Rebranding process – how to create it step by step

Author: Karolina Pospischil

17 min read

Rebranding process – how to create it step by step

Why it’s so important and when you should consider rebranding your company? We want to take you backstage and show you how it looks from a branding agency’s perspective. If you want to understand how the rebranding process works and how we rebrand global companies step by step – read on.

Although every rebranding process is unique, some elements are constant and need to be executed. At Admind, we follow a unique rebranding procedure that comprises seven steps. Our work starts with the brand discovery phase and ends with brand guidelines creation and brand implementation step.

In this blog post, we will show you what each of these seven steps is all about. We hope that this knowledge will encourage you to think wisely about the rebranding process of your company.

Step 1: Brand discovery (immersion)

We believe, every rebranding process should start with the brand discovery phase. It’s an important step in aligning your business goals with your brand strategy as well as in maximizing the brand’s long-term success. This primary phase evaluates your brand identity, customer perception, and competition.

Information plays a key role in this phase. It gives not only the context and direction of the rebranding process but also allows us to define your current brand positioning. During the rebranding process, we always need information about your business/company, the industry in which you operate, and your target audience.

In our agency, the brand discovery phase usually takes from one day to even two weeks. After that time, the client will receive the scope of the project and a report, as well as research (frequently in the form of interviews or a workshop) regarding materials and communication channels.

We think of the discovery stage as a deepened briefing process. Here, we conduct desk research, interviews, and workshops and use many design thinking tools to come up with a solution. During that time, we meet with the management, the sales team, and other people responsible for internal communication. That’s why it’s so difficult to assess how long this part of our work will take – it all depends on the number of people involved, the number of communication channels, and the client’s requirements.

At this point, we frequently conduct additional research, i.e.:

  • Brand visual audit
  • Brand communication audit
  • Brand health check

The result of this stage is a strong foundation for creating a personalized brand strategy, which aims to strengthen loyalty and accelerate growth. Hence, brand discovery is crucial for creating a great strategy for your brand and a primary step in every rebranding.

Is it the right time for your rebranding? Download our Rebranding Checklist to learn more

Step 2: Brand strategy

After successful brand discovery, it is time to create a brand strategy. All global brands use this specific formal plan to meet long-term goals and create a particular image of their brands in people’s minds. The brand strategy is always a result of the business analysis of your company and the sector that you operate in.

A comprehensive and well-defined brand strategy will help every company stand out from the competition and keep it around for ages. Your brand must have a differentiator and, of course, a detailed personality. What is more, it leads to higher brand equity and helps define the brand identity and customers’ expectations. All this leads to a strong emotional bond with them. It assures the brand will reach the audience you would like to get. This stage helps out with further development and brings structure to the brand personality.

Here, brand DNA is also important. Without it, every next rebranding or brand development will mean starting work from scratch. Of course, you want to avoid this scenario. That’s why this element is an indispensable part of every rebranding process. Furthermore, in the brand strategy stage, we concentrate on elements like:

  • Brand architecture
  • Brand positioning
  • Communication strategy
  • Naming
  • Tagline

However, if the project needs to comprise complex measurements and additional quantitative and qualitative interviews, it could take up to one month. Our experts will develop a well-defined strategy, and you will participate in brand strategy and brand characteristics workshops. You will also receive another report and a presentation with strategy basics.

Step 3: Brand identity package (brand basics)

After the brand strategy creation phase, we concentrate on the brand identity package. The elements that make up the identity package are based on agreed brand characteristics and they comprise primarily:

  • Logo/signet/lettering
  • Typography hierarchy
  • Colours

We always start with a company’s DNA and adjust other elements (such as a logo) to fit it and correspond with the company’s visual language. Depending on the complexity of the project, within 2.5 weeks, you will receive from us all the graphic elements, including the new logo, imagery, color palette, typography mood board (chosen also after the workshop), logo presentation with mockups.

Step 4: Brand development

The next phase in the rebranding process is brand development. You can think of this stage as a follow-up to the identity package. All aspects of both online and offline brand communication must be considered as part of the brand development process. Here, we focus on touchpoints that are key for you – that your brand will need as lighthouse projects or communication ambassadors. For example, campaign videos, social media posts, newsletters, printed materials as well as product packaging and a brand portal if needed.

In the brand development stage, we are in full sync with other internal or external teams. It is crucial to make this process smooth on all communications touchpoints. During this phase, we create a logo usage book and the recommendation of tools to use provided by our Brand Governance team.

Step 5: Brand roll-out

The rebranding is almost done, but it’s not the end of the story. In the brand roll-out part, we refine the details and concentrate on the further development of your brand. Here, you get a full brand roll-out plan with all the relevant assets, possible recommendations of production partners, and designs for giveaways.

The climax of this stage is a brand roll-out event, which could be an internal and external campaign, during which we present the new version of your brand to the public. It’s also a good moment to activate brand ambassadors and train brand experts and internal teams. We can also support them with tools facilitating brand governance. We have conducted similar events multiple times, also for global brands like ABB or Shell. That’s why we have fully developed systems and processes built around this special roll-out event to support you.

Step 6: Brand guidelines

A set of brand guidelines can be used to identify, build and grow your brand. In other words, it is a comprehensive description of a company’s brand identity and a guideline on how to manage it. This tool supports your brand awareness not only internally, but also when you work with external creative partners. It is a deep dive into your new brand language. As soon as your company undergoes the rebranding process, you should also develop brand guidelines. It’s the only way to keep your brand relevant and usable in different situations.

An effective brand guide is a tool every brand manager should use to understand how they need to present the brand. With brand guidelines, it is easier to maintain brand consistency across all of the marketing and branding materials, and communication channels.

Our brand guidelines consist of:

  • Templates for requested touchpoints (e.g. videos, PPTs, text files, etc.)
  • Templates for social media posts and ads
  • A thorough PDF file explaining everything in an understandable way (such a file can have even up to 500 pages!)
  • Short guides divided into specific topics and applications

At Admind, the process of creating brand guidelines takes usually four weeks tops. At the end of the project, you will receive fully-developed brand guidelines with tailor-made brand training for your employees and a set of templates usable for the community. We make sure the brand does not land in an abstract space and comes to life and people can use it in every way they need.

Step 7: Brand implementation

This step encompasses creating brand assets according to your company’s needs based on all visual brand identity and strategy documents the brand owns. If needed, new styles and adjusted brand principles are defined. The duration of this phase depends on the assets you already have. At the end of our work, you will receive tailor-made brand assets for everyday use.

Summary: the rebranding process

All in all, a well-delivered rebranding process can take up to several months or even more than a year. It all depends on the complexity of the brand, the size of the company, current materials, and expectations.

At Admind, we help both local and global brands go through this process and stay relevant in the market. If you have any questions about our work or want to get in touch, don’t hesitate to contact us.
If you are wondering whether it’s the right time for your brand transformation make sure to download our rebranding checklist which will answer all your questions.

Choose the right partner for a smooth and successful rebrand

See also our articles what is rebranding, rebranding announcement, rebranding examples.

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