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Rebranding Checklist

March 15, 2023

Rebranding Checklist: When to rebrand your company or product

We designed this rebranding checklist to help you decide if a rebranding is right for you. We include a link to a page helping you manage all the elements needed in a rebranding project.

A complete rebranding is not an easy task, nor is it an easy decision. Many other branding companies will take your rebranding business regardless of if it is warranted. We won’t.

Call us and ask why.

Before you jump into a rebranding effort, we insist on auditing your brand with our Brand Audit process. The reason is twofold:

We need to grade nine elements in your current brand to measure its overall health. Call us if you are wondering, “What should I do to prepare for rebranding?” We can clear it all up for you.

The audit will help us understand where your existing brand is failing you and if you only need a brand freshening or adjustment rather than a complete rebrand.

  1. rebranding check listMeaning, Direction, and Visioning
  2. Positioning
  3. Differentiation
  4. Relevance
  5. Signals Consistency
  6. Equity Markers
  7. Brand-Product Relationships
  8. Coherent Brand Management
  9. Monitoring Brand Equity

It allows us to concentrate on improving the weakest links in your current brand situation.

Only after the audit can Stealing Share knowledgeably give you sound advice.


First, a bit of background

A rebranding checklist is a smart thing to have. Great dynamic brands allow your marketing to be effective.

Without that brand permission, your marketing success will be in lockstep with your marketing and advertising budgets.

You can almost buy your way out of a bad place in branding. But your goal should be spending as little as possible to grab market share.

No rebranding checklist would overlook ROI. And we don’t. Spending a dime more than you must on marketing is a dime wasted.

A rebranding checklist can save you money. You do not own the brand. You are the managers of it. Think as if you have a verdant and green municipal part—one enjoyed by citizens of your city or town.

You are the caretaker of the park. You groom the lawns, weed the flowerbeds, change the flora based on the season and keep it free from trash and debris. You won’t allow anything to mar the view of this park.

But the owners of the park are the citizens of the town. They love it because of your efforts, but they feel personally invested in it. That’s the center of their attachment. It is what they do and how they feel about spending recreational time in the park.

By the way, the park isn’t free. There may be a small entrance fee, but those that enjoy it feel they get more out of spending time in the part than it costs them to enter it. Even if the park is free, it isn’t. Their taxes are footing the bill.

So here is the FIRST thing on your rebranding checklist

The rebranding checklist is food for thought. Our rebranding marketing checklist is not gospel. It varies by project.

First, don’t confuse the brand with the brand’s identity. But back to our park analogy. The park is not the sign at the entrance. That sign is part of the park, but you would never confuse it with the sign itself.

It is just a symbol making the park easier to place in the citizens’ minds. It is a reference point.

rebranding checklistYou must get this right before any rebranding checklist is beneficial.

Your brand belongs to your customers and prospects. Not you. They love it because they believe it is theirs. It speaks to their condition. They don’t even notice your efforts to keep the property tidy, pristine, and usable.

They should not notice your presence at all. You want nothing to come between their vision of enjoyment and the park you tend.

Would any park be loved if it was not useful? If it did not supply the desires of the citizens? Same with rebranding. To execute a rebranding project successfully, you MUST know what the customer wants and need.

But more importantly, you need to understand why they have those needs and wants. You must center your attention on where those needs arose.

A belief system birthed them all. As a brand manager, you need to know what your target audience believes to be true in their lives, giving rise to the need your product/service delivers.

Understanding this simple idea is how you will know if your brand is underperforming.

The second item on our rebranding checklist is to ask yourself what has changed.

What changes make you consider a rebrand? Did the market change? Or, possibly, did a new competitor arise and take ownership of the prime territory? (Check out our work page to see rebranding examples)

What changes make you consider a rebrand? Did the market change? Or, possibly, did a new competitor arise and take ownership of the prime territory? (Check out our work page to see rebranding examples)

What has changed for you? A marketplace is a dynamic and ever-evolving ecosystem, constantly subject to change and adaptation. Several key factors contribute to a marketplace’s rapid pace of change, shaping its dynamics and impacting various stakeholders. Let’s explore some of these factors.

