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Rebrand 101: What to Expect When Rebranding

If your business is aiming to achieve growth and meet its goals, considering a rebrand can be a valuable strategy. Rebranding holds immense potential for driving company growth and offers several advantages. Successful rebranding efforts often lead to increased visibility, improved customer retention rates, enhanced credibility, and a larger market share. However, many businesses tend to delay rebranding because they may feel unsure about where to begin with their existing brand or what to anticipate during the rebranding process.That's where a branding agency like Quill Creative Studio 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.

Continue reading to learn more about what to expect when you rebrand and our 5-step rebranding timeline!

How Long Does a Rebrand Take?

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

Rebrand 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.

5-Step Rebranding Timeline

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 Brand Collateral

Our brand strategists will make sure that your brand covers all the bases needed to meet your business 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 the touchpoints for showing off your new branding, including 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.

Below is an example of a design mock-up previously done for a client. As you can see, these rebrand mock-ups essentially give our clients an idea of the direction we want to go with the rebrand.

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 Brand Mock-Up to Real Deal

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

You'll get to decide what pieces of brand collateral you want Quill to produce and what pieces of brand 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.

For more information on preparing for your rebrand launch, check out these 5 Tips to Launch Your Rebrand Easily and Successfully.

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.

Rebranding Timeline FAQs

When do I pay for my rebrand?

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 in a rebrand?

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

Who will I be working with during the rebrand?

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. Learn more about our creative team and who you may be working with during your rebrand project!

Ready to rebrand? Let's talk.

Rebranding a business is an essential part of staying competitive and growing to meet business 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.