Studio Ostendo operates in multiple creative fields including photography, design, and education.
Competing in the marketplace for the hearts and minds of customers is done through your brand. If your brand story, identity, and messaging are not resonating with your audience, a rebrand could be more than a luxury, but a necessary step for survival and growth. This is especially true in times of economic caution—when interest rates are high, or job security is shaky—when people become more careful with their resources.
However, a rebrand requires both time and monetary investment which means that most company stakeholders want to be certain it’s worthwhile. So, how can you actually measure the value of a rebrand?
To most, it’s intangible. For us, there are many scenarios in which we don’t advocate for tying investment to strict metrics because of how many factors influence how a rebrand is achieved—and more importantly how it’s received. As business owners ourselves, however, we’re well aware of the need for clear ROI when it comes to expenses, so this article will unveil some of the most common ways to measure rebrand success, hurdles to be aware of, and how to move forward when you’re ready for a rebrand.
To start, let’s cover reasons for rebranding and why they matter.
Most people think of a brand as the consumer-facing entities, such as logo, colors, typography, and more. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg. A brand is not a logo; a brand is what customers, employees, investors, and other stakeholders think of when they think about your business. It’s the cumulation of everything others come into contact with. In other words, a brand identity is how people perceive your brand.
Think of it in the way that people show up in everyday life. In order for others to perceive that you take health seriously, you might exercise regularly and eat healthy. If you want people to perceive you as successful, you might dress well, drive a high-end car, and live in a large house. And just like people, you can’t change what others feel about you, but you can change how they perceive you.
“You can’t influence how people feel about your brand, but you can influence how it’s perceived which will eventually shape their feelings about the brand.”
For many businesses, unfortunately, there is a disconnect between how people perceive their brand and how the brand wants to be perceived. There’s a difference between what is desired, and what is actually perceived. This, in turn, leads to a gap in desired business outcomes. (Marty Neumeier refers to this as The Brand Gap.) To assess whether or not your company is suffering a brand gap, answer the following questions:
If you answered no, and you’re falling short of your goals, the thing to do is mind the gap. Take a good hard look at your brand and listen to where it’s landing in order to learn where it’s missing the mark. Then, consider a rebrand.
Know, too, that a proper rebrand isn’t just a gilding process to cover up the old messaging with a fresh new logo and on-trend colors. No. A rebrand is a strategic exploration and re-articulation of incredibly important decisions including who you are as an organization, why you exist, how you compete in the marketplace, and how you approach customers in order to stay competitive. This much larger view of a rebrand (as opposed to a brand refresh, which is just a new coat of paint) involves making more surgical, tactical, and specific changes to the brand that pour out in reframed messaging, visuals, and tones.
While a rebrand is a lot of work for the organization and brought-on agency, when it’s done well, a rebrand can prelude significant rewards. After guiding clients through a rebrand process, Studio Ostendo anticipates a few specific benefits including:
Every company, business, and organization should understand the investment of a rebrand before signing the dotted line. Rebrands are a significant time investment, financial investment, and calls on many resources in order to be successful.
How much should you spend on a rebrand? What will you get in return? What’s the value added? Let’s chat for a bit.
Because there is so much strategy involved, a rebrand isn’t just a cosmetic change and can’t be taken at face value. It takes a well-versed team who’s built and rebuilt brands with the ability to implement strategic decisions as real-world brand elements. Many rebrand engagements land in the $150,000 – $250,000 investment range. For us, we build custom brand proposals based on company size and what the value gained will be from the rebrand process.
Depending on your company size, industry, maturity, and annual gross revenue, this might seem low or it might seem high. (For reference, Pepsi spent $1 million on a logo and some laughable ‘research’.) Regardless, your rebrand investment has the potential for remarkable returns if it helps your brand close one or two more large deals, or even converts a higher percentage of many small deals. Depending on the deal size or percent conversion increase, you could break even (at the least) or increase profits significantly (in an ideal world, and most often in the long-term.) However, the direct dollar amount isn’t always the best metric for success.
Measuring the ROI of a rebrand can get easily muddied because of the diverse and nuanced factors. If businesses existed in a vacuum where industries weren’t constantly changing and your competition weren’t adapting their own projects, measuring the ROI of a rebrand would look like this:
In our example, that’s a 50× return on investment! For what it’s worth, we target a 5× return on marketing dollars.
To the dismay of many business owners, no one does business in a vacuum. Business is done in an ever-changing environment.
The list runs long. Each one of these, and oftentimes multiple factors at once, can affect company revenue—our neat little formula above doesn’t always convert. Most of the billers I’ve met wouldn’t be satisfied with the math above anyways, nor would it speak justice for all your employees working so diligently for you. Besides, any business owner would be hard-pressed to accurately account for and weigh all the appropriate factors in the equation.
Is there another magical formula? Unfortunately not. Alternatively, we suggest a multitude of individual metrics to paint a holistic picture related to your consumer and employer brand.
By looking at aggregate metrics, you can better understand and triage more tactical issues that might improve each individual metric.
There are, of course, more metrics to look at, but these are the types of metrics that we as a branding agency care about that our clients also care about most. Plus, they are simple to measure.
Another benefit of taking more than one metric into account is that one or two on their own rarely tell the whole story. (Another reason the neat formula above isn’t too accurate.) Besides, the more metrics you track and analyze, the more opportunity you have to isolate and identify what is and isn’t working and then make adjustments.
In an ideal world after a rebrand, all of the above metrics should be up, but they might not be. For example, in a rebrand that begins to target higher-ticket clients, the lead volume, and conversion rate might dip, but the sales and revenue might increase. This would be due to targeting the right customers, being more authentic up-front, and communicating with the right decision makers. A shift like this in a rebrand would mean the rebrand is successful even while some metrics are down.
You can see how measuring multiple metrics can build a better picture of the impacts of a rebrand. Keeping an eye on the secondary metrics help tell the story of the rebrand results. Being able to identify and understand opportunities for improvement makes it easier to improve those aspects. In fact, many aspects of a rebrand will work immediately, and others will need to be refined. Being able to tweak and iterate as you gather feedback from the market amplifies the quality of your rebrand.
All told, while you may never be able to extract an exact dollar amount from a rebrand, you should still be able to understand how a rebrand helped grow your business according to the metrics.
The perfect time to rebrand was probably yesterday (if you need to do so). But while you’re still thinking about a rebrand, be sure to take a few things into account:
Many brands feel mandated to rebrand by a higher-up, and outside source, or some internal pressure, but they’re not sure why it is necessary. It’s most important to know what you’re trying to solve with a rebrand to keep everyone on the same page and be sure the project benefits the end goal.
A rebrand is no light investment which means you need all stakeholders aligned at every stage of the process. Be sure to approach the rebrand process strategically in order to work effectively and efficiently.
Getting the brand finished isn’t the end of the project—it needs to be implemented consistently. Use effective rollout steps to ensure your business and team is empowered to use your new brand successfully. Once you publish your new brand, make sure to give a grace period to your team in producing the appropriate content, then scale it as quickly as possible.
Most importantly, make sure you have the right partner to get you through the rebrand process. Rebranding should be enjoyable, but there are many pitfalls and twists that can undermine your work if you don’t know what to avoid. Working with a skilled agency can help you navigate your rebranding process and do it with much less stress. If you’re looking for a rebrand partner, check out our other brand resources, get to know Kaleb a little better here, or book a free call. I’d love to turn your rebrand into the successful case study!