Passing down a business from one generation to the next doesn’t have to mean cutthroat power struggles and dramatic disagreements—contrary to everything Succession may have taught you. 

Whether you’re transferring ownership or simply bringing new voices into the mix, succession planning presents the perfect opportunity to look back at your brand’s history and evaluate if you still stand for the same things. 

A rebrand is a tried-and-true way to create new energy and galvanize an existing team (and your audience, too) around a fresh purpose. Done right, it can help you facilitate a seamless shift in leadership as you hand over the reins to the next generation or new ownership. 

If your business is ready for a reset, here are three ways you can use a rebrand to usher in a new era.

1. Go straight to the source

The first step in setting your brand up for succession is knowing what’s working and what needs to go. And who better to turn to for insights than the folks who know your brand inside and out?

Before embarking on the rebranding process, consider interviewing key team members and stakeholders (safely and anonymously through a third party) to get a better understanding of your current strengths and challenges, and where the biggest growth opportunities might be. Whether a changing of the guard has you considering a full brand overhaul or you’re making small tweaks, these insights will serve as your framework—and can shed light on untouched corners of the business you hadn’t even considered. The best part? Involving your team and showing you value their perspective builds trust—and deepens their level of investment in the process.

An example: Abstract Developments came to Monday on the precipice of big change. With ambitious growth goals and new leadership taking charge, they needed a top-to-bottom rebrand to make a grand re-entrance into a market they’ve been in for over 25 years. 

Before we got caught up in palettes and positioning we knew we needed to establish a clear starting point. By interviewing internal team members and external stakeholders, we gained a holistic understanding of Abstract’s strengths and struggles—and used those insights as our north star throughout the rebranding process. Keep your eyes peeled for the new Abstract, launching soon.

2. Tell a new story

Your positioning is the heart and soul of your brand—what you stand for and, more importantly, why you stand for it. But as tides shift and new ownership comes into play, the positioning you once perfected might fall flat. A passing of the torch presents a prime opportunity to rethink your positioning to make sure it reflects where you’re headed—not just where you’ve been.

If your brand was built on a founder’s vision that no longer serves you, consider expanding your story to put a new generation in the spotlight. But ushering in a new era doesn’t mean throwing your past in the trash. Find impactful ways to retain your brand’s heritage while keeping your audience focused on the future. Add an aspirational brand pillar that pushes you to bring innovation to tried and true practices—or create guiding principles that shape how the team shows up in a new age.

Take a cue from Homes Alive Pets—a family-run business that’s been in the pet industry for over 30 years. As a new generation stepped in, it was clear that their once crystal-clear story had gotten lost along the way—which was creating inconsistencies as the brand grew. We helped the HAP team turn over a new leaf with unified brand positioning that resonates with their audience of modern pet parents—without losing sight of the history that got them there. 

3. Rethink your identity

Nothing says new brand on the block like a fresh look and feel—whether you’re starting from scratch or redefining an existing identity. A visual rebrand signals to your audience that you’re embarking on a new chapter, and makes a clear distinction between what once was and what’s to come. 

Take stock of how your brand shows up across every touchpoint—from your logo and colour palette to art direction and typography—and ask yourself what’s no longer serving you. Are your colours feeling a little stuck in the past? Could your font use a modernization? 

New voices in the room make it easy to fall into an all-or-nothing rebrand mentality—but don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Done well, a thoughtful refresh can be equally as impactful as an overhaul.

As Essential Impact’s founding partners geared up to pass the torch, the new generation saw a prime opportunity for fresh brand messaging and a revamped look and feel. We helped the team communicate their new vision for the brand with updated positioning and audience personas, and we refreshed their visual identity to put their warm, people-centric approach front and centre. By expanding their playful, yet professional colour palette and modernizing their wordmark, we set the Essential Impact team up for a smooth shift in leadership and paved the way for them to connect with new audiences in a meaningful way.

If you’ve got big business changes on the horizon, exploring a rebrand—or a simple refresh—can help you start off on the right foot. Need a hand bringing your big brand ideas to life? We can help.