titles and Descriptions.
  • Add a blog post or news item to your website to announce the new brand.
  • Update your keywords for SEO.
  • Update your listings in online directories.
  • Send your updated brand to any other websites and directories that mention you and link to your site (you can get a list of some of these from Google Analytics, although a tool like SEM Rush would give you a more comprehensive list).

Google My Business listing

  • Go into ‘Info’ and update all your company information. Note that it can take a few days for these changes to be accepted and applied.
  • Update your logo in the ‘Photos’ section. Consider whether any other images need to be updated – like photos of your premises that show your old brand identity.
  • Create a Google My Business post about your new brand.
  • If you have a Bing Places For Business listing, don’t forget to update that as well.

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Social Media

  • LinkedIn
    • Update your page info, including your logo, name and URL.
    • Update your contact button, if necessary.
    • Update your ‘About’ information.
    • If necessary, update your cover image.
  • Facebook
    • Change the name and the username (which appears in the URL) of your page.
    • Update the ‘About’ information, which includes your website and email addresses.
    • If necessary, update your profile and cover images.
    • Update your action button, if necessary.
  • Twitter
    • Change your username, if necessary.
    • Update the email address on your account.
    • Update your profile, which includes your website and your profile/cover images.
  • Instagram
    • Update your profile with a new image, name, username, website, email and bio.
  • YouTube, Pinterest, TikTok, etc
    • Apply similar changes to the ones listed above to all your social media platforms.
  • In all cases, remember to post an update about your new brand, which you might want to pin to the top of your feed for a few weeks after the new brand has gone live.
  • Be sure to update the links on your website to your social media accounts’ new URLs.

Operational stuff

  • Tell Company House, HMRC, your bank and your insurers if your rebrand includes changing your business name.
  • Update invoices, statements, privacy policies and terms & conditions.
  • Employee contracts will need to be updated; you can probably do this with a supplementary letter rather than a completely new contract.
  • Contracts for suppliers and customers.

Business stationery and other systems

  • Business cards, letterheads and envelopes.
  • Email signatures.
  • Telephone voicemail, on-hold and out of hours messages.
  • Name badges, if applicable.
  • Any internal documents, forms etc.

Other marketing materials

  • Photography (e.g. of your office exterior or to replace shots of your team wearing t-shirts with your old logo on them).
  • Presentations.
  • Word document templates such as quotations, proposals, specifications etc.
  • Brochures, flyers, catalogues.
  • Trade show kit.
  • Case studies and customer testimonials.
  • Online ads, including banners, Google Ads and social media ads.
  • Training materials for customers.

Your existing clients

Weird as it might sound, your clients can become quite emotionally attached to your brand. And they might feel that a change of brand identity heralds other more worrying changes, like price increases. Keep this in mind when planning customer communications.

  • Send an email to your customers using your existing brand ahead of the changeover to let them know about it and reassure them that it is a positive thing for them.
  • Email them again on the changeover date with your new brand announcing the switch.
  • The first time you speak to them in person, either face-to-face or on the phone, take the opportunity to talk to them about the new brand.
  • Hand out your new business cards to your existing clients when you next see them.

PR activity

  • Create a press release to send to relevant local and national publications, such as your local newspaper or an industry website.
  • Provide press releases or articles for local associations you’re a member of, for example your local chamber of commerce.

Download this checklist to support your rollout planning

Download

Is there something we’ve forgotten? Please let us know and we’ll add it to our list!

The challenges we faced when rebranding and the stuff we forgot

We started this list following our own rebrand some years ago. Despite our extensive planning, there were some things that we didn’t see coming or that we just plain forgot.  The big one was our telephone messages – we didn’t realise until several weeks later that they were still using our old company name!

So we wrote this list to help us, and our clients, avoid forgetting anything next time.

Having done all this work, don’t be surprised if some existing clients don’t pick up on the new brand despite your best efforts.  They might just have missed it or, let’s face it, be too busy with their own business to notice a change in yours. Don’t take it personally.

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