Imarc

Leaving an old brand behind

Christian Keyes, Senior Art Director
Posted on Aug 4, 2021

Your new brand is just around the corner, which means it’s time to consider how you will roll it out and leave your old brand behind.

One of the hardest parts of updating your brand can be leaving your former brand behind, especially when there are a lot of materials to update or habits to unlearn. Here are three ways to help your new brand launch go smoothly as you leave your old brand behind.

Keep your team in the loop

Companies have a tendency to overlook the impact their brand has, not just on their customers and audience, but on their own internal staff. Your internal designers and marketers will be among the first to see your new brand. If they weren’t consulted during the branding process, they are likely to have strong reactions, opinions, or even fears about a new brand. Involving internal teams early will make the launch of a new brand smoother with the true audience it was created for. Along with the brand guidelines, keep a record of how decisions were made – this can help your team understand the strategic journey.

One fun suggestion for getting your internal team involved is to challenge them to recreate a document, inspirational poster, or social post using the new brand ethos and guides. Not only is this a low-risk and energizing activity, but it goes a long way in identifying any concerns or “gotchas” before the official launch. 

Don’t rush the reveal

When it comes to the public reveal of your brand, a sudden, grand reveal works best for young companies or those seeking a radical transformation. If a company offers a well-known service or product that is already trusted by existing customers, it’s best to space out the introduction of the new brand. We strongly encourage this approach, especially if your new brand is changing so much that an existing customer might not recognize it.

One of our clients created a private microsite for their new brand so that employees and partners could see the brand before it went public. Staff members were able to preview the new colors, logo, and high-level marketing materials in addition to some stats and relevant reading about the rebranding process.

Keep your new brand tidy

As your new brand is just about finished, it’s time to mark off-brand elements as “retired” and offer strong replacements and suggestions. Having direct correlations between old and existing documents will help people draw visual comparisons and more easily apply the new brand.

Don’t be afraid to treat your new brand as a flexible and evolving entity. Push it to the limit, put it through the paces, but don’t obsess over the small details. Leave room for ideation and growth as feedback comes in, and avoid making hard and fast knee-jerk decisions in the early stages.

Lastly, make sure you stay on top of housekeeping. There is nothing worse than maintaining two different systems during a transition. As the industry pivots to the idea of design systems, now is a great time to consider how you’re handling key assets and the building blocks of your sites and materials.

Enjoy your new brand

Congratulations on your new brand! It’s unique and allows the personality of your company to shine through. With appropriate cadence and messaging, your audience will soon forget the old brand and will appreciate the thoughtful new experience you’ve created for them. 

Is your brand feeling a little outdated? Our team loves branding projects! We’ve recently developed new brand identities for Eastern Petroleum, North Shore REALTORS®, SIMCON Solutions, and many more. We’d be happy to work with you on your new brand. Let's talk!

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