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Don’t Forget to Budget for the Work AFTER the Re-Brand

After spending over three years redeveloping its logo, telecoms giant, BT, could probably have done without the merciless Twitter trolling that followed.

The most brutal was, arguably, from Poundland, who suggested they’d “spent a £1” updating their logo to be just like BT’s.


It’s thought that the cost for BT’s rebrand (which essentially resulted in a black circle containing the letters ‘BT’) ran into hundreds of thousands.

But we’re not here today to further troll BT. Their logo is their choice, and its usefulness and application goes far beyond that simple black and white version that was universally laughed at.

Instead, we want to focus on what it probably cost them.

If you’re about to embark on a rebrand project, BT’s story is one to keep firmly in mind.


It’s about far more than just a logo

When BT paid its consultants, designers, and marketing gurus all of that money, it wasn’t just for the logo itself.

There is SO much that goes into a rebranding process. From the strategy to the planning, design and eventual launch, there are countless hours that need to be invested.

But it’s what happens after a rebrand that is so easily overlooked.

BT’s rebrand will have cost lots more than the bill for that new logo. Think about all the places where the logo appears; it’s on TV commercials, letterheads, marketing leaflets and brochures, installation vans, sponsored sports teams; the list is almost endless.

That’s right – the assets you need to create or modify as a result of a rebrand are numerous. It’s why so many businesses continue to find stuff that needs the logo swapping out long after the initial rebrand! And when you are the size of BT the list is even longer!

This is why it’s vital you budget for the production of that lovely new logo you’re having developed, because it’ll probably cost more than you initially think – before you start calculating all the places your logo is seen.


Simple rebrands with big impacts

If you’ve bought a bar of Dairy Milk recently, you’ll probably have spotted that it looks a bit different. This is thanks to Cadbury’s biggest rebrand in 50 years.

It’s quite a significant rebrand, too, because although the main Cadbury logo has only changed marginally, the branding team has also redeveloped the ‘glass and a half’ logo and all of the iconography and typography for each bar.

Just like BT, the impact of this from a production perspective is massive. Think about all the packaging alone that needs to be changed, along with the advertising assets, shop signs, and digital storefronts.

It’s probably why the roll out of the new brand has been staged, with Australia receiving it first, followed by South Africa, Malaysia, and the UK earlier this year.

BMW is another big-name brand which waited a fair amount of time before conducting a rebrand.

Last year, the German car manufacturer unveiled a ‘flat’, minimalistic new logo – the first change to the iconic brand in two decades. When you look back at the various iterations of the logo, they’re all pretty similar (indeed, the 2020 version is actually remarkably similar to the 1963 version, albeit without a black circle). But, again, one of the largest costs will relate to the post-production of the logo itself.

Unlike BT and Cadbury, BMW will need to physically reproduce that new logo at huge scale in order for it to appear on the front, rear, and interior of its vehicles – and that’s in addition to the usual digital and printed (think of all those brochures!) assets.


How to budget properly for a rebrand

BT, BMW, and Cadbury will have worked tirelessly to budget for their rebrands. They knew that the work required would extend far beyond the hours spent on designs, development and review meetings.

It’s why marketing budgets for projects like this will always (or, at least, should) include the costs of reproduction after the design element has been completed.

No matter the size of your business, it’s vital you undertake the same approach as these big brands. You may even need to follow Cadbury’s lead and stagger the launch of your new brand, depending on how many assets it’s going to impact.

So, when you embark on a rebrand project, think about everything to which it will be applied. This might include your:

  • website;
  • social media profiles;
  • hard-copy and digital brochures;
  • direct mail headers;
  • leaflets;
  • email signatures;
  • business cards;
  • branded merchandise;
  • corporate clothing;
  • adverts;
  • blog images;
  • eBooks;
  • company vans;
  • sponsorship material;
  • physical products; and
  • digital products.

This isn’t even a comprehensive list!

All of the items above will have an associated cost when it comes to adding your new logo. Make sure you identify those costs for each element before you bring in the branding team. It’s also essential that the integration of your new digital assets is planned so that all partners/stakeholders can apply the new branding and keep things consistent.

Obviously, if you’re ready to talk seriously about your rebrand or have any questions about what we’ve covered here, just get in touch with the Be Smart team.