There may come a time in a company’s life cycle when a rebrand is necessary. Those companies considering a rebrand should carefully weigh the reasons behind the need for change, as well as potential risks. If not properly implemented or communicated to the target audience, a rebrand can misfire and end up hurting the business more. To help leaders develop their own successful rebranding strategies, here are some critical elements to keep in mind.

What’s the one component you think all launch strategies need to have in order to achieve a successful rebrand?

1. Customer Data

I believe that all good rebrands start with tangible customer data. When you’re rebranding, the goal is to design your company website and marketing campaign to closely fit your target audience. If you don’t have customer data to drive your decisions, you are shooting in the dark. Make sure to gather plenty of feedback, on-site behavior reports and more before you start the process of rebranding. – John Brackett, Smash Balloon LLC

2. Competitor Analysis

In order for brands of all types and sizes to find success during a rebrand, they should be spending a lot of time and resources on competitor analysis. This is specifically true of Fortune 500 companies, as they have a lot more money and resources to spend. Follow these top players and you will save a lot of time and effort on what direction your rebrand should go through. – Zac Johnson, Blogger

3. Transparency

You need transparency about why you’re rebranding. Today’s customers are very smart and will know if you’re doing it for a fake or insincere reason. Tell them why you’re rebranding and what you hope to achieve with the new brand. Don’t be shy about explaining why the old one doesn’t represent you any more. – Josh Kohlbach, Wholesale Suite

4. Relevance

Focus on being relevant to your customer base. Relevance is one of the primary reasons why a company would need to rebrand. There may be changes in how the company runs, or the industry may be moving toward a new direction. Change in the relevant direction, and stay relevant to the right people. – Solomon Thimothy, OneIMS

5. A Powerful Story

A great rebrand always has a powerful story driving it. A business can showcase their story with images, colors and text. Creating an actual myth or story for your new brand also helps. It’s important to make your new brand distinct enough from the previous one but without losing the essence, and you do that by focusing on your customers and products foremost. – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

6. A Clear Identity

It’s important to build your brand identity before launch so your target audience finds and relates to you. When they see your campaign, they should know right away that your products and services speak to their needs and interests. Before a rebrand can take place, make sure it aligns with your target market. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

7. An Education Plan

It needs to be comprehensive. If you’re going to rebrand, your website needs to reflect it, your email newsletter needs to mention it and it needs to be mentioned across all social media channels and any other marketing strategies you use. Rebranding involves education, so you need to make sure you effectively reach each and every current and potential customer. – Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance

8. Accountability

One of the most important aspects of any launch strategy is to make the managers and employees accountable for the development of delegated divisions or tasks. This can be achieved by a complete delegation of power and followed with increased incentives directly dependent on results. – Vikas Agrawal, Infobrandz

9. A Process Manager

Launches and rebrands are often chaotic symphonies of moving parts. The biggest mistake is typically not having a project manager or “quarterback” to work as a cross-functional lead to help advance efforts from various teams into a coordinated strategy. This manager can be a person or group of people that work together to ensure rebrands are effective. – Jared Polites, LaunchTeam

10. A Launch Calendar

Keep a launch calendar. No amount of meticulous planning will help your rebrand succeed unless you develop a strict calendar with checkpoint deadlines. Work backward from launch day to create timelines and deadlines for each department or team to reach their internal goals. This will help everyone ensure they have enough time to complete the rebrand and that all systems will be “go” on launch day. – Tyler Gallagher, Regal Assets

11. Pivot Potential

The current entrepreneurial climate underscores the importance of pivot potential in your brand. Your messaging and rebrand need to be dynamic to meet the demands of the market. We are a digital marketing and SEO agency and when our clients needed to pivot, so did we in many ways. Our brand is dynamic and pivot potential was part of that strategy. – Matthew Capala, Alphametic

12. A Clear Definition

You need a clearly defined brand! Hopefully you have already put together a thorough document detailing your brand and feel confident about the direction you have chosen. Despite having such a clear plan, execution is most often the number one point of failure a mistake that can’t be afforded most times. Bringing your brand to life is a challenge. Pick the right vendors and prepare to phase out of the launch. – Ryan Meghdies, Tastic Marketing Inc.