How do you rebrand a company?

So you’re thinking about rebranding your company. Are you excited about the rebrand? Or perhaps you’re concerned about getting it right?

After all, rebranding can be a big risk – major companies like Tropicana and Gap made global news when they had bad rebrands, and you don’t want that to happen to your business.

But imagine the flip side: you create a powerful new brand identity, and your audience loves it more than ever. You enter a new stage of your business, one where your brand stands out and attracts more customers than ever.

This is possible when you use this practical and easy-to-follow rebranding guide. We’ll help you strategize your rebrand and even share the “secret” ingredient to ensure its success.

Whether you’re a brand marketer, art director, or founder, you’ll be able to craft a new brand image that retains an emotional connection with your audience. Let’s go!

Top 5 reasons to rebrand your business

A rebrand often goes wrong when you do it just for the sake of rebranding. That’s why it’s important to have a clear purpose for changing your existing brand.

Here are five good reasons your company might choose to rebrand:

  1. Forge a stronger bond with your audience. Times change, and so do consumer preferences and profiles. A rebrand allows you to shape your brand’s personality to align more closely with current customer values and expectations.
  2. Revitalize a stagnant brand image. If customer feedback indicates a growing sentiment that your brand feels outdated or no longer resonates, it’s a clear signal to invigorate your identity. A fresh visual approach connecting your core message with modern aesthetics might be what your brand needs to maintain its competitive edge.
  3. Navigate organizational changes. Big changes like mergers or acquisitions often shift your business landscape drastically. A rebranding is a powerful business strategy to reflect your company’s new collective identity and create a seamless transition for all stakeholders.
  4. Recover from public setbacks. Sometimes you can’t wait out a bad public relations incident – a rebrand might be a critical strategy for helping your brand survive. You can reshape opinions and start fresh by showing your audience that you’re committed to positive change. Think of energy company BP as one example of a rebrand to manage poor PR. After a major oil spill, BP rebranded and ran a major “Beyond Petroleum” campaign to signal its shift to more sustainable forms of energy.
  5. Highlight what makes you unique and reach new markets. Are you struggling to communicate why customers should choose you over the competition? A rebrand is the perfect opportunity to define your position in the market, articulate your unique selling propositions, and reach new target audiences.

If one or more of these resonate with your business, then it’s a positive sign that a rebrand could be a good idea. Just make sure you clearly define your purpose behind the rebrand and align on it internally – it will impact all your decisions, including choosing a new name, brand colors, logo, messaging, voice, and more.

7 steps for rebranding your company

A successful rebranding strategy involves user research, creating new marketing materials, testing, and communicating your final rebrand. Use the following steps as a guide for building your new brand identity.

1. Focus on a primary goal

We’ve already listed several reasons that you may want to rebrand – focus on one of them to design your rebranding strategy.

You should also consider your budget and resources and include secondary objectives if possible.

Let’s take Facebook’s rebrand to Meta as an example. The brand faced privacy scandals and changes in data tracking regulations, affecting its revenue from advertising. The company chose to rebrand around the concept of the metaverse, where people could lead virtual lives.

By taking this step, Meta aims to stay relevant and competitive by focusing on new technological advancements. It also aims to regain its foothold in digital advertising and boost its performance in the stock market.

Meta had a key branding goal in mind: to reflect the future of technology and our interconnectedness with it. It also had secondary goals, such as boosting its revenue and managing the fallout from its data breach.

Keep a single major goal in mind when starting to rebrand your business. Having a clear objective that your entire team is aligned on keeps you from getting sidetracked and ensures a consistent, cohesive rebrand.

2. Do a 360° brand audit

A comprehensive brand audit allows you to understand your current brand position and create a benchmark for comparison as you plan future changes.

Create a document or a spreadsheet and note the following information:

  • Your current brand message: what are the main ideas or feelings your brand currently conveys? Do they accurately represent what your brand stands for?
  • Visual elements: list all visual aspects of your branding, such as logo, fonts, colors, and designs. Are they consistent across all channels? How do they make you stand out from competitors?
  • Target audience: what do your customers look like? What are their demographic details, and have they changed over the years? Are your customers aging out or aging in? It’s time to make a comprehensive buyer persona to shape your rebrand.
  • Customer perception: how do your customers currently perceive your brand? What are their likes and dislikes? What do they not know about you? You should look at multiple sources for this information, such as direct customer feedback, social media comments, reviews, and web analytics.
  • Social media presence: take stock of the platforms where you’re active. How often do you post? What kind of engagement and following do you have? Take a look at your competition as well and see how they are doing on social media.
  • Website analysis: check your website to see how well it showcases your brand message, products, or your role in the industry. Evaluate how user-friendly and optimized it is. You should also note down information like bounce rates, conversion rates, number of clicks and impressions, and so on.
  • Competitor analysis: who is your competition? Where do you stand regarding market share, audience demographics, and brand loyalty? Find out your competition’s domain rating, social media presence, and content performance as well.

