What To Consider When Completely Rebranding

Rebranding is a major decision that can have a significant impact on your business, your customers, and your reputation. It can also affect your trademarks, which are the legal symbols that identify and distinguish your brand from others. In this blog, I will share some tips on what to consider when completely rebranding, especially in relation to your trademarks.

three people sitting in front of a laptop; two of them  are pointing at the screen and the third has her hand on the trackpad

Rebranding is a major decision that can have a significant impact on your business, your customers, and your reputation. It can also affect your trademarks, which are the legal symbols that identify and distinguish your brand from others. In this blog, I will share some tips on what to consider when completely rebranding, especially in relation to your trademarks.

First of all, what does it mean to completely rebrand? A complete rebrand is when you change everything about your brand, such as your name, logo, slogan, color scheme, website, packaging, etc. A complete rebrand is different from a partial rebrand or a brand refresh, which only involve changing some aspects of your brand while keeping others intact. A complete rebrand is a radical transformation that requires careful planning and execution.

Why would you want to completely rebrand? There are many possible reasons for a complete rebrand, such as:

  • You want to target a new market or audience that is not compatible with your current brand identity.

  • You want to differentiate yourself from your competitors or avoid confusion with other similar brands.

  • You want to update your brand image to reflect changes in your products, services, values, or vision.

  • You want to overcome a negative reputation or a crisis that has damaged your brand trust and loyalty.

  • You want to align your brand with a new partner, merger, acquisition, or collaboration.

Whatever the reason for your complete rebrand, you need to consider how it will affect your trademarks. Trademarks are the legal protection for your brand name, logo, slogan, and other distinctive elements that identify your business and products. Trademarks give you the exclusive right to use these elements in connection with your goods or services, and prevent others from using confusingly similar ones that might infringe on your brand.

When you completely rebrand, you essentially create a new brand identity that replaces your old one. This means that you will need to register new trademarks for your new brand elements, and decide what to do with your old trademarks. Here are some tips on how to handle this process:

  • Conduct a trademark search before choosing your new brand name and logo. You want to make sure that your new brand elements are not already registered or used by someone else in the same or related industry. Otherwise, you might face legal challenges or conflicts that could jeopardize your rebranding efforts. You can use online tools such as USPTO’s TESS to search for existing trademarks in the US, or you can hire an attorney to conduct a comprehensive search.

  • Apply for trademark registration as soon as possible. Once you have chosen your new brand name and logo, you should apply for trademark registration with the relevant authorities in the countries where you operate or plan to operate. Trademark registration can take several months or even years to complete, depending on the complexity and availability of your chosen mark. The sooner you apply, the sooner you can secure your rights and prevent others from copying or infringing on your new brand.

  • Consider abandoning or transferring your old trademarks. If you completely rebrand, you will likely stop using your old trademarks in commerce. This means that you will lose the rights to those marks over time, unless you renew them periodically and prove that you still use them. However, renewing trademarks that you no longer use can be costly and unnecessary. Therefore, you might want to consider abandoning or transferring (or selling) your old trademarks to someone else who might be interested in using them. You can do this by filing a declaration of abandonment or assignment with the USPTO or other relevant authorities.

  • Communicate clearly and consistently with your customers and stakeholders. A complete rebrand can be confusing and disruptive for your existing customers and stakeholders who are used to your old brand identity. Therefore, you need to communicate clearly and consistently with them about why you are rebranding, what changes they can expect, and how they can benefit from the new brand. You can use various channels such as social media, email newsletters, press releases, blogs, videos, etc., to inform and educate them about your rebranding process and goals. You can also use incentives such as discounts, coupons, free trials, etc., to encourage them to try out and adopt your new brand.

A complete rebrand is a big undertaking that requires careful planning and execution. It can also have a significant impact on your trademarks, which are the legal symbols of your brand identity. By following these tips, you can ensure that your rebranding process goes smoothly and successfully.

I hope this blog has been helpful and informative for you. If you have any questions or comments about rebranding or trademark matters, please feel free to contact us. We would love to hear from you and assist with your branding needs.