Often, when I get called into a boardroom, members typically want to know about branding and rebranding implications. The questions vary from the value, opportunities and risks associated with brand management, right through to the costs, savings and how to tackle the process – in a progressively changing digital landscape.

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Recently, I helped a leading global travel brand to prepare the business case for a name change of a local brand – very well known in its market, with a turnover of €800 million and an interesting challenge, as over 50% of their revenue is generated online.

For online businesses in particular, the potential impact of a name change is much greater than for a primarily offline driven business. Per definition, sales are directly affected by any name change, as the organisation changes its URL and has to create a substantial SEO/SEA strategy to mitigate potential negative effects. This is especially relevant in the travel business, with so many lateral and direct online competitors. Subsequently, loyalty and lock-in are relatively low, so you have to re-attract and re-engage customers every time.

In contrast to name changes in a more offline environment, it’s not only awareness that has to be created, but, in addition, sales will also be directly impacted…. Why am I sharing this? Because the rise of digitally driven businesses will totally change the branding climate. For brand owners it means rapidly stepping up their game to remain relevant and agile in order to protect revenue streams and brand equity, whilst competitors encroach on their, once secure, space. Whether it’s sales, digital or marketing, it’ll be interesting to see over the next years, how the role of brand owners in organisations will evolve.

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What are the costs of a brand change?

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