How Long Does A ReBrand Take?

Watch This Episode of MwahTV Where I Answer: How Long Does A Re-Brand Take?

How long does a rebrand take, realistically? Well, the answer to that hangs on a few different things. That's why I'm sharing the four key phases any rebranding project needs to make sure that the time and money invested in it is a rip-roaring success.

If you're about to schedule a rebrand or if this is something that's kind of going on in the back of your mind and you're not really sure how much time you're going to have to dedicate to this, then by the end of this episode, you're going to know exactly how all the pros chunk this down into four sequential phases.

And knowing these four phases might shine a light on why your last rebrand wasn't that much of a success.

New Playlist Alert!

I'm planning on sharing more episodes on this topic in the not too distant future. That's why I've created a brand new playlist called Your Re-Brand. I'm going to be doing a much deeper dive into each of the four phases that we're talking about today.

But for now, let's take a look at what they are.

And don't forget, if you subscribe to the channel right now, as soon as a new episode comes up in that playlist, you can make sure that you get it first.

Phase 1: Discovery or Rediscovery.

If you're building a brand completely from scratch, then your discovery phase is going to involve doing some investigation work on determining if your idea is actually viable and also figuring out some information about the marketplace that you want to set your stall up in.

If You're Already Established

On the other hand, if you're already in business and maybe you're looking to do a bit of a brand refresh or a total rebrand, then this phase of the project looks different.

First of all, we're going to take a fresh up-to-date look at your marketplace and figure out what has changed there since the last time you did this exercise. In addition to that work, it's important at this point to do a bit of an introspective audit or do some research on what already is going on with your brand, what has worked well, what hasn't worked as well, what do we feel is maybe out of date now that might need livening up a little bit.

Phase 1 Realistic Timeframe

So you can see, depending on the size and age of your business, this phase would differ quite a lot in time. Another key factor to consider while you're trying to plan out how long phase one is going to take is having a good look at your marketplace.

If you've got a really saturated or overcrowded marketplace, we're going to have to do a lot more research on a lot more different brands to figure out what is going to make you different in that crowded marketplace.

So the more competitors you've got, the longer this is going to take.

Phase 2: Discovery or ReDiscovery

Phase two is definition or redefinition. Defining your business or completely redefining your business perception is the name of the game at this second phase. Understanding or defining exactly what you stand for as a business goes hand in hand with the type of customer you want to serve as a business. When we've done this work to determine if the customer you want to serve is actually viable as a business, if your brand is brand new, or taken a good look at your current customer base and compared this to the ideal customer that we've now got on your radar as an already established business, we can then get to work on how you're going to show up as a brand to this customer, what's going to make you stand out from everyone else in the marketplace.

Phase 2 Realistic Timeframe. Key Questions to Answer

It's very common that this phase appears to a lot of business owners as a hunch or a sense or they've noticed that there's a little bit of a change in demand or they've noticed that all of the competitors seem to be doing this new trend or new thing and they feel this as a hunch, as an instinct to move the business in either the same direction or go against the grain.

Of course, your hunch and your instinct as an entrepreneur are very important, but the time spent on this phase is heavily affected by what we know as FACT.

  • Is what we think we know, old news, old data?
  • Has this hunch been heavily influenced by one factor or can we compare what's going on in the rest of the world? So I'm talking about society, politics, the environment, the economy.
  • Does all of what's happening in those departments for your brand make sense and ring true to this hunch that you've got?

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Phase 3: Visualisation

Phase three is visualisation. For me, the visualisation part is the most exciting phase. And I don't think I'm alone in this.

So many people want to rush in this phase of a rebrand and miss out on phases one and two. When that happens, there is a very strong chance that you're going to end up with some potentially really beautiful branding touchpoints and an aesthetic that you personally love, but it's not necessarily going to be a brand that works.

And when I say work, I mean, it helps grow your business in the direction you want it to grow.

Do You Recognise this Dilemma?

Now, when you get into this, this can be quite a problem, an internal dilemma that I see a lot of business owners have. You feel an emotional bond to the brand or to the logo that you've had designed and you personally love it, but even though in your logical mind you know that you have to make a change, you don't want to let that thing go even though it's stopping you from letting your business grow, go in the direction that you want to go in.

Phase 3 Realistic Timeframe.

When you have spent the right amount of time on phase one and phase two, this third phase actually has a lot more momentum and flow than if you had just rushed and jumped into this bit first. This makes it just as fun.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not taking away any fun here. It just makes this phase a lot more efficient.

So it's at this phase that we're going to use everything that we've uncovered from the first two phases. And I'm talking about things like:

  • What wasn't working in the old brand,
  • The current picture of the market we want to place the brand in and
  • Exactly how we plan to show up and stand out from the competitors
  • With a personality and style consideration that affirms what our quest is as a business.

