How much does a rebrand cost?

How much should your company budget for a corporate rebrand? That’s a loaded question if we ever heard one! But as a branding and marketing agency that’s been in business for over 45 years, we’ve got a lot of data on what it takes. I’m going to break down some of the costs here based on our experience working with B2B clients, and also provide more information about the key variables and complexities that will impact costs.

The budgeting process starts by defining your unique needs and answering questions, such as:

•  Are you exploring a full rebrand? Defined as positioning, messaging, logo and visual identity (and potentially naming); or, are you simply looking for strategic guidance to strengthen your value proposition and better engage audiences? In either case, who do we need to engage in the process to ensure that our outputs are believable by the market and differentiated from competitors? Also, how are we engaging internal audiences in this process?

•  How large is your target market? Are you trying to reach a national audience, or an international one? Do we need to reach any unknown audience segments to support growth goals? Furthermore, how complex is your offering and is it something the market already associates with what you offer? Do we have sub-brands and/or products to consider? Are we looking to evolve or define the brand architecture, and how does that align with future growth goals?

•  As we consider the look and feel, do we need to explore an evolution or a revolution? If so, have we gauged equity in the current identity? How will audiences experience the brand? Where/how will it need to live?

•  Finally, are you prepared to go to market? Do you have audiences, channels, and budgets solidified? Do we know what will be required in terms of a brand launch and rollout?

Answers to questions like these will help to determine an actual scope, but for the purposes of this blog, we’ve provided budget ranges for the aforementioned phases associated with rebranding:

•  Discovery & Immersion: expect to invest $25,000 to $75,000 in discovery and brand research, including but not limited to: immersion efforts, stakeholder interviews, roundtables and/or surveys for internal and external audiences. Key variables include the number of stakeholders, size and reach of the market, external costs associated with audience procurement and/or research facilitation, the quality of current research, and the methodologies used to execute this phase.

•  Positioning & Messaging: expect to invest $25,000 to $50,000 when strengthening a go-to-market brand strategy. This can include brand architecture, positioning, mantra development, and messaging across parent brands, any sub-brands or products, as well as at the audience level. Key variables include the number of products, services, sub-brands, and audiences as well as the scale of the competitive landscape, and the depth of messaging and tone standards required for the organization.

•  Naming: expect to invest $20,000 to $40,000 in naming, plus external costs associated with registering any new names (e.g., opinion letters, trademark applications, etc.). This range depends on factors such as category and market ownership. Key variables include the difficulty of owning a name in a particular vertical and/or market, the number of categories ownership is required in, and the number of naming rounds it will require to find a meaningful, ownable, and marketable name.

•  Visual Identity: expect to invest anywhere from $30,000 to $65,000 on logo and visual identity development. This range considers everything from an evolution of your current look and feel to something brand new. Key variables include the number of logos and/or complexity of the brand system in support of the brand architecture and the extent to which the brand will need to live across digital, print, experiential, and physical applications.

•  Go-To-Market Strategy: plan to invest anywhere from $10,000 to $55,000 on a go-to-market strategy. This range depends on launch expectations as well as the need for post-launch strategic support, and isn’t inclusive of paid media costs. Key variables include the timeframe required to support launch, whether we need to map out post-launch engagement strategies, internal launch requirements, the size and scope of external launch, and the lift required to educate audiences on the new brand.

•  Implementation: plan to invest anywhere between $25,000 to $350,000 to support a brand rollout. This range depends on how much internal teams can execute versus what is needed from your agency partner. Key variables include the website (are we planning to reskin the existing site, or do we need to overhaul? Check out this blog for guidance on how to help make that determination). Consider whether you need launch-specific materials such as a brand video, a brand launch presentation, campaign assets, and swag. Identify the corporate and marketing collateral needed (e.g., stationery, one-sheeters, corporate powerpoint templates, brochures, etc.). Do we need brand guidelines, and how extensive should they be? What additional assets do we need to support the new brand (e.g., custom imagery, illustrations, etc.)? Do we need to consider event experiences /tradeshow executions as part of rollout? What about physical office spaces? Do we need to brand interiors such as office spaces and/or storefronts?

As evidenced by this blog, there are a number of complexities that will impact how much budget you’ll need to execute a successful branding initiative. What’s most important is to account for these variables upfront. And procuring the adequate funding is just one piece of the puzzle. Before you run off and submit a budget, take a minute to ensure that your organization is operationally prepared to execute a branding initiative. We’ve got several other articles that provide guidance on determining whether your company is rebrand ready as well as tips for properly setting expectations for this exciting, company-wide effort.

Still need more advice on how to budget for a rebrand? Or (understandably) unsure about what to do with all this information? Feel free to drop us a note and we’ll get you connected with a team member who can help put this thinking into something actionable for your organization.

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