The Creative's Guide to Rebranding, Part 4: Launch!
You’ve almost made it! You’ve identified your spicy new brand direction and created all necessary assets-- now it’s time to roll it out.
But not so fast.
We’ve got to make sure that you’ve covered all of your bases before launching anything. All of your ducks should be in a row so that you can roll out quickly. The last thing you want is different logos on different platforms or website redirect error messages.
So here’s how you’re gonna implement your rebrand.
While you’re mapping out your launch plan, consider teasing your rebrand. Don’t reveal any of your new major assets, but hint that you have something new in the works on social media. This way, if your rebrand is a dramatic pivot, your followers know something is up and won’t be totally thrown off when they open up Instagram and discover your handle has changed.
2. LIST OUT EVERYTHING THAT NEEDS TO BE UPDATED:
Make a list of all of your current brand’s touchpoints (social media profiles, pages, email signatures, business cards, promo materials, etc.) that need to be updated, even if it’s a platform or a profile that you aren’t carrying forward with your rebrand. Identify how you will be updating each touchpoint, whether it’s an announcement post, replacing logos and copy, updating bios, etc. For example, maybe you’re ditching Twitter moving forward-- but it would be confusing for someone to happen upon your old Twitter profile and not know where you’re sharing content now or how they can follow you. This checklist will be part of your launch checklist. Line up all of the new assets you created in part 3 so they’re ready to rock when the time comes.
3. PLAN REDIRECTS:
Next you’ll need to strategize how your audience and customers will be redirected to your new pages. If your new website involves a URL change, you’ve got a little more work to do. If you’re in that boat, check out this resource from HubSpot about how to protect your SEO throughout a rebrand, from using Google Webmaster’s Change of Address feature to basic coding that redirects your former website’s pages to your new ones. When it comes to your social pages, you can just change your usernames and update bios and links appropriately. NOTE: with Instagram, any former mentions that tagged your username will not update when you change it. Here’s the easiest work around: when the time comes, change your username. Then immediately go and create a new account utilizing your old username. Upload a bio photo, and then write a brief bio redirecting people to your new username (something along the lines of “Catch me over at @______ now!”) You can also post a few photos explaining your rebrand, and in each of them redirect people to your new handle.
4. LAUNCH CALENDAR:
So now you know exactly what needs to happen during your rebrand launch. You know which platforms and pages need to be updated, redirected, and closed down. But before you begin to rapidly update all of your assets and bios and whatnot, create a launch calendar. The first thing you should have on there is a sneak preview/early announcement to your customers and inner circle, or maybe even to your mailing list. The key is make them feel like VIPs who get the news first. After this, schedule your official launch date, including when and where your announcements will take place, and what they will say. It’s not a good idea to just announce your rebrand once then totally move on as if everyone understands what your rebrand means and why you did it. Schedule follow up blog posts, social posts, and emails, that continue to strengthen your new brand’s reputation and build trust with your audience. Go ahead and create all of the copy and designs for the announcement emails and posts, so that you just have to click publish or send when launch day rolls around.
The time has come! All of your ducks are in a row. You’ve built everything out. You finally have a brand that you’re proud of that deeply reflects who you are. Now share it with the world! Be warned: your launch day may feel like a flop in some senses. You’ve spent weeks or months prepping for this rebrand, and maybe only a few people congratulate you on it. Or maybe some people unsubscribe or unfollow you. It can feel like a slap in the face, but DON’T LET IT GET YOU DOWN. Quality over quantity every time. Remember, you want the right audience, the ones who are really interested in what you have to offer. You will not be everyone’s cup of tea, there’s no avoiding that, so don’t take it personally when someone opts out after your rebrand.
*As you move forward, keep your mission or purpose statement nearby in an accessible or visible place! Check in periodically to make sure that what you’re creating is in alignment with your new brand’s purpose.
There you have it folks. I’ve now walked you step-by-step through your entire rebrand process. Are you ready to do it for real now?
I’ve shared a lot of info over the course of this 4 part series, so I decided to streamline all of the major tasks into one single rebranding checklist.
Creative Community Developer at Snapfluence.
I'm the Oxford comma's biggest fan.