8 Steps to a successful rebranding project

By Bill Roddy | Publisher, Landscape Management

When tackling a rebranding, it’s important to maintain a timeline to reach your goals.

On Oct. 21, 2015, we celebrated one year since completing the rebrand and redesign of the Landscape Management brand. The year has passed in the blink of an eye. In looking back, it’s astonishing to see what we accomplished in the months leading up to the launch. However, in reviewing the notes and details, I quickly realize, the process made the project. I’m not saying there weren’t some long hours, stressful situations and times when we weren’t sure we’d complete the project on time, but overall, it was “relatively” smooth.

Taking on a rebranding project can be overwhelming. Because our process worked so well and has produced outstanding results, I’d like share our 8 Steps to a Successful Rebranding Project.


A tremendous amount of expenses are associated with a relaunch. Before you start, be sure to establish a budget. Make sure your team understands the budget parameters and is committed to managing the funds accordingly.


You’ll need a minimum of nine months. Depending on the size of your company, the number of people included in the process, the layers of approvals, etc., a lot more time may be needed. Be sure to think about your team’s other workload and any business or vacation travel. We didn’t use a project tracking software, but having one would have definitely helped for tracking progress and keeping the team on schedule.


The words ALL IN have special meaning to those of us in Cleveland. Last year while the Cleveland Cavaliers were making their run through the NBA Playoffs and into the Finals, their team slogan was “ALL IN.” As the Landscape Management team was making its run towards the brand relaunch, we adopted the same slogan. Just as in team sports, like basketball, your entire team must be ALL IN to significantly increase the odds of success.


You don’t get to decide what your brand means in the eyes of your audience. Only through conducting research — qualitative and quantitative — and synthesizing/distilling the research to understand the audience’s key need(s) will the brand essence be revealed. Landscape Management worked with an outside research firm, Strategic Partners, to conduct the research and facilitate a brand workshop helping us establish our unique brand essence.


After establishing your brand essence, stop analyzing and “just do it!” Using the outcome of your branding workshop, creative briefs and communications plans should be developed. Art directors and designers get involved to develop logo concepts. Copywriters work on taglines. Lots and lots of logos and taglines are developed, presented, reworked, re-presented and on and on until the final logo and tagline — supported by research and reinforcing your brand essence — are selected. Because our product includes a print publication, we make certain that all content written, and each page designed, are based on the key learnings from the research and uphold our brand essence.

Left: Previous LM logo; Right: Current LM logo
Left: Previous LM logo; Right: Current LM logo


Now continue to “just do it” for everything your audience associates with your brand. Signage, business cards, websites, collateral materials, trade show and event materials, wearables, product packaging, etc.

Anything with your logo or branding must be rebranded. And be sure to schedule enough time to get everything complete prior to your relaunch (see No. 2 above).


Plan to make a big splash. In order to create some anticipation, consider a teaser campaign beginning a couple months in advance of the relaunch. Maybe you can include a countdown clock on your website. Hold a press event. Launch an advertising campaign. Throw a party! Everyone enjoys a good party; it’s a great opportunity to engage your audience and reward your team. Be sure to stay within your set budget parameters (see No. 1 above) as it’s easy to let these costs get out of control.


After you’ve relaunched, your work is far from complete. Create checkpoints to make sure you’re on track. Review progress of the measurements (KPIs, Sales Revenue, Profit, New Customers, etc.) you’ve established as targets for success. Refine as necessary to make certain you meet or exceed your success metrics.

Deciding to rebrand can be a daunting undertaking. Following the steps above can help ease the apprehension and ensure a successful outcome.

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