Small Business Resource Center


How to refresh your business’ brand

rebranding strategy

of small businesses who had logos designed in-house or by an acquaintance said next time they’d be more likely to choose a professional designer or firm, either locally or online.


pro tip

Keep your logo simple. Overdesigned logos with too much detail, like multiple colors, complex gradients, and fancy fonts, can detract from the impact of a simple, well-designed logo, and make it more expensive or difficult to reproduce across all channels.

The key to a strong brand is consistency, so undergoing a rebrand is nothing to take lightly. But sometimes, it is necessary – and healthy, in fact! Perhaps your business has changed so much that your existing brand just doesn’t make sense anymore. Or the brand you started with wasn’t very strong and needs more work.

Managing a company rebrand comes with challenges. To help navigate this exciting, but sometimes difficult-to-maneuver process, follow this step-by-step guide.

However, simply having a profile isn’t enough: you also have to earn reviews, and positive reviews at that. Local SEO efforts will only get you so far in getting ahead of your major competitors. Even if you’ve gained numerous online citations, have proximity to city centers, and completely filled out your Google My Business profile with the right business categories and relevant keywords. Positive reviews are the missing piece of the puzzle.

Why rebrand?

There are many reasons a company chooses to rebrand. Leading this process starts with a clear understanding of “the why.” Here are the most common reasons for a rebrand:

  • Ownership change or restructure: This can include buying/selling to a new owner, or gaining/ losing a partner.
  • Reposition: Typically when reposition your brand you are trying to appeal to a different audience or to further promote a particular product or service.
  • Improve reputation: Sometimes companies or products need a makeover after taking a hit to their reputation.
  • Stay relevant and up-to-date: Design trends change over time, and if a logo appears dated, it can affect perceptions of your company, too. Cleaning up/simplifying your logo design can help you stay “current.”

Considerations for the process

Know your vision

From the beginning, think through what your brand represents – its personality, style and voice. Though you may not know all the details, having a clear vision of the endgame will help you make all the small decisions along the way. When you’re stuck, take a step back. Refocus on your vision, and ask yourself if this choice will bring you closer to or further away from that vision.

Inventory your current brand presence

This includes all of the places your existing brand, logo, and identifiable assets live. Your brand is likely in more places than you even realize. To get started, consider the following: email signatures, voicemails, packaging, building signage, marketing collateral, online presence (website, social media, Google/SEO), employee’s language (answering the phone, sales pitches), and more.

Anticipate cost

Rebranding costs money, therefore, budgeting for it is critical. The initial cost of the fees to redesign your logo is the first thing to consider. But then you must also consider the cost for implementing your new logo onto materials:

  • Design fees for changing your website, marketing collateral, advertising, etc.
  • Printing fees for marketing collateral, building signage, etc.
  • Promotional items such as mugs, pens, other giveaways, etc.
  • Trade show tablecloth, banners, etc.
Consider measurement

What you are hoping to get out of the rebrand? For example, do you anticipate being more relevant to women in their 20s? Make sure you identify what you want the outcome to be and then determine how you will judge the success of it. As you’re reviewing new logo concepts, consider gathering feedback from a variety of perspectives. But be careful in who you select – if you don’t go with the option they like, it could put you in an awkward situation, especially if it’s a customer.

Designing your new logo

Who should design your logo?

Your logo is the face of your company. If there is one place to invest – this is it. Hiring a professional designer will elevate your business A professionally designed logo:

  • Establishes a professional, credible appearance
  • Ensures your logo can be reproduced across multiple channels
  • Provides your logo in a variety of file formats to serve a spectrum of needs
Best practices
  • Design it first in black and white. You can add color from there, but designing with 1 color will ensure that it can be used across all mediums.
  • When you add color, don’t add too many. Too many colors can be distracting, not to mention potentially expensive to reproduce on various mediums.
  • Disconnect images from text. This will make your logo more flexible for different uses and ensure text is always legible.
  • Avoid hard-to-read fonts. Err on the side of a professional, sans-serif font that isn’t too thin.
  • Avoid drop shadows. These don’t transfer well across all mediums, can make text hard to read, and can have an unprofessional appearance if not done just right.
  • Avoid clip art. Today, everyone can recognize a generic piece of clip art and it is a clear sign of an unprofessional or generic looking business, so steer away from using it in your logo.
  • Avoid unnecessary extra words. Examples include: Ltd, Inc. LLC (customers don’t care) unless legally required; long strings of words (too much information is hard to read or remember); or mission statements (this is internal language better kept among employees).
Color considerations

Used correctly, colors can be a great tool to position your company in a positive light and reinforce its core values to your customers. On the other hand, the wrong colors can give your customers a first impression you never intended. Be sure to give due thought to the colors you choose. If you like many colors, keep in mind that you can keep your logo to 1-2 colors but then choose 3-5 secondary colors to use in communications.

color consideration

Bringing the logo to life

Once you’ve created your brand, it is critical to bring it to life consistently across all channels. You can do this by developing brand guidelines that easily communicate and remind you and any employees what your brand is all about. This can be as simple as a one-page document, but should include things such as:

  • Mission, vision and values
  • Position/tagline
  • Logo
  • Color palette
  • Brand attributes and examples of your voice used in communications

More On This Topic

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