Your brand is your company’s most powerful asset.
A strong company brand can influence behaviors, drive action, and create loyalty across your customers and stakeholders. Still, branding is one of the most difficult marketing lifts for a company in the 21st century because of the increasing number of marketing communication channels adopted.
Once you’ve created a brand that evokes the right actions and emotions from your stakeholders, it’s time to launch and implement your new branding. From old email footers to the changing social media handles, any errors in your brand launch will be a red flag and leave a negative first impression on stakeholders -- all of which you’ve worked too hard to let happen.
Launching a rebrand is a time-sensitive, multi-channel process, and you only have one chance to get it right. By the end of this guide, you’ll know everything you need to know to launch a multi-channel rebrand for your company.
Contrary to popular belief, a brand is not the company’s logo, color palette, and tagline.
Rather, a brand is the collectivized emotions, thoughts and perceptions surrounding your brand carrier by your stakeholders.
And while you can’t change how others perceive your existing brand, you can redirect the narrative by providing your stakeholders with a different set of messages, values and feelings.
To change how your brand is perceived, focus on driving the right messages to the right people at the right place -- communicating with your customer, employees, and investors to collectively change what your brand means and how it functions as a part of society.
Rebrands are time consuming, expensive and tricky. Before you decide to rebrand your company, make sure that you’re not opting for the most complicated solution and you exhaust all of your other options.
Whether you’re trying to modernize your brand or your brand is confusing and disjointed, conducting a rebrand is a strategic lift that can repair and boost your company’s marketing function.
Let’s explore six main reasons why companies undergo rebranding campaigns to best understand the type of rebrand needed:
Whatever the driving factors of your rebrand are, it’s worth doing right the first time. You’ll need to put significant resources into creating your new brand identity, and get your leadership’s input and approval continuously throughout the process. Aligning with leadership’s input and feedback will be crucial to creating a brand that’s timeless and effective.
At Kalungi, we’ve executed two different tiers of client rebrands: a brand refresh, and full rebrand. Let’s explore these different marketing efforts, and review some of my personal favorite branding moments.
Brand refreshes, or partial rebrands, require an update to specific elements (which may or may include logo, color palette, iconography, typography and messaging) of a brand. If you’d like to keep the core elements of your brand but optimize specific brand elements, this type of rebrand is the right choice for your company.
Here’s a wonderful example from a Kalungi favorite, Slack:
As you can see, Slack’s rebrand transitioned away from the pound symbol and toward a pinwheel-esque logo while still keeping their fun, colorful aesthetic. By using a simpler color palette (their original logo had 11 colors), they refined the logo’s visual appearance while still representing the original design.
The key takeaway here is that brand refreshes allow you to make tweaks and changes to your organization’s brand, which allows you to adapt to shifting marketplaces and company identities. While Slack’s refresh didn’t include any core brand value, messaging and positioning, or name changes, they cleaned up their logo to simplify future visual communications and improve consistency across communication channels.
A full rebrand, on the other hand, involves updating all aspects of your branding. From your company’s name, messaging and values to visual identity, the before and after of a full rebrand should bear very few similarities.
Full rebranding is the better choice if your organization has undergone a merger or acquisition, you’ve changed your offerings, or you’ve shifted your organization’s values and mission.
Public sector SaaS provider Clariti (formerly known as BasicGov) underwent a rebrand in 2020 that included a new name, color palette, messaging, iconography, and more.
A few major changes were implemented, including name, logo, color pallet and iconography. But most importantly, their value proposition, values, identity and tone changed:
The brand’s former name, logo and visual identity didn’t accurately represent the brand’s future-looking, modernized cloud offering. Clariti needed a modern, fun brand that stood out from their competitors in the government software industry, as well as communicating a main benefit of their solutions -- clarity, or transparency into once-siloed government processes.
Now, the Clariti logo and color palette (along with their brand voice, website and other assets) provide a clear picture of the brand’s values and offerings of an evergreen and transparent solution for digitally transformed governments.
When you’re rebranding your company, it’s important to ensure that the individual elements of your rebrand compose a well-rounded brand story that aligns with your offering, customers and positioning. If your brand’s identity and offerings are disconnected, your customers and prospects will be confused and your hard work won’t deliver the results you want.
When you’re going through the process of a rebrand, your marketing team will be juggling many balls at once. It’s difficult not to drop anything, and doing so can jeopardize your newly-created brand identity.
To combat this, follow our Kalungi rebrand checklist as a basis for your B2B SaaS rebrand, and augment as needed for your own brand’s needs and existing resources.
Here’s a comprehensive list of everything you need to create and develop a well-rounded new brand:
When the day of your brand launch is here, you don’t want to be scrambling. It’s best to prepare fully ahead of time, so that during the day of your launch you can simply publish and make the announcement.
Rushing out email announcements, social media updates and website changes means you have more room for error, and it’s well worth the effort to get it right the first time.
When everything’s ready and it’s time to spread awareness for this new chapter of your company's journey, use these three communication channels for a well-executed launch:
For organizations that wish to be evergreen and relevant, it’s important to assess brand identity and understand when it’s time for an updated or refreshed brand. Although a large project, using your time and resources well the first time will pay off in the long run.
By putting thoughtful attention and effort the right resources into your brand upfront, the results will span beyond a quarter or year. And you’ll be left with -- rather, a strong brand that will generate customer resonance, loyalty and love for years to come. Good luck with your rebrand, and don’t hesitate to reach out to us with questions.