You’re reading this guide because you’re about to embark on a rebranding exercise and want to understand what a typical rebranding timeline looks like. In the world of brand positioning, establishing timings and deadlines for a rebranding exercise involves an intricate dance of strategic planning and creative execution. The duration can vary significantly, influenced by several key factors.

The complexity and size of the business

The complexity and size of the brand play a pivotal role. For larger, more established brands, the process will naturally take longer. They will require meticulous market analysis to understand strengths and weaknesses versus their competition. They might have to coordinate this across various sectors and geographies. Smaller brands will need far less time, due to fewer bureaucratic layers and a more concentrated market focus.

So, think about the size of your business; how many international markets you have, how many languages you operate in, the size of your team, your customer base, how many products or services you offer, the number of different digital and social media channels you operate on. The higher these numbers, the more weeks or months of research and implementation you’ll need for the rebrand.

The scope of the rebranding and its purposes

No rebrand exists without clear goals and objectives. In establishing timelines, bear in mind what you’re trying to achieve. If the process involves a big shift in market positioning, this will take longer to implement (and plan) because you’ll need to roll out subtler, more complex comms across a range of channels, over a longer period. This complete overhaul, encompassing visual identity, messaging, and strategic positioning, demands a more extensive timeline.

However, a partial rebrand focused on specific elements like logo redesign or updated messaging - perhaps to reeducate a portion of your customers about a particular product, might be achieved in a few weeks.

The depth of research and stakeholder engagement

As we saw above, the bigger and more complex your business, the longer a rebrand should take. But, depending on your objectives, another specific variable lies in the depth of market research and stakeholder engagement you need to achieve them. Comprehensive research, including consumer insights, competitor analysis, and market trends, ensures a well-informed rebrand but requires additional time. Similarly, extensive stakeholder consultation, crucial for ensuring alignment and buy-in, can add to the timeline.

How many different elements are involved in implementation

Again, especially when combined with a multi international business operating across numerous sectors, the implementation phase, the rollout of the new brand across various channels and touchpoints, can vary in length based on the scale and complexity of the operations.

Is the rebrand mostly a digital-only project or does it involve updating packaging or physical materials and phasing out the old to bring in the new? How many different individuals will be involved in learning and using the new branding materials? How many products are being rebranded?

Some general thoughts and specific numbers

In essence, the timeline for a rebranding is not a one-size-fits-all affair. It is a nuanced process that can take several years for the biggest businesses, as the development phase itself might last months or even a year as different options are explored, researched and rejected. Patience and meticulous planning are key, ensuring that the rebrand not only captures the essence of the brand but is also effectively embraced by the market. A badly researched, badly executed rebrand is often far worse than leaving things as they are, so the initial phase takes time.

Rebrand (amongst UI/UX & software) for a property platform over 3 months

But a quick brand refresh that involves more minor, targeted changes that can be implemented in a relatively short time frame, often within a few weeks (we generally operate on the basis of 3.5 weeks for a ‘non deep’ rebrand or brand package). This process typically includes creating and updating specific elements of the brand's visual identity, such as a logo tweak, color palettes, font updates and other parts of visual identity, depending on what the business is involved in. 

It may also encompass minor revisions to the messaging strategy, ensuring it aligns with the current market dynamics and audience preferences. The focus is on enhancing the brand's existing strengths and addressing any immediate areas for improvement, without undertaking a comprehensive overhaul.

So, as a short answer to the question, ask yourself a couple of key questions: is your business big and complex (numerous markets, hundreds of staff and suppliers)? Is your rebrand all-encompassing (as opposed to specific)? If the answer to both is yes, you’re looking at months, if not years. If the answer is no, you might need as little as three or four weeks.

And if you want to engage our dedicated team at Self to work on your rebrand, you can get in touch with us here!