Creating a new brand is an exciting milestone in the life of a company. The rebranding process itself is challenging and rewarding, but it is just the beginning of an evolution.

The rebranding process itself is challenging and rewarding, but it is just the beginning of an evolution.

A company’s name and logo lives on countless platforms, from its business cards to its vehicle fleet. For an existing company, it is almost always unrealistic to “flip the switch” on a new brand and change everything simultaneously. Yet, it’s important to roll out the branding within a reasonable timeframe to avoid confusing the target audience by using multiple versions of the brand in the marketplace.

So, showing the shiny, new brand to the world requires careful planning, implementation and additional expense. With a prioritized checklist and budget as a guide, a company can implement its new look in a manageable way, while still making a splash. Use this checklist as a guide to consider how to tackle the conversion.

Announcement

Start with client communication. Tell existing customers the reason that the company rebranded and what the new brand represents. Loyal customers deserve to be the first to know, so the different look does not confuse or concern them. They want to know that it’s still the company and service they trust.

Direct Traffic Solutions is a Graphic D-Signs client that unveiled its new brand earlier this month, in sync with the launch of a new website. This blog post, also emailed to Direct Traffic Solutions’ customers and partners, introduces the fresh start.

In addition to the company blog, spread the word via email (don’t forget to update the logo in the email template, if the company has one), and even consider a standard mailing if it’s a good way to reach relevant folks.

A news release is another consideration, if the new brand is announced in conjunction with something newsworthy that’s of public interest, such as celebrating an anniversary, moving into a new office, sponsoring a community event or fundraiser, partnering with another business, expanding services, or adding positions on staff.

Business Cards and Stationery

This is a no-brainer. If handing a business card to a lead is a common first interaction for a company, it must be redesigned with the new brand immediately. Make it count—get creative with use of the logo and brand colors, and think differently. Two-sided cards, rounded corners, unique paper stocks and spot UV printing are some ideas for making business cards beautiful.

It’s simple and relatively inexpensive to implement new branding on letterhead and business forms. Since this stationery is a regular, frequent part of customer interactions, put this item high on the list for the new brand’s rollout.

Signage

Though it’s costly, for a retail operation, it’s important for signage to match the brand. Resist the urge to modify the logo’s proportions to fit the available space. Instead, modify the sign accordingly to accommodate the logo, and use the space as effectively as possible. Remember, it’s less important to prominently display a website URL and phone number on signs when the customer is already on site.

Vehicles

Company vehicles are like moving billboards. Take advantage of this unique, yet cost-efficient way to expose a brand to a large number of people. When designed properly, vehicle wraps are highly effective. Ensure that the design stands out with the logo displayed clearly, so that it will not be forgotten.

Ideally, when budget allows, a company can make the biggest impact by rolling out rebranded vehicles all at once. This can be cost- and time-prohibitive for a company with a large fleet. Two ways to tackle updating vehicle wraps are to implement the new brand on new vehicles, or to strip off old lettering and replace it with a redesigned wrap.

Uniforms

Since employees are a company’s brand ambassadors, putting the new brand on their uniforms should be a top priority. Ensure that they are dressed neatly and professionally. Brand colors must be integrated into the design, and avoid adding details like the phone number and website address—just the logo will do.

Website

Replace the logo on the company website as soon as the new brand is Website design for this Nashville-based HVAC company.introduced. Full brand integration should follow soon after, with a website redesign that implements colors, icons and typography that coordinate with the new logo. The new website should relay the company’s brand promise, making the brand shine. Treat the website like the virtual front door most prospective customers enter the first time they interact with the brand.

Social Media

Ensure that the new logo is plugged into social media graphics when the brand launches, because social media networks will be an obvious place to announce the change. Remember to update the company’s presence on all of these channels, and consider starting an account with the new brand if one doesn’t already exist and it’s a relevant place for the company to communicate. Social channels include, but are not limited to:

Collateral

Finally, print collateral, such as brochures and sell sheets, need the new branding. It’s a good opportunity to review more than just their design; do the copy and overall messaging reflect the brand promise and the company’s differentiators? Just like in all of the marketing tools listed above, use the new brand as an opportunity to put a fresh face forward in the market.