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I Recently Rebranded My Entire Company — Here are 12 Strategies I Learned to Take My Brand to the Next Level Rebrands represent an incredible opportunity for growing brands to ensure their visual identity and overall brand experience accurately reflect their values and positioning.

By Sarah Parks Edited by Micah Zimmerman

Key Takeaways

  • Rebranding represents an incredible opportunity for a company, its team and customers to connect around a shared brand vision.
  • Creating a strong visual identity is crucial for any brand.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

As companies grow, change is inevitable. In many cases, it's these changes that lead to important and defining rebranding decisions. Rebrands represent an incredible opportunity for businesses to appeal to wider audiences, better communicate their brand values and identity, and implement changes that ultimately better position them in their given market segment.

However, it is essential to acknowledge the work, thought and deep consideration that must go into every aspect of a rebrand. After all, the process is time-consuming and requires the substantial allocation of resources, so it's important that the rebrand vision and brand identity align to ensure money is well spent, new customers are reached, and current customers remain loyal to the brand.

Recently, I worked closely with our VP of Marketing to spearhead rebranding efforts at my company, ZenToes, which has grown substantially since we launched in 2015. It was important for us to remain focused throughout the long process, considering at each step how our packaging and branding would reflect and elevate our brand experience and serve as an extension of our mission.

Now that we are ready to unveil our rebrand, I wanted to share key considerations that were helpful throughout the process to help other business leaders considering a rebrand take their companies and branding to the next level.

Related: Does Your Company Need A Rebrand? Here's Why, When and How You Should Do It.

1. Do your research

Whatever research you do, it should support answering this two-part question: What does the competitor set look like, and how do you set yourself apart? Be thorough and diligent in gaining a real understanding of your market segment so that you can ensure your brand is set apart.

2. Reflect your core values

For our rebrand, introspective exercises and a look at aspirational brands helped us validate and evolve our core values. We found, for instance, that it was important that ZenToes embody a sense of joy, which now shows through our colorful approach. Once your core values are clearly defined, it will be easier to come to a consensus on ways to impart and reflect those values through your branding visually.

3. Clearly communicate product purpose and company mission

Never lose sight of the importance of communicating what you do through your branding and copy. Consumers should be able to look at your packaging in a store aisle and clearly know what your product is and how it is useful.

4. Stay true to your brand voice

Approach your brand as if it were a person. It can be helpful to engage in an archetypes exercise to personify your brand so that you can solidify brand behaviors and perceptions. We did this during our recent rebrand and found it vital to stay true to our authentic brand voice and identity throughout the process.

Related: The Strategic Guide to Successful Rebranding

5. Get your team involved

Your team knows your brand best; use them for input on how the rebranding process is shaping up – especially your customer service team, who have a direct line to your customers daily. Establishing a lead for the project can also ensure timely completion.

6. Bring in experts when you get stuck

You will inevitably encounter moments when you feel stuck during the rebranding process. Sometimes, the answer is as simple as just needing a fresh set of ideas and eyes. I've always believed that collaboration is the way to get things done, and bringing in a fresh perspective on some aspects of the brand proves incredibly helpful.

Related: Why Times of Crisis Teach Us to Ask for Help

7. Address what wasn't working

For our recent rebrand project, everything started with attempting to answer the question, 'How can our packaging help us stand out on the shelf as a brand?'. From there, we realized we needed to streamline and modernize our appearance to become what we set out to be – a disruptive foot care brand that infuses joy into all aspects of taking care of your feet – and develop a brand block at the shelf that captures the shopper's attention at a glance. It's important to clarify what needs to change from the outset of any rebranding project to stay on track.

8. Keep the project organized

Working through crucial problems and addressing the brand in steps was critical in ensuring the success of the business and the rebrand. Consider leveraging an organizational tool like Asana to help stay on top of timelines and ensure nothing falls through the cracks.

Related: 10 Simple Productivity Tips for Organizing Your Work Life

9. Validate as you go

Polling was integral to understanding that our work – namely, the updated visual identity of the brand – was headed in the right direction and gave us the confidence to bring the rebrand to the shelf at retail. Throughout the process, we submitted the new packaging for awards to measure results, ultimately winning the GD USA Packaging Award.

10. Address the rebrand to your current customers

Communication must be a top priority to maintain brand loyalty and avoid customer confusion. In gearing up to roll our rebrand out in stores, we established clear messaging and communications to support the packaging transition for each of our listings, informed our retail partners months in advance, and leveraged the digital shop refresh as a moment to celebrate our brand purpose on social media.

11. Know that it's lots of work with unforeseen cost

Rebranding projects take time and often involve unforeseen challenges and costs. One high involvement and potentially costly hurdle we had to work through at ZenToes was product transition timelines at retail. It was a real operational foxtrot — no two products transitioned at the same time for us, and to keep repack costs down, we flowed through updates across the portfolio. Another high-touch moment involves updating all digital assets — from product photography to graphics, email signatures, and social favicons. There are lots of assets to touch and update. Keep track of priorities, but also be prepared for the unexpected.

12. Have fun!

Seriously, rebranding projects can and should be fun! The entire process, though at times exhausting, is incredibly rewarding. From winning awards to getting your team and customers excited about it, creative work should be exciting and celebrated. Submit for awards to recognize key players' work, get your community involved and excited, and reward your team along the way.

Ultimately, rebranding represents an incredible opportunity for a company, its team and customers to connect around a shared brand vision. Establishing a strong visual identity that aligns with the business's core values, clearly communicates its unique selling propositions and speaks to consumers can be a game changer for any brand. Be mindful throughout the process and take the time to do due diligence. Done right, the result will transform your trajectory and take your brand to the next level.

Sarah Parks

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

Founder and CEO of ZenToes

Sarah Parks is the founder and CEO of ZenToes, a podiatrist-recommended foot care brand offering fun and functional products for effective, fast and holistic relief for common foot and ankle conditions.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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