What’s the best launch strategy for a rebrand?

1. Leverage Your Current Fans

When you’re doing a rebrand, you need to make sure you hit the messaging right and don’t frustrate your current audience. Bring them into the discussion about a rebrand to leverage their passion for your business and help amplify the message. If your rebrand is a complete surprise to your most loyal fans, you risk alienating them and losing all of good will you’ve earned. – Aaron Schwartz, Modify Watches

2. Make It Big

This is big. You want to remind all the people who loved your brand that you are back and better then ever. “Hey we’re back!” should be the theme that you deliver through all your materials. You want to make it exciting, lively and enticing. Give away offers, launch an early discount, new promos. Anything you can to generate buzz and let people know that this rebrand is a big deal. – Nicole Munoz, Start Ranking Now

3. Be Everywhere

Plan ahead and as you gear up for the launch of the rebrand, make sure you’re everywhere your audience is hanging out. Design your digital promotional efforts to hit local and national media outlets, social media (paid and organic) brand ambassadors and more. Coordinate the timing on all of these to launch at the same time, so your audience can’t go anywhere online without seeing your name. – Matt Hunckler, Powderkeg

4. Tease the Changes

Give your existing customers an inside look on what’s happening with your business to ensure they don’t feel blindsided by the rebrand. Use this as an opportunity to provide them with an exclusive view into what’s changing with your company to gather early buy-in, too. Many rebrand attempts backfire because organizations do not budget enough resources for engaging their existing fan base. – Firas Kittaneh, Amerisleep

5. Work With Influencers

By working with influencers during a rebrand, you are immediately gaining trust from your followers. By getting influencers to talk about you with your new brand visuals and strategy, it’s instant validation, one that will go much further than you trying to convince followers to accept your new look and feel. Influencers can “break the ice” and immediately instill trust. – Marcela De Vivo, Brilliance

6. Rebrand for a Reason

When rebranding, focus on the reason behind it. Ideally, the rebrand is part of another event. For example, you may be launching a new product where you’re changing the company name and keeping the old name for the product. Another opportune time is when announcing a fundraising event or a new strategic partner, in which case you announce as a new brand (formerly known as the old band). – Omer Trajman, Rocana

7. Do a Podcast Tour

It’s likely that part of your rebranding efforts is reshaping the story of your company. One of the best mediums for telling your story authentically is podcasting. Use the iTunes podcast directory to look-up podcasts in your industry that feature guest interviews, then send an email offering to be a guest. Podcasters are always looking for new stories and yours could be next! – David Ciccarelli, Voices.com

8. Plan for a Game of Whack-a-Mole

Established brands don’t just live on their website or social media pages. They also have local profiles, association profiles, review pages, and brand mentions and links across the web. Plan for what you know needs updating and then plan to go out and find everywhere you brand existed via social listening and search results pages, to ensure a comprehensive rebranding effort. – Dan Golden, BFO (Be Found Online)

9. Create Pop-up Events and Live Stream Them

Make the launch into an event like a rock concert tour with incentives to show up, including things like food trucks, influencers, and company personnel as well as giveaways. Also live stream these events to get others online involved, and offer them a way to participate in the giveaways by making comments and asking questions. – Angela Ruth, Calendar

10. Don’t Overpromise and Underdeliver

There’s nothing worse than a company rebranding without changing anything. I’ve seen negative attention surrounding brands that promise a massive change and then follow up with a simple logo switch and a slight adjustment of a mission statement. Attach your rebrand to a new product or service, or don’t make a big fuss about it at all. If you’re drawing attention to yourself, make it matter. – Bryce Welker, Crush The CPA Exam

11. Hire an Expert

Rebranding is not easy. In fact, it can be disastrous if you don’t know exactly what to do or how to execute certain aspects of your new launch very strategically. This is why it’s best to hire someone who has done numerous rebrands and knows what could go wrong and how to make sure things don’t. They will be able to guide you through the process based on experience, to ensure you are successful! – Beth Doane, Main & Rose

12. Set a Proper Plan With a Timeline

Research and document everything needed to rebrand. Ensure adequate planning and time is allocated to make the rebrand happen. Discuss with the brand’s key influencers and relevant blogs/media members to plan a proper PR strategy to announce the rebrand. Ensure the tech (for any domain/app rebrands) have been tested, etc. Be prepared for a three-six-month (or more) drop in search engine traffic. – Shawn Schulze, CallerCenter.com