At some point, you may decide to rebrand your business, changing the conversation around your company. Maybe you’re not standing out among your competitors, or you feel your company has changed a lot since you first launched. Whatever your reasoning, you’re now tasked with rebranding, refreshing, or otherwise altering how people feel about your business.
A business’s brand is much more than its logo or colors. It’s the story your company tells about itself, helping to influence a consumer’s decision to choose you over a competitor. If the brand isn’t compelling, memorable, or otherwise making an impact, it’s time for a change.
Like many things in the world of marketing, however, understanding the financial scope of such a project can be difficult to predict. How much should a rebranding cost, anyway?
Well, Pepsi’s recent rebrand cost them $1.2 billion—but don’t worry, it will be less than that for most small businesses. Of course, the scope and goals of your rebrand will dictate the price.
Whether you’re looking to alter just your visual elements, your messaging, or your entire brand strategy, you’ll have to plan for a range of prices until you find a consultant, agency, or freelancer who can give you specifics.
When most people, and even business owners, think of a “brand,” they think of the visual aspects of their business. That means their logo, website, and any other identity materials, from pamphlets to business cards.
Building your brand, or rebranding it, starts here—mainly because it’s the cheapest part of the process. You can find freelance contractors on sites like Upwork who will redesign your logo and other visual elements for less than $1,000. But this is on the lower end, and as with most things, you get what you pay for.
Ryan Hussey, founder of Seahawk Media Group in Boston, says that his firm charges $1,000 to $2,000 for a microsite, and upwards of $5,000 for a full-fledged site, depending on the number of pages. Many hosting providers have a service, such as GoDaddy Pro (where Seahawk Media is listed), for businesses to hire freelancers to helm their rebrand for a similar price.
And for many small businesses—especially sole proprietors, ecommerce businesses, and other small firms—an overhaul of their site is enough to overhaul their entire brand.
“For the brand identity of small businesses, a new microsite is enough to cover a full rebrand and get you the image you need,” says Hussey. “They’re getting a whole brand makeover.”
Hussey also noted that larger agencies that work on similar-sized projects might charge $3,000-$5,000, so it really depends on what you’re comfortable paying and whose previous work resonates with you the most.
Your brand’s design is crucially important to your success—your logo and colors need to make an impact on customers. But a more difficult, more time-consuming, and thus more costly aspect of a rebrand is designing new messaging.
Reassessing messaging is for small businesses that have built a solid business model and are already profitable. New messaging via a branding agency can help elevate your company to the next level, attracting different kinds of clients and customers with more money to spend.
Brand messaging includes your tagline, website copy, and all the language used in your content to convey what kind of company you are, why you’re unique, and why customers should choose you. If your current messaging doesn’t take into account your target audience, take a specific angle or strike a specific tone, or encompass your “brand pillars” (or if you don’t know what any of these things are), then you need a rebrand that covers all of this.
The price ranges for a brand redesign that encompasses messaging vary widely. For small businesses at various stages, the cost can range from $15,000-$50,000 over several months.
Remember that at this point, if you’re an established and profitable business, you may be able to find financing that can help foot the bill for such an expense. Assuming you can calculate the return on investment (more on that below), a business loan that bankrolls new messaging might pay for itself. Only look in this direction if you’re confident that your rebrand will add real value to your business, and that you need financial help doing it.
Brand strategy refers to the long-term plans and goals for brand that extend far beyond the logo, colors, or even taglines. Strategy is about positioning yourself to become a leader in your field, cementing your reputation in the minds of customers as a top choice because the values you embody or promises you make (and keep). It starts with your product, of course, but encapsulates everything from advertising to office culture.
Strategy is the most expensive of all these factors, and is thus only for well-established businesses that generate a lot of revenue, but perhaps need help turning that revenue into profit, or otherwise becoming more effective. Businesses spend tens of thousands of dollars on brand strategizing.
Perhaps the most difficult and costly part of strategizing is ensuring culture adoption internally. The larger the company, the more difficult it will be to transform that company’s culture from staid and ineffective to energizing and successful.
If a rebrand doesn’t result in a return on your investment, it’s not worth it. That being said, how do you calculate something that defies easy measurement?
First, recognize that the scope of your rebrand will dictate whether the firm or consultant you hired will help you measure ROI.
“A smaller company who hires a consultant for logo/identity work will not likely engage in this results-focused dialogue, so the hiring company will have to define results measurement,” says Kristi Lowenthal, the CMO at FiWize and a marketer with over 20 years of experience. “A larger brand agency, on the other hand, is more likely to discuss not only the deployment, but also the measurement of rebrand success with a client.”
Lowenthal notes that the following measurements are typically considered when measuring ROI after a rebrand:
A rebrand isn’t a retreat, and it isn’t a repudiation of everything you’ve built up to this moment. Though the decision to rebrand is a difficult one, you don’t want to let something this important go by the wayside. The one thing that’s for sure about the cost of a rebrand: The sooner you go ahead with it, the less it will cost.