Rebranding is an exciting time in a company’s life. And, like any exciting time, it has its challenges. Do you use a rebranding agency or go in-house? How many changes to your brand do you need to make? What should your budget look like?
Before we get into all those questions, let’s take a moment to talk about reasons to rebrand.
Why should I begin a rebrand?
Changing your brand isn’t something that you do “just because.” The more you change your brand, the more you risk confusing or alienating your customers. This leaves many companies wondering when to rebrand.
So let’s unpack this: Why do companies rebrand and how do you know it’s time?
As an experienced rebranding agency in Los Angeles, there are many reasons you might need a rebrand, but here are a few of the most common:
- You’re launching a new product or product line.
- You’re handling the fallout from a company crisis.
- You’re launching a competitive attack to reach the top of the market again.
- You’re facing a merger or acquisition.
- You’re looking to refresh an outdated brand to boost corporate spirit or your public image.
Rebranding is a big decision, no matter why you’re looking to do it. A great rebrand can help you win over new customers, grab a larger market share, and retain top talent.
A misaligned rebrand, on the other hand, will be a headache from start to finish. The time and money it takes to re-do a rebrand is only half the problem – the other half is the inconsistency your customers will see.
So how do you rebrand effectively, efficiently, and without the need to re-work your entire budget?
What is the difference between branding and rebranding?
First, let’s take a moment to distinguish branding from rebranding.
Branding describes the first time you take your company’s core values, conceptual position, audiences, and personality and distill it into something tangible. Branding takes what makes you special and communicates that to everyone else.
Rebranding is for companies who already have an established brand but realize that brand is slightly out of alignment with who they are now.
Companies aren’t static. They grow, they change leadership, and they add or remove products or services. And when all that happens, your brand risks becoming outdated.
Rebranding takes your current brand and brings it forward, aligning it with who you are now. A rebranding agency can help you determine what parts of your brand should remain the same, which parts need a change, and why.
Where do I start with rebranding?
There’s another thing branding and rebranding have in common – they can be very overwhelming for your in-house team to oversee. There are a lot of moving pieces. A rebranding checklist may help with some of the overwhelm, but taking the first step can still be difficult.
If you’re dealing with a product launch, merger, or company crisis, you have plenty to deal with already. Those extra tasks can change how you approach your rebrand – and not always for the better. And if you’re doing a brand refresh, chances are that it has been a good long while since you touched your brand at all.
This is why we recommend that the first step in your rebranding journey is bringing in a different perspective via a rebranding agency.
You don’t need to go it alone, and reaching out for help can make rebranding simpler, more efficient, and less stressful.
How much does it cost to rebrand an organization?
The cost of rebranding can vary wildly depending on the size of your organization, who you choose to work with, and the intensity of the change you’re looking for. There’s really only one way to get a good idea of how much your rebrand will cost – a custom quote for your project.
When receiving a quote from different rebranding agencies near you, you’ll want to look for a few things, which we’ll touch on more in-depth in a moment. The agency should have a great portfolio of existing work and they should have a demonstrated methodology or a brand strategy process.
What is a rebranding agency?
Essentially, there are three ways to find an outside perspective. You could hire a brand consultant, work with several solo designers, or hire a rebranding agency. Each option will require different amounts of time, energy, and room in the budget.
Consultants typically won’t produce any customer-facing deliverables. Instead, they’ll guide the overall direction of your rebrand. They are expert big-picture thinkers and strategists.
Solo designers are on the opposite end of the spectrum. They’ll produce your customer-facing deliverables but won’t be able to offer much insight into big-picture decisions. It’s also worth noting that you’ll have to vet multiple designers across every category, which can be time-consuming.
A rebranding agency does both. Good rebranding agencies will gather information on your competitors, customers, and company history. Then, they’ll use that information to offer brand strategy services and provide data-based direction to your rebrand.
Once you sign off on the direction, a rebranding agency will create customer-facing deliverables to help you send your new brand into the world. An agency is the whole package, managing your branding efforts from idea to execution.
Is hiring a rebranding agency better than working in-house or hiring a freelancer?
Choosing what kind of help you should bring in is tough. You have to balance different factors and viewpoints. Chances are, every member of the leadership team has their own list of qualifications. In short, figuring out how to rebrand your business is based on your individual needs.
