Tips for Navigating a Rebrand

One of our favorite things is helping clients tell their stories to the audiences who matter, and sometimes that means helping them define their brand or reinforcing their value proposition.   

Last fall, we got to redefine our own brand by renaming our company, which is an exercise that doesn’t come around too often. Our company began in 2010 as The Mathews Group – perfectly named for the communicator turned entrepreneur who started it all, Melissa Mathews.  

But after 12 years, tripling in size, and expanding our ownership, client and team member roster, we’d outgrown our name. It was time for a fresh start. In November 2021, we changed our name to Spring Green Communications. What’s in a name change? A lot more than you might plan for is what we learned, and we want to share those learnings with you.  

Are you thinking of rebranding or changing the name of your organization or company? Here are five things to keep in mind as you go. 

Break free of the emotional connection you have with your existing brand. 

After marrying a U.S. diplomat, becoming a mom, pushing pause on her career, and facing a life full of international moves, Melissa Mathews bravely started her own communications shop and put her name on the virtual sign. She created something from nothing, and it blossomed under her vision of hiring the best people no matter where they lived or where they were in life’s transitions. There are many reasons for a strong emotional connection to The Mathews Group name. But Melissa held on to none of those because she knew the company had become much bigger than herself. When you can let go of emotions and instead let the future be your guide, you’ll find that the decision to rebrand is an easy one.  

Bring your organization along with you.  

It was critical to involve the whole team in our rebranding journey as a small business. Rebranding is a heavy lift and will likely take your entire team to make it happen. By ensuring your employees understand the strategic rationale behind the rebrand and getting them on board early, they’ll be enthusiastic about the work ahead and bring fresh ideas to the table to make it happen. And don’t forget about that emotional attachment thing. Your employees might have an emotional stake in your company’s name too. Have them help with brainstorming a new name or voting on the top contenders.  

Make it seamless for your stakeholders and clients.  

Develop a launch plan that celebrates your new name and informs important stakeholders, like clients and business partners. Your clients likely won’t care that your name changed but will care if they can’t contact you, have billing issues, or experience lags in service or quality. Make the rebrand seamless for them and use it as an opportunity to remind them why they enjoy doing business with you. 

Remember all the little things but know that you will ultimately forget about something. 

There are a million things involved in rebranding, from updating your website to changing your email signature to managing your social media pages. Some of the not-so-glamorous ones can get overlooked or be trickier than you anticipate. Here are the rebranding tasks that could cause trouble:   

  • Office 365 migration  
  • URL redirects 
  • Social media page name changes  
  • Timing it all perfectly  

Use it as an opportunity to do something differently or launch something new.  

Announcing a rebrand is a newsmaker, so use it as a moment to take advantage of a captive audience by promoting a new product or service. When we rebranded, we used it as an opportunity to launch an Instagram account and a new newsletter and publicize our sustainability, DEI and corporate outreach services.  

If there’s one thing that can ensure a successful rebrand transition, it’s effective communication. And thankfully we do that one pretty well. 

By Nellie Betzen