Whether taking a rebranding or rebadging approach to any changes to a company identity, signage can play a significant part in both the financial and emotional implementation of a brand. Often when a rebranding is taking place there is much talk of the aesthetic but the practical implementation is something which in itself lends to the brand voice. Was it an agile implementation? How efficient?
Do the materials used reflect the brand values? Is it seen as a waste of money?

Our Brand Director, Philippa Brown, shares her extensive knowledge and experience on the choices organisations face when considering rebranding vs rebadging.

1. An opportunity for a complete collateral review
In our experience it is not often that signs are taken down. They are usually added to when a need is identified but rarely removed – leading to a plethora of different messages, fonts, materials and even logos. A rebranding is an opportunity for a holistic review and not to automatically rebadge every signage application, but question each and every one. Is it required? Does it contribute positively to the overall experience of the user? Of course this can also often contribute to the bottom line with less signs and touchpoints required.

2. Use local inspiration creatively to help reconcile any objections
Consider using the vernacular architecture as an opportunity when a rebranding view is taken rather than rebadging. Embracing the local architecture to communicate to the local environment and community in a sympathetic and friendly manner. This can also help in cases where there is a strong minority local shareholding with potentially significant local objections. Consider placement of signage and other touchpoints as a key part of the brand messaging-what does this say? Is it helping to enhance the workspace or does it look like it has been an afterthought?


3. Take a holistic approach.
When the changeover from Gulf Oil to Q8 took place in 1986 over 3,000 petrol stations in six countries were involved and in the same period resulted in a volume increase of 50% in a static market. This was not a rebadging exercise, this was rebranding offering a significant improvement on the user experience at the forecourt with better lighting, better motivated staff and well maintained facilities and the financial gains where arguably quoted as a consequence of the activity.

4. The pragmatic approach
Consider the practicalities of a comprehensive rebranding. By producing in one go there is less risk of any print inconsistencies, one time to check the production process and maintain a supply of stock for the future. Commercially, this also allows for real economies of scale across different touchpoints- the same print machinery is now commonly used for signage, internal communication materials and fabrics so considering all of these touchpoints at the same time may also offer financial benefits.

5. For the speediest response
In cases where time is particularly critical obviously the quickest route is to simply replace the existing signs, especially where specifications, support structures and local permissions are already in place and a trusted supplier can methodically work through replacing the current items with a new identity. However, even in this case there is always an opportunity to review materials and specifications used previously – are they still the best for this application or are there new materials to market that can deliver better colour compliance, longevity or cost benefits?

Talk to Brand On to discuss your requirements.
Our experience with leading agencies and brands give us a unique advantage in helping you implement a new brand identity. Email:

Explore more about Brand On

Bibiography: Corporate Identity. Wally Olins. Thames and Hudson ISBN 0-500-01472-8


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