So… you’re planning a rebrand? How exciting!!
Whether you are starting a completely new business or pivoting in a new direction, rebranding is the start of a new chapter and my guess is that you want the launch of your new brand to go as smoothly as possible.
Not too long ago, I rebranded my brand “Imperfect Finance” to “Imperfect Taylor”. I ran “Imperfect Finance” for about 2.5 years, and my mission with that brand was to educate and encourage others when it came to paying off student loan debt.
But when I paid off my debt in May of 2020, I realized I wanted to talk about more than just money. That’s when I got the idea for “Imperfect Taylor” and began dreaming of a brand that encompassed what I’m passionate about today: personal development.
I successfully rebranded my website and social media channels with my new brand “Imperfect Taylor” and I am so glad with how it turned out.
With “Imperfect Taylor” I still talk about money because I believe it’s important, but I also get to talk about other areas of life that impact us all, like our health and careers.
So, with that said, I know a thing or two about rebranding. This post lists out everything that I thought of and thought through before and during my rebrand of Imperfect Taylor, so that you can walk through these same steps and have a smooth transition of your new brand, too!
This post is all about the 11 steps you should take if you are planning a rebrand.
1. Before Launch: Choose an official date for your rebrand launch
Choosing an official date for your launch is so exciting! Do you want to officially launch your rebrand sooner or later? If you have a large following or community, it might be best to choose a launch date a few weeks or months out, so you can ensure that you are able to complete everything you need to do to get ready for your launch beforehand (more on this later!).
If you don’t have a large following or community (about less than 1k followers), you might be OK with launching your rebrand rather quickly. The less people will be affected by the rebrand and change, the less time you likely need to prepare for your launch.
2. Before Launch: Give your community a heads up that a change is coming
Do you have a large following or community? Do you want to give them a heads up over the course of a couple days or weeks that a change is coming?
If you do, I think giving them a heads up is a good idea because you don’t want them to log on to social media one day and be shocked or confused by the sudden change of your account or website.
Dropping bread crumbs to let your community know that a change is coming is always a good idea.
3. Before Launch: Get a new website domain name
Are you changing your business or brand name? If so, you likely want to change your domain name (i.e. website name), too. It’s best to keep all names across all your social media accounts and websites as consistent as possible.
Sometimes, this may not be possible. For instance, if someone else has already taken the name you want for your pinterest or twitter, but if you can, make sure you snag the account name or website name as soon as you know what you want the name to be.
Let’s say you want your website name to be BestBlogEver.com but someone already owns that domain name. On rare occasions, you may be able to buy that domain name from the person who currently owns it. Hopefully you won’t have to do this and the domain name is available, but it is an option if you really want a specific brand name/website name and it’s taken.
4. Before Launch: Create a new email address
Just like your social media accounts and website name should be consistent, so should your email address. For example, if your website name is BestBlogEver.com, you may want your email address to be [email protected] or [email protected].
I’ve read that having a non-gmail (or hotmail, AOL, yahoo, etc.) email account looks more “professional” but I personally haven’t run into any issues with the fact that my email is “[email protected]”. Eventually, I would like to change the suffix of my email address to “imperfecttaylor” as in “[email protected]” just for consistency’s sake, but I really haven’t had any issues using a gmail email address so far. In fact, I really love using gmail!
Regardless, you will want your email address to reflect your rebrand name to keep things professional and organized.
5. Before Launch: Update the colors on your social media and website
Did you get new brand colors as part of your rebrand? Now’s the time to start incorporating those new colors into your content.
You’ll want to make sure that your website now uses your new rebrand colors. For example, if your rebrand colors are black and white, but your old brand colors were pink and blue, you’ll want to make sure that your website is now black and white. The same goes for any of your social media content. If you create static Instagram posts or stories, you’ll want to make sure that your content now utilizes your new rebrand colors.
When I rebranded, I actually started implementing my new colors into my website and social media content before my official launch date. This didn’t create any problems at all – in fact, I think it helped that my community was able to view these changes before the official launch date of the rebrand because then they were already used to the new colors since they’d been seeing them for quite some time.
6. Before Launch: Update your font faces, too
The same thing goes for any new fonts that your rebrand encompasses. Start using any new font faces across your website and on your social media content.