This brand audit will give you an honest assessment of where your current branding stands and help identify areas that need improvement.

But most importantly, you’ll uncover elements of your branding that you should retain going forward!

Once you’ve analyzed and documented your current brand, you now have the critical details needed to refine your brand strategy for the future.

3. Positioning and messaging

Brand positioning is the defining element of your marketing strategy.

Your positioning is the place your company holds in the market and your unique value proposition that sets you apart from the competition. How you position your business will impact your rebranding campaign, especially the messaging around it.

Messaging refers to the communication strategy and the language you’ll use to convey your new brand identity to your target audience. It involves crafting a compelling narrative that communicates the reasons behind the rebrand, how the new brand will benefit or resonate with your audience, and your brand’s new (or reinforced) value props and core message.

To define your positioning and messaging, consider the following questions:

  • What makes my brand stand out?
  • What value do we offer that no one else can?
  • What tone and language will best connect with our target audience?
  • How can we communicate our brand’s story in a compelling way?

When you have clear answers to these questions, you’ll build a consistent and powerful message about your company vision and your rebrand.

4. Integrate emotions

Emotions are the linchpin of strong brand connections and should be a key part of your brand overhaul.

You want your customers to feel something when they think about your brand, and everything from a name change to your logo redesign must create a distinctive emotional response.

Think about the emotions your brand has been associated with in the past and which ones you want to keep.

Let’s say you provide personal finance management services and want to rebrand to target a younger demographic. Your new design elements and brand tone should evoke feelings of excitement, innovation, and youthfulness. But they shouldn’t eliminate markers of trust and safety that have been a part of your brand for a long time, either.

Being clear about the emotions you want to generate will help you manage your brand redesign with the care it deserves.

5. Build your brand identity

Your brand identity largely comprises the visual elements of your brand that differentiate it from other businesses. This includes your logo, brand colors, and typography.

It could also include sounds (especially if you run audio or TV ads) as well as the “feel” or experience of your user interface when people interact with your mobile app or website.

A complete or partial rebrand means you’ll change these elements to varying degrees. At this stage of the rebranding process, you’re ready to redesign elements of your new visual identity with purpose.

It’s also critical to use data in the redesign process. Collecting and using this data is the “secret” ingredient to a successful brand refresh, as we mentioned in the introduction. For now, let’s go over the different elements you’ll work on:

  • Company name: if you want to change your brand image altogether, you might adopt a new brand name. This could be a drastic change (like how Burbn became Instagram) or a simple one (like when Dunkin’ Donuts changed to just Dunkin’) – it all depends on how much your current name matters to your customers and overall image. This is probably the biggest change you could make when rebranding, so don’t take renaming lightly!
  • Company values: assess and redefine your company’s core values. Consider whether they need to be updated with the changing goals and aspirations of your business. Or if they need to evolve as your target market’s values and needs change.
  • Company mission and tagline: review and potentially revise your company’s mission statement and tagline to ensure they work with your renewed brand direction. These statements should succinctly communicate your brand’s unique selling propositions.
  • Color palette: colors are often associated with emotions and greatly impact the perception of your brand. Consider updating your color palette to align with your redefined brand image. This might involve researching color psychology and picking colors that elicit specific emotions for your target audience.
  • Typography: the fonts used in your branding materials play a significant role in defining the overall look and feel of your brand. If your typography is dated and makes readability hard, you should choose a new one that’s user-friendly.
  • Logo: introducing a new logo is one of the most significant changes to your visual brand identity. Rebranding yourself might involve a badly designed or outdated logo or creating a new one altogether. Either way, it’s crucial to create a logo that represents your brand accurately and resonates with your target audience.
  • Packaging and product design: if your brand sells physical products, you’ll need to consider how your new branding will translate into packaging and product design. This might involve updating all of your products’ visual elements.

