The Business of Brand: How Much Is a Rebrand?
Root Canal or Rebrand? Tough Choice.
You’re thinking about rebranding your company, but the thought of it is about as comforting as a root canal. It’s going to take a lot of time, energy, and money and it will mean redoing most, if not all, of your current branding and marketing materials.
You’ve got lots of questions but I’m guessing at the top of the list is, “How much is a rebrand?”And right behind it, “Will I see an ROI?” Reasonable questions and I’m here to help answer them.
If you want to jump right into it, check out our FREE Rebrand Calculator to give you a good idea of the costs involved in rebranding your company.
What’s the ROI?
Let’s start with ROI. Yes, rebranding your company involves some heavy lifting of both time and cash, but it will also yield a huge return if done right. If you work with a good branding agency who understands what it takes to build what we call a Spotted Zebra™ Brand, your rebrand can and should:
- Attract the right customers
- Ward off the wrong customers
- Create brand loyalty
- Create brand advocates
- Attract top talent
Pretty good returns, don’t you think? Fair warning though, if you decide to take the cheap route and hire your cousin’s brother who is a graphic designer — or worse yet — hire an agency who doesn’t know what they’re doing, all bets are off. You could spend a truckload of cash and be right back in the place you started.
On the bright side, assuming you’re working with the right agency, your rebrand has the potential to catapult your business like no other investment you could make. There are countless examples of rebrands that prove my point. Let’s take a look at one that we can all relate to.
Target: From Bottom of the Barrel to Top of the Chain
In the 1990s, Target was just one of many discount retailers selling average products for a low price. After years of trying to compete on price alone and losing to retailers like Walmart and K-Mart, Target embarked on a bold new rebranding effort.
The challenger brand positioned itself as a high-style brand with low prices, attracting shoppers who would normally avoid discount retailers. Target did it by employing clever and highly creative marketing campaigns and partnerships with high-profile fashion and houseware designers. Target stores were designed to be more spacious and cleaner with an attractive presentation of merchandise, contemporary graphics, and signage often printed on inexpensive materials. Some stores, particularly those in the vicinity of airports, had a bullseye painted on the roof that could be seen from above.
The perceived appeal of these upscale items at low prices resulted in the retailer being jokingly referred to with a mock French accent as “Tar-zhay”. Today, Target is worth an estimated $64.948 billion (not bad!), which makes it second only to Wal-Mart, in terms of sheer size.
How Much Is a Rebrand?
Okay, now that we know the potential ROI is phenomenal, let’s go back to your first question, “How much does a rebrand cost?” The honest answer — it depends.
Not trying to be coy, but there is a myriad of things involved in the rebranding process. Every project is different depending on the goals, scope, and complexity of the branding objectives. However, the core elements of any rebranding project are the same.
As you are likely aware, a rebrand is not just redoing your marketing materials or redesigning your website. A true rebrand is an all-encompassing, deep-dive effort that will touch every aspect of your business.
Your rebrand should involve most, if not all, of the following:
- Brand Research and Discovery
- Typically, the research and discovery phase involves workshops and other exercises that your agency will facilitate in order to get to the essence of your brand. There are many other research tools that can also be utilized to inform the branding process.
- Brand Platform Guide
- A Brand Platform Guide is a deliverable from the discovery phase that provides a blueprint from which the brand is built. It includes essential components that make up your brand’s DNA and will drive all creative design and messaging efforts.
- Brand Persona Development
- Brand personas are semi-fictional representations of your ideal customers or targets that outline their motivations, personality traits, and values. Having clear pictures of your target audiences is critical to brand success.
- Brand Voice Architecture and Messaging
- The way your brand sounds is just as important as the way it looks. The goal is to create a brand voice and messaging that is likable and engaging to attract your brand personas.
- Brand Style Architecture and Prototypes
- This process involves developing the visual architecture for your brand. This process typically involves mood boards, color palette determinations, typography solutions, photography style suggestions, patterns, and textures, as well as any other style determinations necessary to build out the brand style.
- Marketing and Communications Collateral
- Every brand has touchpoints with its customers, employees, and various other stakeholders. Your rebrand should ensure that all of these external and internal touchpoints are considered. Examples would include various marketing collateral, presentation materials, employee communications, etc.
- Your website is the most important branding touchpoint in today’s digital world. It’s the place where customers make the decision to learn more about you and often is your first (and could be the only) chance to connect with them.
- Photography guidelines and usage are a part of any good rebrand. The story you tell through photography must be intentional and connect emotionally with your audience.
- If video isn’t part of your branding and marketing mix, it’s high time you start. Telling your brand story through video is one of the most powerful ways to connect with your audience as more and more users are seeing videos on every platform.
- Brand Rollout Materials
- This involves strategizing together on how to best roll out the new brand to all of your stakeholders. There are two phases to a rebrand launch: first, an internal phase to get buy-in and then an external phase to let the world know.
- Other areas that may be part of your rebrand could be trade show displays, vehicles, office environment, packaging, naming, etc.
As you can see, there is an extensive list of areas that you’ll need to consider when going through your rebrand. As far as the cost, on the low end, you should expect to spend $100,000–$150,000. On the high end, large companies will spend millions on their rebrand. Assuming you’re not a Fortune 500 company, your budget should likely fall in the $100,000-$300,000 range.
A lot of money? Absolutely. But the returns will far outweigh the cost.
Eric Groves is the Founder and Creative Director of Flying Hippo Brand + Digital. Should you decide it’s time to take your brand to another level, please reach out for a free consultation.