How Much Does A Rebrand Cost?

If you were to ask this question to any branding agency in the US, you’re likely to get an answer like, “it depends”. Though you’re probably getting an honest answer from them, it’s not very helpful for you when it comes to determining your budget. Because a proper rebrand can impact almost every aspect of your business, there are many factors to consider and it can be difficult question to answer. We will try to explain some of those factors below to help provide an answer.

Pricing: What to Expect

When considering something as consequential to your company’s success as your brand is, it’s important to think about it as an investment and not as a cost. That’s not to say that the price isn’t an important factor when deciding what firm will deliver the best value. However as with most things in life, the investment and return on investment usually have a significant and predictable relationship. A miscalculation can be detrimental or devastating while getting it right can ensure significant and sustainable growth over time. The right guide to help you through the process should be a trusted advisor.

Branding is complex. It is the art of uniting company leadership with employees and customers, loyalists and partners, around a set of values embodied in a product. It should be more than design, more than messaging, first and foremost it should be strategy. When estimating the cost of a rebrand a small business with 10 employees and a service reach radius of less than 50 miles is going to look very different than a publicly traded company with 100,000 employees and an expanding global market.

Levels of Engagement: Strategize, Refresh, Reinvention

The average small businesses can expect to invest $60,000 to $180,000 and four to twelve months for a total rebrand. Studies show that the average B2B business spends about 5 percent of their revenue on marketing. With that in mind, you can expect the average rebranding initiative to cost about 10-20 percent of your marketing budget.

Below are we have described our three most typical engagements and what to expect when engaging with us.

Level One Brand Strategy

3 to 6 months+ / $30k to $70k+

Your strategy is the first and most important step in your brand execution. It is a deep dive into the makeup of your company, your market, you loyalists and your stakeholders. Through a series of data collection tools, visual briefs, interviews, and panel discussions, a good branding agency will help you understand your brand’s strengths and weaknesses and provide guidance on how to establish key brand components such as your brand archetype, core value proposition, as well as tools to express these brand components through visuals and language.

Deliverables

Primarily you will receive a strategic plan with brand architectural recommendations such as core value propositions, messaging strategy, tone of voice parameters, and design instructions. You will have a clear plan that you can take to your team to execute on or you can work with DarkSquare to help with the implementation of the recommendations layed out with a level 2 engagement.

Level Two Brand Refresh

4 to 8 months+ / $50k to $150K+

Your strategy is the first and most important step in your brand execution. It is a deep dive into the makeup of your company, your market, you loyalists and your stakeholders. Through a series of data collection tools, visual briefs, interviews, and panel discussions, a good branding agency will help you understand your brand’s strengths and weaknesses and provide guidance on how to establish key brand components such as your brand archetype, core value proposition, as well as tools to express these brand components through visuals and language.

Deliverables

In a level 2 engagement you will receive all of the strategy components described in level 1 and DarkSquare and their affiliates to help you and your team execute the implementation of your strategy. We work closely with your team and our network of designers, developers, videographers, and specialists to help you carry your messaging and brand across every outlet your customers interact with you in. We also have legal experts to help you navigate intellectual property considerations associated with a rebrand, such as trademark and copyright law and application.

Level Three Brand Reinvention

9 to 12 months / $80k to $250+

In some situations a completely reimagined brand and everything that comes with it is desirable and even necessary. While a rebrand has many of the same considerations the process of an overhaul has the added complexity of transitioning existing brand loyalists to a new name, new face, new identity in the smoothest way possible while trying to reach new audiences with a fresh message.

Deliverables

A brand reinvention will include name and tagline recommendations. You will receive all of the services described in a level 1 and 2 engagement with a deeper consideration of your brand roll and extended plan to release new aspects of your brand strategy in a strategic and staged plan. Legal is also more deeply involved early on to help navigate the intellectual property challenges associated with renaming and trademarking a new name and visual identity.

Choosing the Right Partner for Your Rebrand

It is important to find a partner that understands you and your business needs. A great first question to address early is if the agency you’re engaging with has experience with similarly sized businesses in comparable market spaces. A good agency will ask the right questions and speak your language. A clear red flag to watch out for is if they act as if they know what is best for your business before doing the hard work of understanding all that they can about your business. Other considerations include the breadth and depth of expertise in the areas you need it in. Do they have developers that have the technical expertise to implement your website needs? Does the agency have the design experience for your social media needs and print needs? Can they provide references from past clients of similar sized businesses? One of the most neglected areas of importance and questions to ask is do they have legal experts to help navigate the legal considerations of a rebrand and all of the related intellectual property law?

If you are a large company with offices all around the world, it’s likely that you’ll work with a large branding firm with a massive staff and dozens of offices worldwide. This kind of rebrand can take years to complete and cost millions of dollars. If you are a midsize to large company you may want to consider some of the advantages of working with a smaller agency. A smaller boutique agencies are often more nimble and more cost effective and often just as capable as the multinational design firm. It’s also more likely that you will be able to interact directly with senior level staff and that your project will be a priority to the agency.

Another thing to be mindful of is that there are many agencies that claim to be brand experts who in reality are just design or marketing outfits. Be sure that you are engaging with a design firm that specializes in substantive research and strategy with a track record of success. At DarkSquare we are proud of our record of success and would be happy to share our references with you. Please use the contact form below to get in touch with us about your branding needs and business goals.

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