At its core, a rebrand or a brand refresh is about improving brand performance. Whether it is to unify the brand architecture or create a more attractive corporate identity, optimising brand performance is always at the heart of rebranding. Even in mergers or demergers, where the motivation for the rebrand is entirely different, strengthening a brand’s performance is still at the heart of it.

However, when executed correctly, brand change offers more valuable benefits and opportunities beyond the primary intended outcome. Some of these benefits are inherent or ‘quick wins’, while others may require additional investment or dedicated focus.

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What does rebranding mean, and why rebrand? 

Brand change can be any change to the brand, big or small. It commonly involves restyling a brand’s visual identity: logo, colour palettes, typography, UI and UX, icons and photography style. In more revolutionary rebrands, a new name may also be introduced. On average, organisations change their corporate identity once every seven years, and for a myriad of reasons. Maybe it’s a repositioning driven by market changes. Or the brand is outdated and not digital proof. Or there is a merger, an acquisition, or a spinoff.

The benefits of rebranding

Whatever the motivation for a rebrand project is, there is no denying the benefits that a well-executed rebrand can bring. Here are some of the most common ‘additional’ benefits that I encounter with my clients:

1. Improved brand consistency and coherence

Brands will inevitably begin to show inconsistencies over time. It varies from one organisation to another, depending on how active and effective the brand management strategies are. There are several reasons for these inconsistencies, but they primarily come from the fact that not every employee understands how the brand should be applied.

This problem is rarely due to unwillingness on the part of the employees but more because they are so focused on their responsibilities that being ‘on-brand’ is the least of their priorities. The result is an increasingly diffused brand experience. A well-executed rebrand allows organisations to re-establish brand consistency and coherence between touchpoints and, ultimately – cohesiveness in the brand.

"A well-executed rebrand allows organisations to re-establish brand consistency and coherence between touchpoints and, ultimately – cohesiveness in the brand."

2. A stronger network of internal stakeholders: your brand champions

Brand departments cannot carry the responsibilities of building and managing the brand independently. For brand management to be effective, one would need the active support of colleagues and external partners to function as delegated brand champions. Working intensively with various stakeholders throughout the organisation during the rebranding process allows brand leaders to (re)activate this internal network and tap into their unique strengths, empowering them in their role as brand champions.

3. A more holistic overview of channels and resources: your brand touchpoints

Brands possess a network of channels and brand touchpoints that, if used correctly, can benefit several areas of brand management. Unfortunately, so few organisations maximise these resources. I often find many of these unused or unknown channels online during desk research. For a recent project for example, I discovered that a client had more than 80 of these externally oriented sites, sub-domains, and portals, while the central online team only had 12.

The rebranding process gives brands a chance to examine all relevant channels and re-assess how they can contribute to the brand’s strategic ambitions.

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4. Better insight on time-to-market

Many organisations still use IT systems that lack the flexibility and the dynamics to generate output (screens, correspondence, documents, email). Operating on these systems means that adjustments (I.e., brand change) take a longer time to implement. And the result is far too often just an approximation of the intended brand style. This is unfortunate because there is no shortage of advanced output management systems that could switch from one brand style to another within a shorter period. This painfully exposes the (too) long time-to-market.

But output is still a too often underexposed point of attention when it comes to RFP and building systems. This problem is further exacerbated by the traditionally large distance between marketers, brand managers, and IT departments.

Of course, it would take more complex solutions to bridge this gap between systems and outputs. But a rebrand project opens doors for an inward look into the brand process, and the insight on time-to-market can serve as a guiding principle moving forward.

5. A chance to turn employees into better brand storytellers

One of the things I like most about my external role in brand change projects is the chance to work closely with the client’s employees and seeing the brand from their point of view: their perspectives on the brand’s identity, how they think the brand fares against competition, how they feel about the brand change, etc. Employees are, after all, among the brand’s most compelling storytellers – that is if they wholeheartedly embrace the brand’s values and strategic choices.

Brand change is an ideal time to (re)introduce the brand to employees, which, in turn, gives them a chance to (re)align with and embrace the brand so they can tell its story more effectively.

"Brand change is an ideal time to (re)introduce the brand to employees, which, in turn, gives them a chance to (re)align with and embrace the brand so they can tell its story more effectively."

6. Options for process and system improvements

Brand change is also a time to take a more holistic, more objective insight into the inner workings of brand management.

This is best illustrated by the overview of online channels mentioned earlier (see benefit 3). I commonly come across numerous online domains used unnecessarily as separate configurations when they could just have been combined. These channels translate to added management and front-end development costs. During the brand change process, organisations get to gauge which systems and processes are working, which ones could be optimised, and which ones no longer serve the brand.

7. Improved brand management: brand governance

More organisations are seeing the need for, and benefits of, solid brand governance, and a rebrand is a chance to rethink the way your brand is managed. The preparatory stages of the rebranding process often unveil the strong and weak points in the brand’s management and can make room for new ways to safeguard the brand down the line.

8. Cost savings in a rebranding process

While the idea of a brand change and cost savings sounds contradictory, this is entirely possible. For example, the brand change process lets organisations take a more critical look at the brand management’s primary sources of expenses, such as existing contracts or brand touchpoints. While making these cost assessments is not exclusively possible during a rebrand project, the brand change process does uncover potentially unnecessary financial burdens.

9. Improving the customer journey

Unlike the benefits already mentioned, a rebrand’s impact on the customer journey is not as direct or obvious. The improvements to the customer journey happen down the line and more as a combined by-product for all the benefits mentioned above. The improvements in brand management, employee engagement with the brand, and streamlining systems and channels can result in a smoother customer journey. With the right project approach, a rebrand can lead to a higher brand appreciation.

10. Clean up 

Finally, a rebrand is a chance to clean up the house, like an old-fashioned spring cleaning. It lets you reassess everything, helping you eliminate the unnecessary and the unbeneficial and give a new life to brand assets and tools that can help push your brand forward.

Feel free to contact me via LinkedIn or e-mail if you want to exchange ideas. With 23 years of experience in rebranding projects across all disciplines, mixed with a love for improvement potential, there is bound to be something I can help you with.