It’s that familiar time of year, when the air is crisp and cold, the holidays have come and gone, and you’re inspired to begin anew with a fresh, clean slate and whole host of goals and resolutions. You’re excited, passionate, reenergized. So, you might think now is a good time to travel to Japan, take up CrossFit and organize that crawl space under the stairs. On a larger and slightly more overzealous scale, you might also be thinking that now’s a great time to completely rebrand yourself, your home, your car, your business, your pets… But let’s take a deep breath and rein it in.

Cutting your hair and cutting out gluten are completely different matters than rebranding your company. Hair grows back, but the public perception of your business is something you don’t want to haphazardly mess with. And on a side note, you know you love your pets.

We have one piece of advice — okay lots of pieces of advice — when it comes to your brand and your business: Strategy, strategy, strategy. Did we say strategy? If you’re going to make the significant investment of rebranding your company, you need to do it right. That means not asking your nephew who took a course in Photoshop to redesign your company. It does means engaging expert help, because the more thought and forecasting that goes into your rebrand, the more ROBI you’ll stand to reap in the long run. ROBI stands for ‘Return on Brand Investment.’ No, we didn’t make that term up ourselves, but we wish we did.

Let’s take a step back and discuss what a company rebrand actually entails. While some people think the rebrand process only involves the development of a new logo, that’s only a small component of a much (much) bigger picture. It’s true that your logo is the first visual representation of your business, but a rebrand involves the development of a new, differentiated identity in the minds of customers, investors and competitors. In addition to a new logo, a rebrand can include significant changes to a brand’s name, image, marketing strategy, marketing materials and advertising themes. So, yeah, it’s probably a more involved process that you might’ve guessed.

To make sure you get it right, you need a thorough analysis of your existing brand, as well as your strengths, weaknesses, goals, etcetera, etcetera. Yes, there are lots of things to look at. At g[squared] our first step in this process is a strategy session to dive into client history. We interview clients like detectives solving a mystery, looking for clues and getting perspective into what’s working and what isn’t. From there, we do research. Lots and lots of research.

Some people may not realize the extent of research that goes into the design process itself. Before our designers begin any creative work, they spend hours dissecting industry trends, competitive brands and company history. This is all over and above the research that has already been compiled at the initial strategy session. And it’s all necessary to develop our rationale, and ensure our recommendations offer maximum client benefit. It’s this background work and exhaustive analysis that help us provide the best recommendations and branding strategies for our clients.

Now that you have an idea of the in-depth, strategic process required for a rebrand, you might still be wondering if now is a good time to take the plunge. Here are some commonly asked questions that might help you figure out the answer:

  • Does our current brand represent our culture?
    For this question, you’ll need to take a step back. While you’re likely intimately familiar with your culture and business operations, you might not always be as attuned to how you’re actually perceived by the public. Disconnects between how you conduct business and how you are portrayed can cause confusion with consumers. For example, if you offer very modern services and/or products but have a very out-dated brand, there is an obvious divide that may need some remedying.
  • Does our current brand meet our future goals?
    For this one, you’ll have to dig deep and really think about your current and forecast brand performance. If you’re current brand is performing well, resonates with consumers, allows room for expansion into other products or services and has the capacity to grow with you, you’re golden. However, if your brand doesn’t have the agility to take your company where it wants to go, then that could represent a problem.
  • Do we have the budget to invest in rebranding right now?
    You probably know the answer to this better than anyone. Rebranding does require time and money for successful execution, helping ensure your company stays vital and profitable for years to come. It’s important to be prepared and realistic regarding costs and the investment you’re willing to make for long-term profitability.
  • To what extent will we rebrand? Will we rollout all at once or can we proceed in phases?
    Every client and situation is unique. That’s why a strategic session is necessary to determine if a staged rollout is possible. In most instances, we notice the greatest impact when a new brand is unveiled in one cohesive, jaw-dropping swoop. There are instances where a phased approach may be coordinated. This requires detailed conversations with marketing experts—such as g[squared]—to ensure there is no brand confusion and that everything works within your budget and scope.

With all of this in mind, we invite you to continue your pursuit for personal and professional development in 2016. Continuous improvement is essential for long-term vitality. Join a yoga class, drink more water, treat yourself every once in a while — heck, you deserve it. Just make sure you know what you’re getting into when it comes to company rebranding, and don’t underestimate the work that’s required for actual, sustainable growth.

If you still have questions regarding your company and your brand, give us a call or drop us a line. We’d be glad to help.