So you can already start to see there how having this information visualised and documented makes it much easier when it comes to hiring a creative supplier like a graphic designer or a photographer.

And Extra Efficiency

This focus also helps considerably with taking into consideration things like:

  • Colour direction or colour psychology for your brand as well as
  • Figuring out what creative anchors serve our purpose and direction as a business as opposed to something that pleases us on our personal aesthetic.

And this is exactly what makes the design part of a rebrand a strategic design phase.

That's a heck of a lot more effective.

Phase 4: Communication & Implementation

This phase has a huge impact on the return of your rebranding investment. I'm going to say that again.

This phase has a huge impact on the return of your rebranding investment.

If you skip past this or you half-arse this bit, it's going to affect the bottom line.

And funnily enough, this is the phase that a lot of creative suppliers will just leave you to go off and do on your own. If you don't know what you're doing, you're kind of in the dark, you're not sure what to do. For me, this is like a mini-project tacked onto the end. So I like to think of this as the final phase of a rebrand.

Phase 4 Realistic Timeframe.

Now, working out how you're going to communicate your rebrand is not just a task of sitting and going through everywhere that you think your old logo was and changing the file over to the new logo. Thinking back to the work that we've done in phases one and two is going to mean that we have some fundamental changes that we need to communicate beyond just design. And we need to explain this to:

  • Our brand stakeholders,
  • Our current customers,
  • The competition and
  • Our new customers

And we're going to need to tell each of these groups:

  • Why we've made a change and
  • What this change means for them.
  • Why do we want them to care about this and how they've been a consideration in the work that we've carried out?

And This Might Look Like

Explaining it to our brand stakeholders:

Thank you very much for being involved, here's the changes of the rebrand.

To our current customers:

Things have changed but we're still amazing and we want you to stick around.

Explaining it to the competition:

Look! we look even better, watch out.

To our new customers:

Hey, this is who we are, this is what we stand for. If that suits you, jump on in.

The Tell Them Thrice Rule/Tool

A great tool that I like to harp on about, I feel like I say this all the time when I'm working on this phase with my clients, is an old trick. And it's the old trick of:

the tell them thrice rule, text on a beautiful slide with lipstick bulletpoints

Set Yourself a Realistic Rebranding Timeframe

So when you start to contemplate all of this with an idea around time, it could start to feel a little bit intimidating.

An Insight to Behind-The-Scenes of My Brand

And a really good example of this is with my own brand. At the beginning of this year, so at the time of recording this, we are in November, so at the end of the year, going back nearly 12 months ago, I decided that I wanted to sophisticate-ify the colourway in my branding.

We made a colour change.

The team behind the scenes here at Peary HQ are STILL working on the implementation of this. And the bulk of this work has been going back and updating old content as well as the many, many pages that I have here on my website.

Prioritisation By Brand Interaction

This part of the implementation project is not set to be fully completed until probably the back end of Q1 of next year. Now that freaked me out when I first mapped it out.

But what we did was, we planned it out by priority.

  • Where do people come into the brand the most online? Let's make sure that those pages have the correct colourway.
  • And then let's deprioritize the pages that no one ever goes to, in which case, why have we even got them? Can we delete them?
  • Or then the pages that get visited once in a while, are at the bottom of the list. And that's how we've implemented this colourway change.
Can You Relate To This?

So if you're like me and you create a lot of content, this implementation factor is a real consideration for you.

The Knock-On Effect of Any Branding Work (that no one speaks about)

It might be that you need to consider how your new brand is going to have an effect on your operations. If you decided as part of the work in phase two that you're going to stand out as the most ethical and personable brand in your marketplace, then you've probably figured out that you're going to need to invest some time and potentially even some additional money on making sure that all of your customer service touchpoints are on brand and deliver that unifying principle. You're going to want them to be really impressive. Now, this can have a time impact, but it could also have a monetary impact.

  • Do you need to retrain your staff?
  • Do you need to redesign processes?
  • How are those processes going to be implemented and how long is all of that going to take?

Timestamps for this Episode of #MwahTV

00:00 – Episode Starts

00:28 - Bloopers

01:48 - PHASE 1 of a rebrand

03:19 - PHASE 2 of a rebrand

05:10 - Quick Question Time about your rebrand

05:19 - PHASE 3 of a rebrand

08:18 - PHASE 4 of a rebrand

More Time Factoring Episodes

If you've enjoyed learning about how long a rebrand really takes, then you're going to want to check out these episodes up next, which are also about time consideration when it comes to the development of your brand.

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