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The 5-step rebranding timeline: what to expect when you rebrand.

If your business is looking for ways to grow and meet goals in 2023, a rebrand could be the key to success. Rebranding can bring immense benefits that help drive growth, and many businesses see increased visibility, higher customer retention rates, more credibility, and a greater market share with a successful rebrand. But businesses often put rebranding on the back burner for too long because they don't know where to start with their existing brand, or what to expect from the rebranding process. 

That's where a creative branding studio like Quill Creative comes in! 

When clients come to Quill Creative Studio for a rebranding strategy or even just a refresh of existing brand elements (a partial rebrand), they always get a clear path to success with full transparency about expected investment and project timelines. We never want our clients to feel like they are in the dark about where their brand is headed, which is why we prioritize clear, prompt communication and well-tested processes.

How long will rebranding take?

One of the biggest questions we get when a business comes to us for rebranding is, "How long will this take?" 

Projects will always vary based on the needs of the business, but generally speaking, you can expect the full rebranding process to take three to four months.

Keep in mind that the larger the company, the longer the timeline tends to become. This is because there are usually more people involved and more key decision-makers that checkpoint approvals need to go through.

If you're considering a rebranding project in the near future, it’s important you understand what to expect when you rebrand. Let’s take a look at a typical five-step rebranding timeline and how Quill helps guide organizations through each step and successfully over the finish line.

Step 1: Brand Research & Strategy

When you come to Quill Creative Studio for a rebrand, our first order of business will be getting a good sense of what your vision is for your brand and the scope of the project. Then we produce a proposal with a full timeline, investment, and a list of the deliverables you can expect at the end of the project.

Then comes the fun part! First, you get some homework. Yes, homework! (Don't worry, no times tables or essays required.) To start your rebrand, we want to get to know your business, and we mean really get to know your business. That means we'll give you a couple of weeks to get us fully up to speed on your business's history, mission, customers, competition, and all of the attributes and features. 

You'll also participate in a brand positioning workshop with Quill creative, where we get even more granular, breaking down your business's functional and emotional benefits, getting inside your customer's psyche, and brainstorming how we can collectively bring the essence of your business forward in visual branding. If your business is doing a complete brand overhaul, including a new business name, we'll do another workshop focused entirely on the renaming process.

After collecting all this information, our creative team will hone in on key elements and specific visual inspiration and create a stylescape that reflects your developing brand.

Once we get approval for the direction we're recommending, we'll start working out what paths are optimal for your brand strategy, performing our own research on your customers, competition, and market for your industry.

Finally, we'll present you with a creative brief detailing your new brand strategy and visual identity elements.

Step 2: Planning Collateral

Once the creative brief is approved, we'll start bringing your brand to life! 

Our brand strategists will make sure that your brand covers all the bases needed to meet your goals. We consider each touchpoint or customer experience that needs to be fleshed out and will make a comprehensive list of needed collateral. It’s important to consider all of the touchpoints for showing off your new branding, including things like booklets or brochures, posters, product packaging, social media graphics, email signatures,  and business cards.

Our graphic designers will then design mock-ups of some of these key pieces and marketing collateral to stress test the brand experience and make sure that elements fit into the overall brand identity.

Step 3: The Brand Guide

Your brand guide will be your most important deliverable created after in-depth discovery and careful curation by Quill's brand strategists and designers. Within the pages of a brand guide, you'll find a full breakdown of the fundamentals of your visual brand identity, like fonts, colors, and logo, as well as detailed brand identity rules and assets. Your brand guide contains everything you need to know about your brand strategy and brand identity and how to execute both consistently.

Once we fully brief you on your brand guide and deliver it to all the necessary stakeholders, we can start exporting all the assets you need to your marketing team and any other partners you're working with on collateral outside of Quill's purview.

Step 4: From Mock-Up to Real Deal

Remember those mock-ups we made in Step 2? This is part of the rebranding timeline where we bring them to life! 

You'll get to decide what pieces of collateral you want Quill to produce and what pieces of collateral you'll be outsourcing to other partners. If there's a piece of collateral you need that is outside Quill's expertise (think car wraps, websites, promotional premiums, and digital advertising), we have a wide range of trusted specialized partners we can connect you with to help take your new brand roll out to the finish line.

Step 5: Initial Rollout and Brand Management

You've got your new brand strategy and visual identity. You've got your strong brand guide. You've got your collateral. Now it's time to ramp up and roll out your new brand!

A new brand rollout will have the biggest impact if you and everyone in your organization are fully committed to the brand strategy and you've covered all your bases with branded touchpoints and collateral. Many businesses present their new brand in a press release, customer email, social media posts, website updates, and new building signage. How you communicate your brand is as important as the work that goes into designing it.

But your journey isn't over after you've presented your new brand. In fact, your brand support journey has only just begun! After the initial rollout, we'll conduct a quarterly review with you to see how things are going and in what areas we can help. We'll discuss future branding initiatives and ongoing brand management. 

Consistent brand management can help take pressure off of maxed-out marketing teams and give you confidence that your brand is consistently living up to its mission and promise to your customers. We want to make sure that your business has a branding management plan in place so that there is a clear path to maintaining momentum in the long term.

Quill Creative Studio’s FAQs

When do I pay?

Quill has a simple payment process for all clients, so everyone is on the same page with what to expect with a rebrand. 

Clients pay 50% down after signing off on the initial proposal, 25% after approval of the creative brief, and 25% at the end of the completion of the project when the brand guide and all assets are released.

What's my level of involvement?

The best part about the brand process is that you can be as involved or uninvolved in this process as you want. Some clients like to dive into details, some are more hands-off. We've worked with a variety of businesses, both large and small, and have a wide range of client involvement on our rebranding projects. 

Who will I be working with?

At Quill, we operate under a studio model, which means we're all about creative collaboration and direct communication with those working on your project. When you start a branding project with Quill, you'll get a dedicated project manager and direct access to all the people working on your project, including your art director, graphic designers, and brand strategists.

Ready to rebrand? Let's talk.

Rebranding a business is an essential part of staying competitive and growing to meet goals. It is necessary to regularly assess your brand identity, messaging, brand voice, and visuals to stay ahead of customer needs, industry trends, and consumer preferences.  

If your business strategy is ready for a refresh, connect with the creative team at Quill, and take your brand to the next level this year