The last time I headed up an internal rebranding initiative, it took a total of 4½ months—from the day we said "Yes, we're doing this" to the day we unveiled our new Workfront website and replaced the sign on the building.

Fast? Undoubtedly. Every branding firm I've talked to says it's a process that typically lasts 9-18 months. We cut that lowest estimate in half, without cutting any corners, by keeping nine key tips in mind.

The biggest driver of this accelerated pace was that once we decided we needed a new name, every single dollar we spent on our old brand was wasted money. So we paused all branding efforts and put the right resources toward building and releasing our new corporate identity.

If you're planning a companywide makeover, here's what to do to achieve the results you want on a reasonable timeline.

1. Perform a brand audit

Only fools rush into brand reinvention. Though we certainly moved quickly through our rebrand, we did not skip any of the essential steps. And the first, most important step is to calculate how much brand equity you have to begin with.

We sent a 14-question poll to employees, current customers, and target customers, asking them about everything from brand recognition (Are you familiar with the company's name?) to attributes (What three words would you use to describe this brand? If this brand were a person, what kind of person would they be?).

From the results of the audit, we discovered our hunch was right. We had an ill-fitting name, and the timing was right for a change.

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image of Joe Staples

Joe Staples is chief marketing officer of Workfront, a Cloud-based enterprise work automation solution that helps marketing, IT, and other teams avoid excessive email, redundant status meetings, and disconnected tools.

LinkedIn: Joe Staples

Twitter: @jstaples21