5 Steps to a Successful [Re]branding Process

Written by Nikki Mihalik

Hello again, entrepreneurs! If you’re just joining us, I recommend you quickly catch up on Part I and Part II of this series. Ok…done? Let’s talk about HOW to rebrand! Here are 5 basic steps to take when preparing for the process:

1. Collect inspiration, then curate it. Before you brand (or rebrand), it’s important to define a style that speaks to you, your product, and your market. Start by creating a Pinterest board or scrapbook; collect everything from fabric swatches and interior design inspo to photos of floral bouquets and typographic prints. The more, the merrier.

Hint :: If you want a truly authentic brand, go for a walk, visit your favorite place, or browse an antique shop. Avoid your computer for as long as possible. Why? The most unique ideas come from real experiences. 

As you progress, revisit your idea board/book and remove items that no longer excite you. Continue paring down until you have a cohesive collection.

2. Write down a detailed list of your design needs. In addition to the obvious necessities like logo and business card, think about stationery, promotional goods, packaging, social media, and on-going marketing—basically, anything design-related that you can’t do yourself. If you need a new website or blog, consider the platform (WordPress, SquareSpace, etc.), number of pages, layout, functionality, usability, security, and maintenance.

Your list should also include exclusive ownership of your logo (and perhaps other design elements). The last thing you want to do is PAY to be confused with another business!

3. Find your perfect [designer] match. Finding a good designer is about finding the best fit for YOU. If you’re having a hard time, try browsing Pinterest or simply asking around. Many blogs and websites will give credit to the designer or studio in the footer, so scroll down and look for links (or ask owners directly).

Once you’ve found some potentials, check out portfolios. Ask yourself, Does this designer have the style and expertise to bring my brand to life? Would I enjoy communicating with this person for weeks on end? If yes, inquire about pricing, turnaround, copyright, revisions, on-going availability, and even samples of print work. Don’t be afraid to ask questions!

4. Set your [ideal] launch date. Explore project timelines with potential designers to figure out an ideal yet realistic launch date. Keep in mind that the more organized and decisive you are, the faster the process will be. Leave plenty of time for printing and all the final details.

5. Book a designer. Small studios and designers tend to get booked several months out, so plan ahead! Reach out early and get on someone’s schedule. Design can cost extra if you have a rushed turnaround, so be smart and save your money for the fun stuff. 

I know the creative process can be exhausting, but branding has a BIG job to do! Get the most out of your investment by doing the research, asking the right questions, and understanding what makes your business unique.

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