When it comes to rebranding agencies vs rebranding in-house, you have a personal decision to make. But answering one simple question might help: How confident is your team in handling a rebrand?
Rebranding happens so rarely that many teams aren’t well-equipped to handle it. The work of doing competitive analysis, evaluating the spirit of your brand, and crafting a future vision is extensive. For most marketing departments, it’s also unfamiliar.
As a rebranding agency in Los Angeles, we find that our clients’ teams thrive when they are left to do the great work they were hired to do and leave the branding efforts up to the branding experts.
Ok, so what about freelancers?
Freelancers can be less expensive than an agency, but they’re often less comprehensive.
There are always rare instances where this isn’t the case. However, most freelancers will look to you for direction and then focus on the deliverables and execution.
And if you hire a freelance consultant to handle the big picture for your rebrand…
And a freelance designer to handle your brand’s new visuals…
And a freelance copywriter to work up your brand’s new messaging…
…you may find that you’re spending more time and resources than if you had just hired an agency. (And your team may still need to pick up some slack, adding more work to their plate than if an agency had stepped in.)
How do I find the right rebranding agency for me?
And now for the ultimate question: How do you find that unicorn of a rebranding agency?
The one that aligns your vision with your goals and comes out of the process with a perfectly polished brand identity that feels unique and authentic to you. It can be challenging, but there are a few clear things you can evaluate before signing an agreement.
A branding portfolio
Rebranding agencies come in all shapes, sizes, and specialties. But as we mentioned above, one of the first things you want to check is their portfolio.
Make sure that the agency you’re exploring has projects in your:
- General market, without any direct conflicts of interest
- Company’s general size range
- Ideal style
Your ideal rebranding agency should have at least one project that matches at least one of those bullet points. The portfolio is a great place to look at what kinds of companies your potential rebranding agencies have already worked with and whether those align with the direction you were hoping to take your rebrand.
A clear methodology
Next, check on whether the rebranding agency has a brand strategy process.
A process allows an agency to put out consistently good, professional work and gives you a sense of what to expect at every stage of the process. This means that you’ll stay on the same page throughout the project without the need to check and double-check whether everything will get done constantly.
Here at Flux, we’ve crafted the IDEA Method, a proprietary process that helps us effectively transform brands into the brand they want to be. We use it to track project milestones and communicate with our clients about exactly what we are doing.
A location (if it’s important to your business)
Many companies consider location when choosing a rebranding agency.
Location isn’t necessarily a deal-breaking factor, but different time zones or the ability to have in-person meetings may impact your decision to move forward with a rebranding agency. For example, we are a branding agency in Los Angeles and, while we love working with our clients all around the world, many of our local clients have chosen us due to our physical proximity to them and their businesses.
Similarly, if you are trying to enter a particular market (like DTLA), a local branding agency may help you capture the spirit of the place and people you want to cater to.
An organized team
Last and perhaps least importantly, you may want to look at the agency’s size and team. This is two-fold.
Larger agencies can handle larger projects more easily, but you often get less one-to-one attention, and the final result may feel less personal.
Smaller rebranding agencies may take a little longer to deal with large projects, but the one-on-one time, top talent, and stunning results make it worth the wait.
We recommend focusing on the people who will be working on your rebrand and the process they’ll be using, rather than the size of the agency. This will have the most impact on your rebranding experience.
Start your rebrand with confidence
Why do companies rebrand? You can have all the reasons in the world, but they all boil down to one thing. Your brand is a reflection of who you are. If that reflection is inaccurate, it’s time for a change.
That change can set customers on fire with excitement about your brand. It can allow your company to scoop up a larger market share, even when you’re up against a fierce competitor. Top talent is more likely to stay with you because they identify more closely with your brand.
In short, a great rebrand can allow your company to experience explosive growth in every sense of the word.
The only problem to solve is ensuring that your rebrand goes off without a hitch. For that, turn to someone who deals with branding and rebranding day in and day out. Someone who understands that branding is an art and a science and dedicates themselves to creating a beautiful brand based in data.
A rebranding agency can do all of these things and more. Flux is a branding agency in Los Angeles that has worked to create brands and launch rebrands that produce results. Get in touch today to get your custom quote and launch your brand into the world with confidence.