What is the first step you should take to begin to successfully rebrand? Why start here?

These answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year and have created tens of thousands of jobs. Learn more at yec.co.

1. Take Some Time for Introspection

“Self-awareness is the first and most important step to rebranding. Ask yourself the following questions and make sure you can answer them with confidence: Who are you? What do you do? What do you want to be known for? Why do you want to rebrand now? The process of answering this will help you pin down your brand‘s story and will influence everything from packaging to marketing.”

Shu Saito, Godai Soaps

2. Create a Business Case for the Rebrand

“Rebranding can be expensive and time-consuming. Make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons by creating a business case before you begin. Ask yourself why. Crunch the numbers. Do some research. Talk to your customers and staff. Check the budget. Compare it to other activities and then verify that you’ll gain more by moving forward. Move forward only after you have a business case for it.”

Amber Anderson, Tote + Pears

3. Identify What Is Not Working About Your Current Brand

“A rebrand is a serious change, and nobody does it without a serious reason. If there’s the need for a rebrand, that means something in your branding strategy stopped working properly. The first step would be to identify the problem and find out exactly how it impacts the customer experience. And then, after thorough customer research, you can start rebranding.”

Solomon Thimothy, OneIMS

4. Engage All Stakeholders Throughout the Process

“The strategic rebranding decisions should start with the top management, but it needs to keep the stakeholders in the loop. This includes the employees as well as the customers. Make sure the new brand identity matches the company culture and resonates with the audience as well. Keep the lines of communication open and actively seek feedback from everyone who is invested in your company.”

Rahul Varshneya, Benchpoint

5. Conduct Thorough Research Across Multiple Areas

“Before you make any substantial change to your brand, it is extremely important that you conduct thorough research into why and how you plan on rebranding. Focus groups, analysis of competitors and insight into current trends should all be taken care of before making even the smallest change. Failing to do so can lead to a massive waste of time, money and goodwill from your users.”

Bryce Welker, Crush The CPA Exam

6. Test the Changes With a Focus Group

“The first step to a successful rebrand is to create a focus group. Get together some of your existing customers as well as potential customers who might be unaware of your company or are using a competitor. It’s important to see how your rebrand will resonate with both your current customers as well as those in your target audience to determine if your rebrand is heading in the right direction.”

John Turner, SeedProd LLC

7. Ask Your Customers What You Did Right

“Often when you’re rebranding, it’s to find the right market fit or because something went badly. The most effective way to rebrand for a successful run is to simply ask your existing customers (even angry ones) what you did right. Take that feedback and make it the primary focus of your rebranding efforts. It will likely lead to second tries and the delivery of exactly what your customers want.”

Ali Mahvan, Sharebert

8. Clearly Communicate the Benefits of the Rebrand to Existing Customers

“Slack just did this and it was confusing. Their logo was well known. Now, trying to find their new logo on mobile and desktop is a pain point. Their messaging has changed to collaboration, so a hashtag doesn’t make sense, but it was disruptive and not communicated. Make sure you have a good reason to rebrand, and that the reason and its benefits are clearly communicated to existing customers.”

Kerry Guard, MKG Marketing

9. Create a New Style Guide

“A style guide will help you create consistency among different teams. Include your new colors, font, high pixel logos, image guidelines and more. This will help people in your organization have a reference when designing a new Facebook header or writing a new blog post. This will create a consistent look for your new brand.”

Jared AtchisonWPForms

10. Study Competitors Who Have Rebranded

“Do a case study on the competitors in your industry who have attempted to rebrand. If you can learn from the mistakes and successes your competitors had in rebranding, it will give you a leg-up on the competition. This tactic will help you avoid some of their mistakes, while also building on the success they experienced to gain a competitive advantage.”

Matthew Podolsky, Florida Law Advisers, P.A.

11. Understand What You Want to Achieve

“Start by thinking about what needs to change about your brand and if there’s anything you want to keep. If you’re just freshening up a brand, you’ll probably want to maintain some reference to the past. If you want completely drop the old brand, you’ll want an all-new name and vibe. But before you dive into execution, think about what you want to achieve and let that guide your decisions.”

Ryan D MatznerFueled