At this juncture, you should be asking yourself, “How do I ensure that all these changes will actually resonate with my audience?”

The answer lies in validating your rebrand with data – the critical “secret” ingredient that will guarantee your success. Let’s explore this in the next section.

6. Test, test, test!

Rebranding lore is full of cautionary tales about companies that failed to take their audience’s perceptions into account during the rebrand. Even if you’re working with renowned designers or agencies with decades of experience, your rebrand can fall flat if you don’t test it with your target audience. 

This means that you need to run polls, focus groups, and/or surveys to understand your customers’ reactions to changes in your brand identity.

This is where a platform like PickFu (hi 👋) makes all the difference. We’ve helped designers, business owners, and marketers make informed branding decisions for 16 years.

How? By building an enterprise-grade, easy-to-use platform that allows you to test your brand name, logo, tagline, packaging, or any other element against a built-in panel of real people in your target audience.

It’s simple – just sign up for a free PickFu account and build your poll. You can launch the poll in five minutes and receive detailed responses from a segment of our 15 million vetted respondents the same day (often within an hour).

Take a look at one of our completed polls where we asked respondents which version of Dunkin’s brand they preferred: the previous version or the new, simpler one. 

Interestingly, the results show that this group of people prefer the older logo and brand identity! 

Each poll also features an AI-generated summary of the findings. In this example, respondents preferred the older brand because of nostalgia and the fact that the logo showcased what Dunkin’s offered. 

This kind of feedback is invaluable when you’re designing your new brand identity. It’s important to ask your target audience how they feel about changes in your brand, and PickFu makes this simple and affordable.

We’ve created several poll templates specifically to support branding decisions:

Testing your company’s rebrand with real consumers will create the best possibility for your rebrand to take off successfully – whether you’re entering a new market or just giving your brand a fresh new look to keep up with the times.

See for yourself how PickFu can help validate your rebrand strategy with instant audience feedback!

7. Announce your rebrand

How you announce and communicate your rebrand plays a big role in its success. 

First, make sure you’ve created brand guidelines in the form of a document or website page. This will serve as a reference for anyone working on behalf of your brand, ensuring consistency across all channels: your website, business cards, ads, etc.

Next, you should strategize your announcement in the following ways:

  • Pinpoint the timing. Consider industry events, product launches, or any season when your audience is most engaged. You want to maximize visibility and impact.
  • Craft a compelling brand story around the “why” of your rebrand. Are you innovating to serve your customers better? Diversifying your product offerings? Taking a bold stand on sustainability? This narrative should be central to your communication plan – but it should be easy to put together, since you already defined your “why” in step one of the rebrand process!
  • Prepare a multi-channel rollout. From press releases to social media posts, from your website to your email campaigns – tailor your message for each channel to suit its unique format and audience expectations.

Your rebranding efforts will have the best results if you follow the steps in this guide and thoughtfully plan your new business identity ahead of time.

Just stay consistent with your messaging, ensure alignment around your purpose and core value props, and take audience feedback into consideration at every step. In no time at all, your brand recognition will skyrocket.


Rebranding goes beyond updating badly designed logos or creating a fancy website. 

It’s an opportunity to redefine your brand’s future by refreshing or revamping every aspect of your business.

You start with a clear goal in mind, and then assess where your brand stands right now and what it should look like after the rebrand. Next, fill the gap between these two versions of your business by making good design decisions – and then testing and re-testing them against real customers in your target audience.

Start rebranding your business for success, and remember to check out how PickFu can help your rebrand strategy with fast, affordable audience polls.


How do you legally rebrand a company?

To legally rebrand a company, you should ensure the new brand elements do not infringe on existing trademarks. Then, file for a new trademark with the appropriate government body, such as the USPTO in the United States. Lastly, update your brand’s legal documents, like business registration and contracts, to reflect the new branding.

How do I rebrand a small business in 2024?

To rebrand a small business in 2024, you should conduct market research to understand current trends and your target audience’s preferences. Next, develop a comprehensive plan that outlines the changes you want to make, including updating brand elements like logos, colors, and messaging. Make sure to communicate the rebrand to your customers and stakeholders effectively to ensure a smooth transition.

Learn more: Build a better business by testing your business names, ideas, logos, marketing copy, and website designs on PickFu.

Deb Dutta

Deb M Dutta is a content marketer who runs a blog that explains the power of content marketing and using the right tools to grow businesses organically. Learn more about her work at