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When to Rebrand

Know when to rebrand your small business

Determining when to rebrand your business is a lot like deciding when to remodel your house—it’s expensive, time-consuming, and never as straightforward as you think. In each scenario, it’s not an easy choice to make, but it may be vital to the success of your business (or home.)

The effectiveness of your branding has a clear result on your business’ success. The representation of your values, the way you make people feel, and what sets you apart from the crowd is a strategic part of your business plan (or it should be). But, knowing when the time is right to undergo a rebrand and whether you need a complete renovation or smaller, strategic updates can muddy the decision-making process.

Here, we discuss some signs and factors to consider when deciding to (or not to) rebrand.

Signs it’s Time to Rebrand

Evaluating the need for rebranding before you start should always be your first step. Knowing your reasoning for the rebrand (yes, there are good and bad reasons to rebrand), your short- and long-term goals, and engaging your customers, employees, and other stakeholders are critical to a successful rebrand.

Market Changes

At some point, most business owners will have to navigate a change or disruption in the market. During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Uber rebranded its food delivery service into Uber Eats to address the needs of those in quarantine.

Business evolution

As companies mature and evolve, it’s not uncommon to outgrow your original branding. If your products have been upgraded or your target audience has changed, rebranding may be the best way to engage your ideal audience.

Perception and identity

The whole point behind your brand is to manage the perception of your business and products/services. In 2019 Dunkin’ Donuts dropped ‘Donuts’ from their name, becoming Dunkin’—this removed the negative perception of the unhealthy treat and allowed the company to focus on their growing coffee and drink sales.

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Pros and Cons of Rebranding

A well-executed rebranding initiative can produce significant returns for businesses. However, there are also some drawbacks, especially if the rebranding rollout isn’t carefully implemented. Let’s look at the numbers:


  • Improve your brand identity
    Consistent brand presentation increases revenue by 33%. And 60% of consumers report avoiding brands with unappealing logo designs.
  • Set you apart from your competition
    88% of consumers say authenticity is important when deciding what brands they like and support.
  • Connect emotionally with prospective customers
    78% of customers perceive a relationship between themselves and a company that connects with them through custom content.
  • Increase perceived value
    46% of US consumers would pay a higher price for products from a brand they trust.
  • Boost credibility and trust
    83% of customers say they must trust a brand to purchase from them. 
  • Highlight mission and values
    Nearly 90% of consumers would switch to brands that share their values.


  • Customer/revenue loss
    89% of shoppers stay loyal to brands that share their values. 
  • Confusion
    71% of consumers prefer to buy products or services from brands they know and recognize.
  • Cost
    Companies spend an average of 5-10% of their annual marketing budget on rebranding.
  • Time
    The process for a full rebrand can take 12 to 18 months.
  • Negative perception
    26% of people say they’re less likely to buy from a brand that has recently changed its name.
  • Loss of brand equity
    82% of investors say name recognition is an important factor guiding them in their investment decisions.

Rebranding done well can solidify your brand’s identity and place in the market and minds of consumers. Still, it’s important to remember that the process is not without risk. Taking the time to evaluate whether or not it’s needed should be considered before starting the process.

Considerations when Rebranding

After you’ve seen the signs and established the need for rebranding, there are more considerations before you jump into the rebranding process. These steps are essential when preparing for a rebrand and ensuring clear communications and expectations once the rebranding ball gets rolling.

Define objectives

Simply put, brand objectives are the goals for a project—in this case, your rebrand. By defining specific and measurable rebranding objectives upfront, you can better ensure your decisions throughout the process align with the ultimate goals of your new brand identity.

Budget Planning

Your brand is an investment in your business, but so is budgeting. And the best way to avoid a blown budget is to plan. Pricing for rebranding varies depending on your specific goals, so (after defining your objectives) you’ll want to look at costs for all the rebranding pieces that will apply to your rebrand. 

When estimating a budget for your rebrand, consider items such as: 

  • Research
  • Deliverables
  • Cost and number of revisions
  • Industry/niche
  • Company size
  • Company stage

Stakeholder Involvement

Nothing derails a rebranding schedule faster than a key stakeholder saying, “I don’t like it” halfway through the process. Board members, leaders, employees, investors, clients, and customers are all potential stakeholders. Identify who the vital stakeholders are early, engaging them through open communication, welcoming input, and involving them in the need for and direction of the rebrand. This reduces the risk of disengagement and potential reluctance towards change.

Legal and Logistical Aspects

No matter the size of your organization, rebranding comes with several legal and logistical implications. From asset management and organizational structure to licensing and compliance rules and regulations, we recommend involving your legal team throughout the process.

Alternatives to Rebranding

A total rebrand isn’t the right solution for every situation. There are plenty of scenarios where alternate strategies can achieve similar outcomes without the risks associated with a full brand overhaul.

  • Brand refresh
    Stay relevant and competitive through minor brand improvements.
  • Repositioning
    Shift your target audience, emphasize different benefits of products/services. 
  • Messaging adjustments
    Develop messaging to better communicate and connect with your target audience.
  • Product/service enhancements
    Meet changing market demands without a full rebrand.
  • Fresh marketing campaigns
    Get more eyes on your content with a strategic marketing plan.
A man wearing glasses and a polka dot shirt, sitting in front of a lap top, considering when to rebrand his business.


When done at the right time for the right reasons, rebranding has the potential to make a huge impact on all aspects of your business. Understanding the pros and cons, considering all factors, and the alternatives to rebranding are a great start if you’re asking yourself when to rebrand.

A Rebranding Rollout Checklist Built for You

Keeping track of everything that needs to be updated during a rebrand can be overwhelming. So, we put together a practical guide for a successful rollout with an easy-to-follow checklist to help you cover all the bases when launching your new brand.

Don’t worry, there’s more!

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