Marketing Strategies: How Long Does Rebranding Take?

How Long Does Rebranding Take?

Originally Posted in March of 2014. Updated in November of 2021.


– Branding can have a significant impact on the success of your business.

– When deciding if a rebrand is right for you, it’s important to understand all the steps associated with the switch.

– The time it will take to rebrand your company is dependent on a number of factors, including your size, reach, and how many modifications you’re making to your existing brand.

Sometimes, good businesses are kept from becoming great companies by their branding. Even if you’re doing everything right operationally, the visuals and messaging you’re using to represent your company just don’t resonate effectively with the people you’d like to have as your best customers. Realizing this is often the first step toward a business owner’s decision that it’s time to rebrand the company.

What Does Rebranding Entail?

There’s a common misconception out there that rebranding is the business equivalent of slapping a new coat of paint on your house. If you change the logo, if you change the name and tagline, if you change the colors and website, your business will have more ‘curb appeal’ and customers will be unable to keep themselves from doing business with you.

We wish it worked that way. We really, really do. It would make everybody’s life faster and easier. But that’s not how rebranding works. Rebranding is an involved, time-intensive process. There are many steps to take long before you ever sit down to consider any questions about logo design.

Rebranding can be complicated and does introduce some risks and costs. Although rebranding doesn’t need to involve a complete brand overhaul (you don’t have to change your company name to rebrand, for example), you will need to make meaningful changes to build a new brand identity when you rebrand.

Ross Kimbarovsky for CrowdSpring

What is a Rebrand?

The idea of rebranding may conjure images of a total overhaul including a name change, a new logo, an exploration of different fonts, colors, and tones for your content, and a completely revolutionized marketing strategy. For some, this will be true. Rebranding can be a massive undertaking that totally reinvents your business as something entirely new. For others, you may not need to go that far to freshening up your brand.

The term rebrand describes the process of changing or updating your brand assets to reflect a change in your values, direction, or audience. The components of your brand can span between the tangible and conceptual:

  • Company Name
  • Brand Colors & Fonts
  • Logo
  • Voice & Tone (in your content marketing like emails, social media posts, and blogs)
  • Promises & Values
  • Positioning
  • Philanthropy & Community Initiatives
  • Images
  • Packaging & Labeling
  • & More!

When you’re considering giving your brand a facelift, it’s important to consider your current approach from all angles to ensure you’re preserving the parts that work and replacing the ones that don’t. Determining if a rebrand is right for you is also a matter of exploring your goals as a company and as a business leader. What are you hoping to accomplish and how does a rebrand fit into that aspiration? Consider a rebrand a chance to explore your intentions and ambitions for your brand.

Consider Facebook, for example. The company recently announced its decision to rebrand as Meta, signaling CEO Mark Zuckerburg’s interest in creating an immersive “metaverse” for users that digitally unifies people online. Though it’s unclear how much Facebook as we know it will change in the coming months, let alone years, the company felt like it needed to introduce itself anew because of a distinct shift in its intention. Does it feel like the right time to do that same thing?

Developing a Rebrand Strategy

The process begins by understanding what the main benefits you offer your customers are, and what makes your business particularly appealing. It’s important to know where you’re similar to your competition, and where you’re different. Especially vital is understanding as much as possible about your customers, including demographics, technology usage, and what influences their decision-making. This process is called discovery, and it can take at least a week of dedicated effort to complete.

After discovery comes the process of determining new messaging and look. This process flows directly from the information gathered during discovery: you want to reinforce your company’s compelling appeal in a way that’s most likely to resonate with your desired market. Depending on your needs, this can include a name change, the creation of a new logo or the alteration of your existing logo, brand color choices, iconography and image selection, tagline and messaging creation and more. If you’ll be changing your name, you’ll need to do some additional research to see if a related domain name is available for your website. Crafting the brand support materials is not an instant process: it requires significant back and forth with your creative team. Count on spending several weeks on this part of the process.

Finally, there’s the implementation phase, where your new brand identity is announced and implemented.

How Long Will a Rebrand Take?

How long this takes is determined in large part by the size of your company. ING, the financial services giant, took over 2 years to roll out their rebranding – the new name, if you’re curious, will be Voya. It’s a good idea for any company considering a rebrand to read through their page, taking special note of what Voya chose to keep – namely, the distinctive friendly orange hue that ING was known for. For smaller companies, with fewer locations and messaging properties, the implementation phase could be much shorter.

Ultimately, how long it takes to rebrand your business is dependent on a number of factors including how many elements you change, and if you’re trying to implement all those changes alone. We recommend getting the help of a brand manager, strategist, or marketing professional to help guide your decisions related to a rebrand. That way, you have an expert set of eyes that can catch things you missed or broach ideas you hadn’t yet considered, encouraging a smoother transition for your business.

Work with the Pros to Get Your Brand on Track

We would be happy to help you reimagine your brand! From the creative vision of in-house designers and storytellers to the data-driven plans of our experienced strategists, we’ve got you covered at every step of your rebrand.

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