Rebranding types & their rough costs

Rebranding types & their rough costs

If you’re about to start a rebrand project, it’s important to know what to expect in terms of duration and costs. This article aims to give you a rough estimate.

How much does it cost to rebrand?

Before you get started with your project, ask yourself why you want to rebrand. If you still believe it’s the right time for your company; make sure you read our rebranding good-to-knows to help you get started.

Key cost considerations of rebranding

Money. It’s often quite a sensitive topic, especially if you need to convince key stakeholders to make a certain kind of investment – in a rebrand, for instance. These sorts of investments differ a lot depending on company size and complexity, making the scale of a rebrand tough (but far from impossible) to predict. However, knowing roughly what type of rebrand you’d need to start will get you a long way. To determine the scale and direction, you must first understand the dimensions of your brand, start by sharpening your pen and answer these questions:

  • Amount of sub-brands (if any)?
  • Amount of employees?
  • Amount of customers?
  • Regional or international?
  • Competitiveness of your industry?
  • Top business goals?
  • When to achieve these goals?
  • Problem you’re trying to solve?
  • What’s a successful outcome?
  • Budget for this project?
  • Timeline for implementation?
  • Project completion deadline?

By outlining these bullet points, you’ll be able to determine what kind of rebranding approach suits your organization best. It doesn’t necessarily (even though it’s often the case) mean that a small company has small needs, and a big one has bigger needs – it all drills down to the number of touchpoints, materials, and ambitions of a brand.

Brand consistency across the board

If you want to differentiate yourself from your industry’s competition, a good way to start is to make sure your touchpoints are all on-brand. Also, confirm that the brand identity is clearly defined. Some organizations have already materialized their brand in many different places (knowingly or not), which could make the process bigger – but also makes the impact of the final product much stronger.

When you first drill down to the costs of a rebrand, it’s important to understand not only the challenges (how much material, in how many places, and to what extent do they need to be adjusted), but also the opportunities (what can be achieved by the change, and how do we get there in the best possible way).

3 rebranding types

We’ve seen a range of rebrand projects managed within our software and used that knowledge to define three specific types of rebranding, with varying intensity and complexity. The different types are based on rough estimations and do not include the costs of in-house employee salaries.

As you go through the rebranding process of outlining what needs to change, you’ll probably have a good idea of which type of rebranding fits your company best. This does, however, not mean that there’s a perfect rebranding type for every case. You might settle between two of the following, or even slightly above or below the edges. Regardless, see this as a good north star to begin with, as you plan your project.

Learn about rebranding strategy.

1. Brand Refresh

Roughly $30,000–$50,000, over a period of 3–4 months

This is the most basic type of rebranding. It’s also the one most people identify with the word “rebranding.” The Brand Refresh is perfect for businesses with somewhat straightforward needs and includes the following:

  • Brand Discovery (Who are we really?)
  • Brand Identity (What are we communicating?)
  • Corporate Stationery (What material do we have?)
  • Website (How does the website look like?)
  • Copywriting (What’s the style and tone of text?)
  • Photography & Illustrations (What do we look like?)

The nuts & bolts

The Discovery, Stationary, and Identity are actually somewhat similar in pricing for any size brand doing a refresh. What might be a key differentiator is the magnitude and complexity of your website and/or app. Is it a super-smart lead-gen platform with 200 integrations and forms, or is it more like an online flyer? Are there numerous new elements like case studies, blogs, and campaign landing pages? Are you using some kind of e-commerce functionality? A great website that looks and feels good to use is the core of your brand refresh – by answering these questions, you’ll be able to crystallize the scope of time and budget for the overall initiative.

Another big piece, which is the extension of the core (discovery, stationary, identity), are the illustrations, photography, and copywriting. This is where it’s important to be your true self, making sure the elements are really in line with your brand core. For some brands, these elements might have different levels of importance – some software, for example, might not use photography in the same extent, and for other brands, added flair in copywriting might not be relevant at all. That’s where you can cut time and costs.

2. Brand Reboot

Roughly $60,000–$80,000, over a period of 5–6 months.

Another type of rebranding, often for somewhat more developed companies with additional complexity, is the Brand Reboot. A fast-growing company might quickly outgrow their initial brand identity due to the increase in new coworkers, and vision of the company. This type is a great way of changing up your brand to stay top of mind in an ever-changing industry. It’s a rebrand project for the company who might have a few years on its neck but never really updated the brand profile or strategy, and includes the following:

  • Website
  • Copywriting
  • Photography
  • Marketing Material
  • Audience Research
  • Brand Audit
  • Brand Identity
  • Corporate Stationery
  • Brand Strategy
  • Naming & Tagline

The biggest differentiator between a Brand Refresh and a Brand Reboot is the fact that a Reboot includes a lot more research and strategic thinking. Some challenges that can be solved with a proper brand reboot is if you’re:

  • Having problems differentiating your company or expressing your USPs.
  • Feeling the tear of brand inconsistencies.

Research & strategy

First, you’d have to conduct some internal research, to make sure you understand how the brand is perceived by your coworkers. This can be done with one-on-one interviews or a smaller group of people in a workshop, allowing them to have their voices heard. Remember: this is supposed to be the voice of the company – not just a select few from the executive team.

