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How to rebrand your tech startup: From strategy to design

You know that successful rebranding is more than adjusting the typeface of your logo … right? This is how to master your rebranding from top to bottom.

3 min read

To rebrand or not to rebrand—although it might not be an easy decision to let go of your familiar brand colors, logo, and website if you want to grow as a company, you will sooner or later need to roll out a rebrand with a new brand strategy. In this article, we will walk you through the most frequently asked questions (and the answers to them) about rebranding for tech startups. 

What is rebranding?

A common definition of rebranding is the following*: When your company rethinks your marketing strategy with a new name, logo, or design, with the intention of developing a new, differentiated identity in the minds of customers and other stakeholders. Also, you need to apply your refreshed visual identity on all your brand touchpoints, especially on your website. This is what makes rebranding a complex process that should be based on strategic decisions.

*Source: Hubspot

When is a good time to rebrand a tech startup?

Depending on the business needs, the market trends, and the target audience's perception, some experts suggest considering a rebrand, understood as a complete overhaul from strategy to visual and verbal identity and sometimes even naming, or a brand identity revision for tech startups every 3-5 years. 

Of course, minor adjustments and updates may happen more frequently. Please note that rebranding should be a strategic decision driven by valid reasons such as pivoting, entering new markets, outgrowing the existing brand, or a significant change in the business strategy. It's not something to be taken lightly as it can impact customer recognition and loyalty.

Therefore, when you feel that you need to change “something” about your tech brand, you can also consider repositioning or revitalization strategies and not a complete rebranding.

When should I consider repositioning? 

Repositioning includes the strategic change of the intended perception of your tech startup. You know your brand needs repositioning, when your initial value proposition simply starts lacking differentiation, or when you are struggling to attract a new audience. 

When should I consider revitalization? 

Revitalization means enhancing the visual identity without changing the positioning of your tech startup. This affects a lot of later-stage startups that have been focusing on market research and product development while in this fast-paced environment, their brand identity became outdated. With a revitalization approach, your brand equity remains the same. 

When should I consider rebranding? 

In a nutshell, repositioning is developing a new strategy and revitalization is a new design, while rebranding combines both. From our experience, most of the time, a new strategy and new branding go hand in hand.

So, you might consider rolling out a rebrand when you want to break into new audiences and markets or reach the next growth phase. One surefire sign it’s time to rebrand is if are looking to (re)design your website: adaptations of your branding and your strategy might be necessary to really engage with users and explore new markets.

Later-stage startups approach us when they divide into a spin-off, like Enlitia for instance, or a new venture. Most of the time, they also need to find a new company name. On the other hand, when you have merged with another startup or you have been acquired, rethinking your brand strategy and your branding is a must. Mergers and acquisitions almost always involve rebranding at some level, always keeping in mind brand architecture. 

Are you looking for inspiration? Explore how the European unicorn startups BlaBlaCar (Traveltech) and Klarna (Fintech) have rebranded while conquering the market: branding curiosities and insights.

Visual showing a simple illustration sketching the layout of a website.

What do I need to keep in mind for my rebranding strategy?

First things first: Just as for your initial branding, strategy is also key for a successful rebranding. If you are looking to enter the next growth phase, an optimized brand strategy will smooth the way for your goal. Also, stakeholders and investors will be more than happy to see your business making progress.

If you want to stand out from the crowd, build an engaging brand, and attract prospects, you have to define your (re)branding strategy in detail, keeping in mind your long-term goals, values, beliefs, visuals, and the way of putting across your message. 

We know that developing a brand strategy involves a lot of back and forth. Maybe our Brand Strategy Toolkit will help you streamline the process and focus on the relevant points. It helps you create a strategy that resonates with your audience and enables your startup to reach the next level of success. 

To roll out a successful rebranding, you should build your new brand around the answers to these questions: 

  • Has your target audience changed or evolved?
  • Is your visual identity aligned with your personality? 
  • What are your startup’s goals for the next growth phase?
  • What are your investors looking for?
  • How is your brand received now and how do you want it to be received in the future?
Visual showing a simplified illustration of a web page with a rocket taking off and play buttons.

How do you rebrand a tech startup?

Depending on your branding strategy, you might want to implement just a few changes and reposition or revitalize your brand, or you are looking for a complete brand overhaul. We have compiled a list of useful resources that will help your roll out a successful rebranding.

  • Naming: New product, new venture, or new goals? Everything you need to know about successful (re)naming: from linguistics to trademarking.
  • Logo: Depending on the stage of your tech startup, you should keep in mind what kind of logo is best for your business—the advantages and disadvantages of wordmarks, isotypes, imagotypes, and isologos.
  • Visual identity: Colors, typography, brand elements … everything aligned contributes to successful branding for startups. Find out how your tech startup benefits from strategic branding. 
  • Website: Your startup deserves a website that harmonizes perfectly with your branding. And your users deserve a website that provides them with an optimized experience.
  • Motion Design: If you are looking to make the rollout of your rebranding a blast, there is no better way to leave a lasting impression than a video. Learn more on how you can leverage a company launch or product demo video to impress stakeholders and attract investment.

Hopefully, this article has provided you with some guidance on how to approach your rebranding. With the help of a branding agency, strategic decision-making is made a lot easier, allowing you to fully exploit your strengths and communicate your value proposition in the most effective way possible. If you have any questions, our Brand Designers and Brand Strategists are happy to lend you a hand.

About the author

Tamara Hofer
Copywriter & Marketing Assistant

Tamara is our multi-lingual expert in copywriting and storytelling. She also helps with all digital marketing efforts.

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