You’re here because you want to know all the various steps in executing a rebrand – whether you’re running your own business, part of an internal team, or implementing a rebranding process on behalf of another organisation.  

This is the rebranding checklist just for you. We’ve noticed checklists provided by other sites waffle on about broader theory and tell you that you need to work out your reasons and objectives, etc, etc.

We’re going to assume you  get that and just want a clear checklist. 

But at the end of the article we do explore some of that theory, including why it pays to get a good branding partner to walk you through the process…

REBRANDING CHECKLIST

  • uncheckedLogo
  • uncheckedColour palette
  • uncheckedFonts
  • uncheckedImages
  • uncheckedStyle manual / style guide for use across different teams (eg marketing / sales / product)
  • uncheckedBrand name
  • unchecked(Optional) Slogan
  • uncheckedStory
  • uncheckedMission Statement
  • uncheckedValues

Verbal Messaging

Brand name: a strong brand name will give people a clear, almost unconscious idea of what you’re all about – whether it's their first interaction or their tenth. What product or service do you provide? What style of business are you? What effect will associating with your products or services have on the customers? Some strong examples include Dollar Shave Club - disposable razor blades on subscription - or Holy for a healthy, vegan food brand. 

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A quick note on this point: depending what kind of business you are, give some thought to intellectual property.  If IP is important, avoid names that are too descriptive (i.e. common words that simply describe a product) – e.g. “Fast Cars” as a brand name is descriptive and you can’t usually trademark this / stop anyone else using those words; “Speedster Cars” would be stronger and more distinctive. But for businesses that are ‘SEO plays’, a descriptive name may be better for traffic and IP is usually less important.

Slogan: some brands choose to reinforce their brand name with a slogan than captures their philosophy in succinct form. One good example is the healthy snack brand’s Propercorn’s “Done Properly”, which crystallises the value they place on putting care into things and avoiding compromise, like not compromising on taste and quality to provide something healthy - done properly, you can have it all. We’ll explore on values more below. 

Story: Truly effective branding works on a far deeper level than something merely intellectual. You draw an emotional response from your customers and partners by bringing them on the journey with you. How did you come about? Where are you now on this journey? And where is it all heading? For example, if you’re a big established brand but want to emphasise the dedication and care you place into making your product, explore the very beginnings of the company and how it grew out of single person or family or small group of innovators.

Mission Statement: this explains why you exist. How do you want to see the world change and where does your brand fit into this change? If your story captures the past - where you’ve come from - the mission statement announces the future - where you’re going, and so the two dovetail together nicely.  

Values: You could view this as a distillation of your philosophy. This should be cultural and not just a cosmetic change. Your employees, partners and suppliers should buy into these values if you’re expecting your customers to too. One good way to explore your values on a high level is to ask yourself a series of ‘what is more important…’ questions. All companies will value, to some extent, trust, creativity, diligence, empathy, daring, etc… but when the chips are down, what values and priorities will drive you to your goal or mission?  

Visual Elements

Visual elements often act instinctively. Far example, take 10 seconds to guess what type of product or service the below is an advert for:

(Answer: perfume)

And this?

(Answer: luxury lingerie)

The curious thing about visual identity is how much can be said without saying anything. When undergoing a rebrand process part of the aim is to tap into all associations people have with different colours, shapes, sizes and textures.

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Logo: Often people think that a rebrand involves a simply change of logo and packaging. As you’ve already seen in the verbal messaging elements of our rebranding checklist, it goes deeper than that. But a strong logo is often one of the first conscious interactions a new customer will have with your brand, whether on your website, on branded marketing materials or on packaging in store. What does the typography, colouring and ‘vibe’ of the logo say about you?

What are your associations for this?