Apart from this, a reboot also includes more detailed customer research, to better understand how your brand is perceived externally. The price of such customer research is down to some different factors:

  • How many customers do you have?
  • What amount of unique customer segments do you have?
  • Will you do one-on-one interviews with people, or quantitative surveys?
  • How many buyer personas must be developed to get the full picture?

Important is not only user research but also a brand audit, including both internal and competition audits. This should give you answers to some of these questions:

  • How does your brand fit and compare to your competitors?
  • What do your competitors do well or poorly?
  • What is your brand currently doing great, and not so well?

If you’re already aligned, and are winning across the board with all of these things, it’s essential that you identify and define those points in order to preserve those components for the new brand iteration.

When it comes to the strategic side of this rebranding type, look at the impact it has on psychological matters (what feelings do you transmit, what is your brand personality?). Things like keywording, personality, your USPs, and brand promise are vital to understanding here. When you aim big with your brand, in the sense of growth and market expansions, the psychological aspects of your brand are essential for building a future roadmap built for brand success. This means you need to understand how you wish to be perceived, and formulate your strategy to meet your ambitions.

What about the name?

One thing that varies a lot in a reboot, depending on the brand’s status, is whether or not there’ll be a renaming. You have to ask yourself if the current name feels old:

  • Did you outgrow it?
  • Is it functional in every market, as you’re growing?
  • Did you have any recent mishaps, leading to bad associations with the name you’re currently using?

Sometimes, you have no choice (business-wise) than to rename it. But it can also be the other way around. If you’ve built a strong trust with your current name, it’s a good idea to keep it. Should you choose to change it, consider your brand identity, who you are, and factor in the competitive landscape. Then sit in brainstorming groups and create suggestions that the whole company can be part of, deciding on a final with a core team defined at a later stage.

3. Brand Overhaul

Roughly $100,000–$250,000, over a period of 8–10 months.

The largest of the rebranding types, in both complexity and cost, is the Brand Overhaul, best suited for global companies with multifaceted challenges. This often means organizations with enterprise status and worldwide markets. As a result, rebrandings in the Overhaul sense can be very complicated, due to the extent of the organization, and the obvious complication of elements like signage and print in different regions. You will often see a brand overhaul include this:

  • Brand Research (Internally)
  • Audience Research
  • Brand Audit
  • Brand Strategy
  • Brand Architecture
  • Naming & Tagline
  • Brand Identity
  • Corporate Stationery
  • Website
  • Copywriting
  • Photography & Video
  • Marketing Material
  • Brand Guidelines
  • Brand Rollout

When it comes to a rebranding of this magnitude, you need to do a lot of research. That means serious in-depth audience research spanning your entire clientele. But also, a vast amount of detailed brand research internally through qualitative sit-down interviews, and big questionnaire-type quantitative ones.

Involvement = insights

Let’s start with qualitative research. It entails internal interviewing, in order to better understand what employees think your brand is. You’d have to get all aspects in, meaning sales, customer support, management, marketing – the full picture. This is not only time-consuming, but it’s also very rewarding. It’ll give you real hands-on information with great insights and new perspectives.

The quantitative part of this process includes surveys for collecting a wide range of data from as many people as you can within the company. This also allows for higher rates of honesty, if you allow the participants to stay anonymous.

Brand architecture

Apart from the research part, the magnitude of a brand overhaul is largely dependent on your current brand architecture – the integrated system of symbols, names, colors, and visual vocabulary of your brand offerings. When we’re talking this size rebranding, it often includes various sub-brands.

  • Do you have sub-brands? If yes, how many?
  • Do you have a monolithic architecture, with one parent brand, and the sub-brands hierarchically beneath – or is it rather specific stand-alone brands, living their own life?

Depending on the size of your brand architecture, you’ll see the effect in the scope of the brand identity. The brand identity is not just colors and logos – it’s the positioning and visual representation of the work you’ve done earlier on, in the strategy part, embodying your brand’s very soul.

Every single touchpoint

When it comes to marketing and design touchpoints, the quantity heavily affects the price if the rebranding. You have to ask yourself the following:

  • How widely do we market our brand currently?
  • Do we have physical products (in case you do, the packaging is a big piece)?
  • Do you get most of the clients through trade-shows (if yes, think about booths, flyers, and catalogs)?
  • Are you rather online? More than just a website, you might need a whole bunch of whitepapers, how-tos, case studies, and similar.

Lastly, it’s vital that the human aspect of your rebranding is part of this project. Invest in teaching your coworkers what your brand is. Even though it’s heavily based on them, the mix of your company culture can still feel new to people. By giving them guidelines on how to act, use material and websites, you’ll prevent mishaps – increasing your brand’s consistency also with human value. Allow them to easily access core messaging, such as vision, mission, and values. In the end, a brand is only powerful and effective when everyone’s aligned – internally and eternally. All of that includes investments of both money and time.

It all adds up

When it comes to reiterating your brand, you’ll never see the same case twice. Every brand is different. To make sure it’s a smooth process, it needs to be customized to your specific needs, challenges, and opportunities. Never do it quick and dirty. Take your time and make the rebranding a milestone of development that brings value to your organization. Oh, and before you discard something, look at it, and really ask yourself if you can do the process without it. If you’ve done your research, all the finalized material of a well-organized rebrand will reward your organization immensely.

If you’d like to see how we approached the topic, and successfully rebranded our touchpoints – have a look at how we rebooted the brand for brands.

Oskar Duberg
Oskar Duberg
Senior Brand Content Specialist