  1. Technological Advancements: One of the primary drivers of marketplace change is technological progress. The advancement of digital platforms, the internet, and mobile technologies has revolutionized how businesses operate and connect with consumers. These innovations have facilitated faster communication, seamless transactions, and broader access to information. As technology evolves, new tools, platforms, and business models emerge, leading to rapid shifts in the marketplace.
  2. Consumer Behavior: Consumers play a pivotal role in driving marketplace changes. Their preferences, needs, and expectations are constantly evolving. With access to extensive information and many options, consumers have become more discerning and demanding. They seek convenience, personalized experiences, and value for their money. Consequently, businesses must adapt their products, services, and marketing strategies to cater to changing consumer behaviors, driving rapid marketplace changes.
  3. Competitive Landscape: Intense competition among businesses is another factor that fuels marketplace dynamism. Companies are constantly vying for market share, striving to outdo their rivals and gain a competitive edge. This drive to differentiate and innovate spurs rapid product changes, pricing strategies, marketing campaigns, and customer experiences. Competitive pressures force businesses to stay agile and responsive, resulting in a fast-paced marketplace.
  4. rebranding checklistGlobalization: The advent of globalization has significantly impacted marketplaces worldwide. Increased interconnectedness and global trade have opened up new opportunities and challenges. Companies can expand their reach to international markets, tapping into diverse customer bases. However, globalization also intensifies competition as businesses from different regions vie for market dominance. The exchange of ideas, products, and services across borders rapidly disseminates trends, technologies, and best practices, further accelerating marketplace changes.
  5. Regulatory Environment: Changes in regulatory frameworks can profoundly impact market dynamics. Government policies, laws, and regulations can influence business operations, market entry barriers, pricing, and consumer rights. When new regulations are implemented, or existing ones are modified, businesses must adapt their strategies and operations accordingly. Regulatory changes can disrupt established market structures and create new opportunities or challenges, contributing to the rapid transformation of a marketplace.
  6. Economic Factors: Economic conditions, such as recessions, inflation, and interest rates, can significantly impact marketplaces. Consumer spending habits change during economic downturns, and businesses face financial constraints. This necessitates rapid adjustments in pricing, marketing strategies, and product offerings. Furthermore, economic fluctuations can create new market niches and alter consumer priorities, leading to demand and supply dynamics shifts.
  7. Technological Disruption: Disruptive technologies can revolutionize entire industries and transform marketplaces overnight. Innovations such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT), and augmented reality have the potential to reshape business models and consumer experiences. Companies that fail to adapt to technological disruptions risk becoming obsolete, while those embracing these innovations gain a competitive advantage. The constant emergence of disruptive technologies drives rapid changes in market dynamics.
  8. Social and Cultural Factors: Societal and cultural changes influence marketplace dynamics. Shifts in demographics, social values, lifestyle trends, and cultural norms impact consumer preferences and market demands. For example, growing concerns about sustainability and ethical consumption have driven changes in the marketplace, leading to the rise of eco-friendly products and socially responsible brands. To remain relevant and competitive, businesses must adapt to these evolving social and cultural dynamics.
  9. Data and Analytics: The proliferation of data and advancements in analytics capabilities have transformed how businesses understand and respond to market trends. Companies can now gather and analyze vast amounts of data on consumer behavior, market trends, and competitive intelligence. This data-driven approach enables businesses to make informed decisions, identify emerging opportunities, and respond quickly to changing market conditions. Data and analytics accelerate marketplace changes as businesses leverage insights to optimize their strategies and offerings.

On our rebranding checklist, this is an inflection point. How do you know what the prime territory is?

The answer is simple. It is ALWAYS the highest emotional intensity that causes a change to take place in the target audience.

Leave the rational stuff to the engineers and ownership. Your job in rebranding is emotional, not logical. Purchase decisions are solely emotional ones. Within a category, most products and services perform adequately.

If these choices were purely rational, the market leader would always be the best product or the lowest cost provider. We all know that isn’t true.

So, leave your competitors to define their brand by a list of attributes. Design your rebrand to be emotional. The tangible benefits are magnified 100-fold when a brand owns the highest emotional intensity in a category. (Read our article on Relaunching a brand successfully here)

The third point on our list

We hesitate to mention this in our rebranding checklist. It can be such an irritant. And saying it before the two previous points would mislead you.

Updating a brand is part of a rebranding checklist. Do you have to change your logo and identity?

That depends on the results of our brand audit. Messaging an emotional trigger may be enough. But, if the brand is a little stale, you might need a symbol of that awakening. A logo change does that. It states, “Something has changed. Pay attention here.”

rebranding checklistSometimes, that symbol is needed in a minor brand adjustment or refocus. Sometimes in a major rebranding, it is not required.

However, one thing is sure, if your brand has fallen so far from grace that, we need to institute a brand repair. Altering the logo is mandatory.

Cut away the clutter by using the rebranding checklist. Here is a quick summary of the salient points here in the rebranding checklist. Stealing Share, the rogue rebranding company that dared to rewrite the yellowed and tattered pages of the brand bible, knows what we are doing.

And we won’t leave anything to chance. It’s essential to hold onto the parts of your brand that are working and reinvent and establish new ones that are not.

We have found that you, the Chief Marketing Officer, are the least capable of making that assessment. Why? Because of attachment and the inability of people to be dispassionate about matters they hold important.

Assessing a brand’s health is complex, and chief marketing officers (CMOs) often face challenges in this endeavor.

Firstly, brand health is a multifaceted concept, encompassing various aspects such as consumer perception, market share, brand loyalty, and competitive positioning.

Gathering accurate and comprehensive data on all these dimensions can be arduous and time-consuming.

Secondly, assessing brand health requires a long-term perspective, considering factors like brand equity and reputation.

CMOs must navigate the dynamic nature of markets and consumer preferences, making it challenging to capture an accurate snapshot of brand health at any given moment.

Moreover, quantifying the intangible aspects of a brand, such as emotional connection and brand resonance, poses difficulty.

rebranding checklistThese elements often rely on subjective consumer experiences and perceptions, making them harder to measure objectively.

Additionally, brands operate in a complex ecosystem influenced by multiple external factors like social media, evolving trends, and competitor actions.

CMOs must contend with an ever-changing landscape, making it challenging to assess brand health accurately.

Lastly, the impact of marketing efforts on brand health is not always immediate or easily attributable.

CMOs may face difficulty isolating marketing initiatives’ effects from other factors affecting brand performance, adding another layer of complexity to the assessment process.

And if you don’t hold the brand as necessary— a key to the lock on the door to persuasion, you should not talk to us either.

It is a catch-22. That’s why you need an expert in rebranding. And why a rebranding checklist is helpful.