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So, You’re Considering a Rebrand

Whatever the reason, you’ve decided your brand could use an overhaul.

Congratulations! This is a big decision that can lead to even bigger possibilities. Before you dive headfirst into a brand new you, let’s get clear on what rebranding is, and isn’t.

Many companies mistakenly view their rebrand as a logo update or simple modernization of their look. No matter how you slice it, this outlook is bound to disappoint. 

You begin seeking a professional branding partner, and you either find yourself:

a) shocked at the investment of time and money that goes into conducting a strategic rebrand (we’ll define this in a second), and may end up… 

b) hiring a freelance graphic designer to make the superficial improvements you thought you wanted, only to find they don’t alleviate the pains that led you to that decision in the first place.

Logos are important. But they aren’t that important. No singular graphic element is going to make or break your brand’s destiny. The key to long-term growth and success is how effectively your identity communicates your brand’s unique value. 

A well-executed rebrand gives you a cohesive visual and verbal system to weave your brand’s unique story and signature through every single touchpoint. This develops a more engaging experience with every interaction – leading to greater brand awareness and loyalty.

The pursuit of brand success is a marathon, not a sprint. Doing it right requires an investment of time and resources. This investment, however, pales in comparison to the one lost on ads that don’t work, prospects that don’t pan out, or loyal customers sacrificed to the competition.

At AtticSalt, we believe that great brands begin with a world-class internal strategy– an all-inclusive meditation retreat in the Himalayas, not just a new shade of lipstick. So before you start slapping graphics on business cards, let’s take a breath, align your chakras, and do the inner work first. 

Our 4D Rebranding Process

Most people spend decades, if not their entire lives, trying to identify who they are at their core and find a way to bring that inner self to the surface. Without a strong sense of who we are, we find ourselves directionless, clinging to the next shiny object in our path only to find ourselves worlds away from the life we imagined. 

For the average Joe, this could lead to a mid-life crisis. For the average brand, it could mean the end of your business or worse – a painfully slow and agonizing demise.

Every step of our 4D Process, which stands for Discover, Define, Design, and Deploy, is strategically created to build your brand from the inside out. Putting in the deep work up front saves you a lot of headaches and pays great dividends in the long run.

Pretty pictures on the wall may invite your audience in, but a solid foundation makes them feel at home enough to stay. 

Discover (3 weeks)

Direction matters when you’re looking for longevity, which is why every strong brand strategy starts with a look inside. 

While your personal journey to enlightenment could take years or decades, our proprietary Brand Seasoning Workshop series can take most brands from chaos to clarity in less than 3 weeks. Download our Brand Thinkbook for a head start.

Discover: Key Takeaways

  • Vision & Mission Statements: Your brand’s final destination or “vision” for the world & the steps you take every day to create it.
  • Brand Values: The foundational principles that guide your brand’s behavior.
  • Brand Archetype/Personality: A thematic view of how your brand seeks to show up in the world and the fine-tuned details illustrating how you do it.
  • Audience Personas: A deep understanding of the people you serve, their behavior, and where your brand fits into their identities.
  • Competitor Audit: An analysis of your biggest competitors and how they stack up against your offering.
  • Positioning: A clearly defined articulation of what makes your brand truly unique in comparison to the rest of your category. 
  • Customer Journey: Identifying every single step in the journey from pre- to post-sale, and all of the brand touchpoints within them.

The in-depth knowledge of your company’s why and how established in this phase helps craft a brand with meaning far deeper than your products and services. This is how true consumer loyalty is built. 

Define (2-4 weeks)

This phase is about putting insights into action – establishing a clear and cohesive verbal identity to clarify your unique position, establish your point of view, and illustrate your distinct personality. 

By defining your brand’s distinct voice (what you’re here to say) and tone (how you say it), we create a language that authentically aligns who your brand is with who your customers strive to become.

Define: Key Takeaways

  • Brand Story: An emotive manifesto that sets the tone and theme of your brand, getting your consumers excited to learn more.
  • Brand Platform: A clear, concise, and pointed description of what you do, how you do it, who you serve, and why it matters.
  • Audience Personas: Segment-specific summaries of each of your audience’s demographics, emotional drivers, interests, and buying behaviors. 
  • Messaging Architecture: Defines how your messaging addresses each of your audience’s specific pain points in your brand’s unique voice.
  • Messaging Guide: An in-depth guide specific to your brand’s voice and tone, containing all messaging resources and creative language inspiration.

*Note: Although brand naming may not be critical to every rebrand, your name is a key component in setting the tone for your brand’s story – see why here. Due to the many variables involved in the naming process (extensive research, trademark logistics, etc.), timing can vary significantly.  

