Measuring the Success of Your Rebrand

Olivia Michielutti headshot

Many factors influence a company’s decision to rebrand. Maybe your organization has evolved and there are gaps in your messaging or brand identity. Or maybe your business is facing tough competition and needs to reclaim its position in the marketplace. 

Regardless of your motivation, it’s crucial to establish goals for your rebrand before you begin the heavy lifting. Identifying your desired outcomes will help you stay on track throughout the branding process and serve as criteria for evaluating the success of your rebrand initiative. 

Establishing Goals for Your Rebrand

The first step of a rebrand is to establish goals and desired outcomes for the initiative.

Start by asking why you want to perform a rebrand in the first place. If you don’t have a clear business need, it will be hard to measure its effectiveness and ROI later. The time you spend considering the desired future state of your brand and your underlying motives will help you pinpoint the outcomes you want to achieve.

Consider the following desired outcomes for your rebrand, and determine which ones are most important and relevant to your business and its success.

Potential outcomes of your rebrand:

  • Updated and streamlined messaging
  • Improved brand recognition
  • Appealing to a new audience segment
  • A more unified company culture
  • Increased engagement
  • Relevance in the current marketplace 
  • Differentiation from competitors with similar offerings
  • Brand consistency following a merger or acquisition

Approach this list as a starting point. The next step involves defining your goals using the SMART goals method. 

Writing SMART Goals

SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound. As you define goals for your rebrand, consider these elements:

  • Specific: Get granular and carefully break down your goal. For example, a desire to “increase audience engagement” isn’t specific enough. How much do you want to see audience engagement increase by and on which platforms?
  • Measurable: Use metrics and units to measure the effectiveness and ROI of your efforts. 
  • Attainable: Choose ambitious goals you can actually accomplish — you need the right amount of challenge for optimal participation.
  • Relevant: Your goals should align with industry trends as well as your organization’s values and long-term objectives.
  • Time-bound: Set a realistic timeline for achieving your goals. Check in on progress throughout the project before jumping straight to the final results post-rebrand.

The SMART goals method is effective for setting goals because it provides a sense of direction and serves as a guide for your initiative.

Establishing well-defined goals can make or break your rebrand. To understand how this translates to application, let’s consider two real-world examples.

A Tale of Two Rebrands

First, let’s analyze Tropicana’s 2009 packaging rebrand. Tropicana wanted to position its brand in a more current and modern state. By adjusting the packaging design, Tropicana hoped to resonate with younger audiences. Unfortunately, the rebrand proved a failure for the business. 

What went wrong? Well, it started with their goals.

Tropicana wanted to modernize its packaging to resonate with younger audiences. However, the rebranding team failed to properly address the “specific” and “measurable” elements of this goal. 

To further build out the goal, the team should have decided if a packaging update was the best way to attract younger audiences. If preliminary research confirmed it was, they should have determined which elements of the original packaging were ineffective and how the packaging needed to update those elements to connect with younger generations of consumers. The team should have also considered whether other elements of the brand should have changed, too. 

To make the goal measurable, the team should have included metrics. An example of this might be “increase the number of orange juice cartons purchased in-store by ages 15 to 25 by 5%.” 

When you attach metrics to a goal, it’s easier to defend a rebrand in the event of backlash. After the launch of its packaging update, Tropicana received significant criticism. Because Tropicana’s goals were not fully defined, the team was unable to defend the results of its rebrand using metrics. In the end, the new design was rejected so harshly by consumers that Tropicana reverted back to its original version of the packaging. 

Image showing the evolution of Tropicana's rebrand

Now, let’s take a look at a successful rebrand in which the business goals for the project were clearly defined.

Uber launched its rebrand in 2018, with the goal of becoming more accessible and relatable to consumers. What started as a luxury rideshare app soon transformed into a global mode of transportation. With the new brand, Uber hoped to make its identity more practical, functional and recognizable to consumers. 

Guided by these principles, Uber set goals that aligned with the SMART goals method. The team’s goals were customer-first and specifically addressed the need to be more accessible and end its reputation as a luxury brand. The team carefully audited its logo typography, visuals, and voice and tone to appeal to a wider target audience instead of just the business professionals they previously catered to. 

The actions and decisions related to the project were directly influenced by Uber’s goals. For example, the team wanted to showcase people of various ages and backgrounds in imagery on the Uber website. To track the success of this tactic in relation to the goal, the team watched for an increase in website views and clicks among diverse audience demographics.

By aligning its goals with the SMART goals method, Uber was able to take its vision one step further and define the best way to remain current in the market. Uber’s thoughtful process kept its team on track throughout the branding initiative and enabled Uber to use its goals to measure success.

Image showing the evolution of Uber's rebrand

Analyzing Metrics Post-rebrand

It’s also important to know how to evaluate metrics following a rebrand. Upon completion, review key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the success of the initiative. We generally wait six to 12 months after a brand rollout before revisiting metrics to measure the rebrand’s success.

Clear metrics for a successful rebrand include an increase in customer demand, website traffic and other markers of engagement. 

Brand image and perception are additional gauges  of success that can be measured by a brand tracking survey. By conducting a brand tracking survey before and after a brand rollout, you can gain insight into changes to audience awareness and perception.

Like markets, rebrands are dynamic. Continue to push for excellence and evolve alongside the industry — just remember to regularly measure the success of your brand.

Ready to take your brand to the next level? Contact us today to learn about the rebranding process and start a conversation about how Walker Sands can help you establish the right goals for your rebrand.


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