7. Before or Day Of Launch: Update your About page on your website
Do you have an “About” page on your website? “About” pages are typically a page on your blog that lets readers know who you are, what your blog is about and how it can help the reader.
So, as part of your rebrand, did the mission of your brand change? Why did you want to do a rebrand in the first place? If things will be different for your business or social presence with your rebrand, you’ll definitely want to communicate this to your community. Update your About page if necessary to let your reader know your new mission, and ensure that your About page doesn’t say anything that no longer applies to your new brand.
8. Before Launch: Create any new social channels to reserve that name
One thing I did when rebranding was reserve social media handles on apps I wasn’t currently using just in case one day I wanted to start posting content on that social media. If you don’t do this, you run the risk of someone else taking your handle.
For example, let’s say you are rebranding to “@ILoveHats” and you don’t currently use YouTube. You might want to create an account on YouTube with the handle “@ILoveHats” just in case there comes a day where you decide you want to start posting content on YouTube. If you don’t reserve your handle now, when it’s available, it might be taken if one day you decide you want to start a YouTube.
The same goes with all other social media (Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, Twitter, etc.). You might as well create accounts there just in case.
You want to do this before you officially let anyone know about your new brand name. Why? Because if you announce your new brand name without first reserving these handles on these other social media channels, someone might see that you are doing a rebrand and scoop up your social media handles before you can! Which would stink.
Pro-tip: When I was preparing for my rebrand, I was operating under “Imperfect Finance” on Instagram, but I wanted to reserve the handle “ImperfectTaylor” as soon as I got the idea. So, I created a new Instagram account with the handle “ImperfectTaylor”.
On my launch day, I changed the “@ImperfectTaylor” account to something else so that the handle was freed up, but when I went to change my official account “ImperfectFinance” to “ImperfectTaylor” I couldn’t! In fact, Instagram made me wait 2 weeks and my launch was completely derailed.
Why? Because when you change your handle name, Instagram gives you two weeks to decide if you want to change it back. So when I changed my handle from “Imperfect Taylor” to something random in order to free it up, Instagram reserved “ImperfectTaylor” for 2 weeks.
This might sound a little complicated so here’s the gist: either change your handle to your new brand name on the day of your launch OR, if you want to reserve it on another account, expect to wait about 2 weeks before you can change your current account to your new brand name.
9. Before Launch: Don’t delete accounts with your old brand name
I think it’s best to keep social media accounts and even domain names of your old brand name.
For example, if your “old” website domain name was FlowersRock.com, you might want to keep it around for some time. Even though you are rebranding, you might not want someone else to take your old website domain name. Once you get rid of it, or no longer pay for it, anyone can buy it. So make sure you think this through before moving on from it.
The same goes if you are changing your Instagram handle, for example. In my personal experience, I kept my old handle @ImperfectFinance and in the bio of my page I said “Imperfect Finance is now Imperfect Taylor. Follow me there!”. This way, any one who wasn’t aware of my brand change and looked me up on Imperfect Finance could quickly see that I have a new page, and that they should now follow me there.
I don’t know how long I will keep my old website domain (ImperfectFinance.com) or my old Instagram handle (@ImperfectFinance), but for now it gives me peace of mind that I still “own” those and no one else can.
10. Day of Launch: Send out an email newsletter
If you have an email list or newsletter, it’s a good idea to plan on sending your email list an email notifying them of your rebrand. You can do this whenever you’d like, but I think it’s beneficial to do this on your official launch date.
In your email, you can let your subscribers know what the change is, why you are excited about it, and why you think it is going to be beneficial for them.
At this point, your email subscribers joined your email list because they aligned with your “old” brand, so don’t be surprised if you get a few unsubscribes! This is totally normal and all it means is that moving forward, you can be super confident that those on your email list can relate to or are excited about your new brand.
11. Day of Launch: Post an Instagram post/Reel/Tiktok/etc. about your rebrand
What social media channels do you use? Are you on Instagram? TikTok? Pinterest? Wherever you have a social presence, plan on making a post there, too, to let your communities know that you are rebranding.
You really want to spread this message as far and wide as possible so that your communities/followers are aware that there will be change. The better you can spread this message, the fewer people will be confused or surprised when they see your new content as part of your rebrand.
This post is all about the 11 steps you should take if you are planning a rebrand.
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