How long does a rebrand take?
One of the biggest questions we get asked is “How long will a rebrand take?”
First of all, it’s important to remember that, if done properly, a rebrand should last the test of time and be an investment into a business vision you’re aiming toward. With that said, the answer, as it so often is in the world of business, is “it depends”.
The reason that there is no definitive answer is because every company is so different. If you’re a start-up creating a new brand from scratch and with a team of 5 staff, you’ll be able to make quick decisions and move forward at pace. This is a luxury not all multi-billion-dollar global corporations have; instead they get tied up with sign-off from multiple stakeholder groups. There might be a global research requirement which can take months in itself.
So, what are some of the key factors which have an impact on how long things take?
- Too many cooks. We often find with multi-national companies that there is a ‘design by committee’ attitude where every decision has to be signed off by tens of stakeholders. It’s vital to have C-suite and cross-departmental input in brand projects but a convoluted decision-making structure means it’s going to take longer to get anything approved and drag out timelines.
- The solution: Choose a dedicated team of people who will have the final sign off and own the day-to-day project business. Ensure everyone is clear on what is required of them and when. Assign one person as the project owner to lead and act as internal brand promoter. Set a process and stick to it.
- No purpose. Without a clear brand purpose aligning your stakeholder team and steering everyone in the same direction, decisions are harder. It can really hold things up as they’re all designing a brand with totally different end games.
- The solution: Spend time shoring up the company’s purpose and vision as part of the brand project and you’ll speed up decisions later down the line. Ensure that everyone is aligned on a clear business vision – and that means everyone.
- Subjective judgements. Similarly to the purpose, if there are no objective judgement criteria for the project then you’re going to get bogged down with opinions at every stage. It’s hard for most people to judge creative as it’s not part of their day job so they need a framework to help guide them.
- The solution: Set clear judgement criteria and objectives from which everyone can judge the brand work. From positioning and visual identity, to tone of voice and website design; you need to give people a frame of reference to aid quick and confident decision-making.
- Rushing the brief. Once it’s agreed that a rebrand is required, the brief is often then needed yesterday. This means that it doesn’t get the scrutiny it deserves and people only consider the challenges of today. This means people aren’t thinking ahead to new audiences, new channels or new products – normally until the brand is ready to sign off. This results in further concept work at a later stage which will slow the process and increase budgets.
- The solution: Take time with your brief. Look ahead and consider where your business wants to be in the next 5 years. Include those ideas in the brief to the agency; even if it’s not set in stone or well-articulated, they will be able to consider it in their development work. Trust us, it’ll save headaches later on.
These are just some of the key points we have found to slow down the brand process. The best piece of advice we have is to give it due consideration; only enter into the project when the business is prepared or able to dedicate time and resource to it.
If you can do that, and always be thinking about the bigger picture, you’ll create something that will last for decades to come.