Design (4-6 weeks)

The human brain processes images 10,000x faster than words. Equipped with a strong strategy and messaging, this phase helps translate your unique value into the universal language of design. 

Take a look at your Airpod Pros case. The straw in your coffee. Complete visual identity systems are how brands like Apple and Starbucks leave their distinct fingerprint on everything they touch, with or without a logo present. This robust library of visual assets transcend your mark and become synonymously known as your signature look.

Airpod Pros case in person's hand, open, displaying Airpods
Apple’s newest Airpod Pros – not a logo in sight. Source: The Verge

Design: Key Takeaways

  • Logo Family: Your brand’s primary mark with different variations designed to adapt to today’s ever-changing digital environment. 
  • Typography: The specific fonts and typography styles that will be implemented across your entire brand.
  • Color Palettes: A custom selection of shades designed to maximize brand recognition in the digital and physical world.
  • Iconography & Patterns: Definition of your brand’s graphic style beyond the logo to further define and differentiate your brand’s visual signature.
  • Imagery Style: The visual mood of your brand’s imagery from lighting, to atmosphere, to styling.
  • Mock-Up Applications: Introductory exploration of how your brand’s visuals come to life in the real world.
  • Brand Guide: Your new brand’s visual “bible”, complete with all design parameters, brand assets, mock-up applications, and high-level brand language.

The resources created in this phase establish a clear standard for how your brand looks, sounds, and acts, giving your team everything they need to effectively and cohesively implement your brand now and into the future.

Deploy (2-4 weeks)

The modern world presents more diverse and abundant opportunities for brand experiences than ever before. A clearly defined visual and verbal system gives your brand the flexibility to show up consistently across any and all touchpoints, strengthening your brand’s equity.

From print to digital and beyond, implementing your brand consistently across all brand touchpoints is critical to building trust with your consumers and making the journey from pre-sale to post-sale as seamless, engaging, and delightful as possible. 

Deploy: Key Takeaways

  • Content Strategy: Planning the most captivating and delightful approach for each of your deliverables, from overarching content architecture to final copy. 
  • Asset Library: Full template/deliverable design and buildout resulting in the handoff of a complete asset library.
  • Launch Strategy: Creating and implementing the appropriate brand launch strategy for each of your platforms to ensure a seamless internal handoff and maximize launch success. 

The Cost of Rebranding

As you can see, a well-executed rebrand goes much deeper than a few fancy graphics. Successful rebranding projects are an external expression of an internal shift in your organization’s MO, a strategic effort to realign your company’s identity with its vision. This investment in your company’s future can yield boundless returns when done correctly, and spell disaster without proper forethought.

Whether you’re a small start-up or an international enterprise, each business’s branding challenges and the complexity of solving them can vary greatly. Size isn’t everything, but it’s a good place to start. 

As a rule of thumb, startups and scale-ups can expect to invest about 3-6 months and about $40K-$70K into their rebrand.

Larger organizations typically come with bigger brand challenges and more complexity. Effectively addressing these challenges requires deeper research and more detailed solutions. With that said, an enterprise rebrand typically takes about 6-12 months and a financial investment between $100K-$250K.

Rather than focusing on the end result (i.e., an updated asset library), we encourage you to approach your rebranding decision with the bigger picture in mind – a long-term solution to your company’s costliest challenges. If you’re going to make the investment, you may as well maximize your return.

Choosing Your Branding Partner

Now that you have a frame of reference for what to expect from your branding expedition, you can more confidently decide who you’re going to take along for the ride. 

The holistic mantra that we encourage throughout the entire rebranding process carries into how you should select your agency partner – aesthetics are only the beginning. Rather than limiting yourself to who can best execute your desired approach, take the time to assess how an agency solved previous clients’ problems through brand. A great branding team draws from a wealth of diverse experience to craft a custom strategy to address your business’s unique challenges and goals. 

While the end product and the process are critical to your rebrand’s success, this is a partnership, after all, so the people matter! It’s important to assess whether your working relationship will be built on mutual respect, trust, and commitment to the final destination. Plus, the journey will always be more rewarding when you like the people you’re taking it with. 

The Takeaway

A successful rebranding project comes down to one very simple rule for all parties: asking the right questions. These key insights will have you well on your way to a worthwhile branding investment, ultimately leading to a successful brand for decades to come. Let the real work begin!

A brand identity crisis could be at the root of your business’s biggest challenges. The right branding partner can help you find clarity in the chaos.

By Lauren Carr-Gasso Feb 10, 2022
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