Answer…

Colour Palette: On a deep, instinctual level we associate red with anger, green with nurturing, blue with calmness. You might have noticed I used the word “conscious” above in discussing logos. That’s because a lot of subtler information can be gleaned from a brand based on the colours it uses. This includes the font and background colours and image filters used on your website, the colours on packaging and marketing materials, and even the subtle details of how you design your office so that anyone interacting with the company gets the feel of the brand you want them to.

To take another example: 

What does this bring to mind instinctively?

Answer

Something for children

Fonts: This doesn’t just include the fonts of text on your website but also covers any brochures, vouchers, leaflets, posters, and letters you send or distribute to represent your brand. Typography is a subtle art: you would no doubt draw different conclusions about a business that uses a cool font like this versus one that opts for something a little more robotic versus something a little more elegant. There are no right answers (apart from possibly not using Comic Sans.)  The example for yoto (above) is a good example of a font that many people immediately associate with children because of its easy to read, rounded typeface.

Images: you’ll also want to think about the sorts of images you have on your website, marketing materials and social channels. Again, what impression are they conveying to the viewer. Is there something more subtle you want to reeducate in your consumers? For example, if you want to show a new way that customers can interact with your product (imagine a fruit juice carton brand with a new way of opening the carton), can you incorporate photographs that reinforce this change of behaviour? 

Formatting and Quality:

Once you’ve created all these elements above, here are some further questions you need to ask yourself to check you’ve covered everything:

Image/File Formatting: have you got image files in the right formats, depending on where they’ll be used? E.g. logos or pictures that will be printed in larger formats (banners or trade show stands) will require a different, higher quality format, versus smaller photos or logo files to be used on your website, where file size needs to be reduced to speed up page loading.     

Translations: there’s no use crafting beautiful statements of your mission and values and story and then using a generic translation tool like Google if you want people in another specific foreign market to understand them. Do you need a good translator?

Timings: as we discuss in our guide on what a rebranding agency does, timing can be crucial for a variety of reasons. Once you’ve sat down and worked out exactly what elements you need to create or evolve, decide when you’re going to roll out all these elements across various channels (both physical and digital). 

Social media: If you’re changing your Story and Mission statement on your website, don’t forget that these (along with logo and name changes) need to change across your social channels too. What you post from the point of the rebrand onwards should also reflect these changes, both the words and the visuals (photo and/or video content).

Buy-In from the rest of the company: as alluded to earlier, there’s no point making these top level changes without also getting an emotional and cultural buy-in from your team (employees, partners, suppliers… as well as your customers of course). Indeed, the desire for a cultural shift can often be the driving force behind a rebranding in the first place.

Implementation

Places where new brand assets may need to be updated include:

The website and its subdomains– including all subdomains or pages you may have forgotten about. You can use a scraping tool to list all obvious webpages on your website if the footprint is large

Packaging – depending on your business type

Email newsletters and social media handles (YouTube/Twitter/Facebook etc)

Staff assets – ie email footers, business cards

Promotional materials - ie flyers, leaflets, banners, 

Looking for help with a rebrand?

Talk to Us About Your Branding & Visual Identity Project

We're experts with branding & rebranding for websites, apps and offline projects across a number of sectors.

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Some final thoughts

As you can see, there are a lot of things to think about. A lot of the effects of branding changes are subtle and take diligence, planning and imagination. There is a lot of research to be done, both on a broader level - understanding your market and your competitors - and more specifically - talking directly to your consumers. Many of these elements require professionals skilled in graphics design or copywriting or packaging design. 

Getting a good branding agency to walk you through your brand can save you lots of money and headaches in the long run. A good agency will have access to all the professional skills you need, will create a systematic plan so that nothing is missed and everything is timed to perfection, and will keep you to a manageable budget.

If you want to work with us on your rebrand, get in touch and we’ll be back with you faster than you can say “Comic Sans”. 

Looking for help with a rebrand?

Talk to Us About Your Branding & Visual Identity Project

We're experts with branding & rebranding for websites, apps and offline projects across a number of sectors.

View Self Studio Portfolio