Rebranding costs should ultimately be seen as an investment—one that can yield exponential returns over the life of your business.

That said, “How much does rebranding cost?” and “How long will it take?” are questions every company interested in rebranding needs to ask.

In what follows, we’ll break down the cost of rebranding, followed by a detailed look at the costs and inclusions of three different rebranding levels, as well as a few tips on choosing a branding agency for your rebranding project:

Let’s start with the central question at hand.

How Much Does Rebranding Cost?

Most small and medium-sized businesses can expect to invest $150,000 to $300,000 and six to eight months to transform their brand.

Studies show the average B2B business spends about 5 percent of their revenue on marketing. With that in mind, an average rebrand will cost anywhere between 10 and 20 percent of your marketing budget.

When we’re approached by a company wanting to know the cost of rebranding, we start by asking a few questions:

  • How long has the brand been around?
  • How many sub-brands, if any, do you have?
  • How many employees do you have?
  • How many customers do you have?
  • Is your geographic reach domestic or international?
  • How competitive is your industry?
  • What are your top business goals?
  • When do you need to achieve these goals by?
  • What problem are you trying to solve?
  • What would a successful outcome look like?
  • What is your budget for this project?
  • What is your timeline for implementation?

The answers to these important questions will help determine what type of rebranding approach is best for your company.

Recently, we did a rebrand for a small business that was extremely profitable because of an uncomplicated business model and low overhead. While the company was small, however, their needs were not.

They had no idea how their customers perceived them. They didn’t know how to differentiate themselves from their competition. Their brand name was confusing and meaningless. Their visual identity was stale and outdated.

This “small” business wound up requiring the same level of rebranding as some of our largest clients.

The takeaway is that while there’s often a correlation between the size of a company and the rebranding costs its facing, what’s more important is the size and nature of its challenges and opportunities.

Small companies can have complex needs and ambitious goals. Large companies can have relatively simple needs and more basic objectives.

Whether large or small, your brand exists across a variety of touchpoints, each a distinct opportunity to communicate your message.

Central to the cost of rebranding is determining which of these touchpoints are the highest priority, considering your brand’s unique needs and budget parameters.

rebranding elements

In what follows, we’ll look at some typical rebranding cost and timeline estimates in three distinct levels of increasing size and complexity.

Your company’s needs likely fall somewhere along the spectrum, but not necessarily squarely within one level or another.

Remember, the rebranding approach that’s right for your company is not necessarily determined by your annual revenue, but rather the nature and complexity of your needs.

The following levels are meant to be a practical guide for estimating the scope of your rebrand, not fixed packages.

Level 1: Brand Refresh Costs

cost of rebranding your company

Budget: $90,000 – $120,000+ | Timeline: 3 – 4 months

The most basic branding level, the brand refresh, is best for businesses with relatively simple needs. A brand refresh typically includes the following components:

  • Brand Discovery
  • Visual Identity
  • Marketing Collateral
  • Website
  • Messaging
  • Brand Guidelines

Elements like discovery, visual identity, and stationery are going to cost more or less the same for every brand refresh. The variables most likely to determine the cost and duration of this type of rebrand are the size and complexity of your website needs.

Does your site need to be a sophisticated lead generation tool, or will it mainly be used as an engaging online brochure?

Will your website require numerous layouts including a blog, or can you get away with a streamlined single-page site?

What types of functionality like ecommerce, document management or memberships will your website require?

Since a well-designed website is the centerpiece of any brand refresh, the answers to these questions will the determine the time and budget you can expect to invest on the initiative as a whole.

Beyond the scope of your website, photography is another variable that can affect your rebranding costs.

We recommend original photography whenever possible, as it imbues your brand experience with a genuine authenticity you just can’t get from stock photos.

Of course, original photography comes at a premium, and for some brands, the need for it can be minimized or even eliminated depending on the nature of its offerings, number of employees, etc.

When it comes to photography, the unique needs of your brand will dictate where your investment is best allocated and where you can find places to save time and money.

The Ultimate Guide to Rebranding

Everything you need to know about rebranding your business-and avoiding costly mistakes.

Level 2: Brand Reboot Costs

cost of rebranding your company

Budget: $150,000 – $200,000+ | Timeline: 6 – 8 months

The next level of rebranding is the brand reboot. A brand reboot is best for companies who are dealing with the systemic issues that typically accompany business growth and/or age.

A newer company on the fast-track to outgrowing its original brand should be thinking about fundamental shifts in branding that will stand the test of time.

A company that’s been around for decades but never updated its brand requires profound, strategic changes as well.

A brand reboot typically includes elements such as:

  • Brand Discovery
  • Customer Research
  • Brand Audit
  • Brand Positioning
  • Visual Identity
  • Marketing Collateral
  • Website
  • Messaging
  • Photography
  • Brand Guidelines
  • Brand Rollout

The major difference between a brand refresh and a brand reboot is that the latter includes comprehensive brand research and strategy. This means the rebranding costs and time required by a brand reboot are more significant than those required by a refresh.

Are you struggling to differentiate your company or articulate your unique value propositions?

Is your brand misaligned internally and/or externally?

Are you unable to effectively communicate to each of your distinct audience segments?

These are the type of critical challenges addressed by a brand reboot.

Brand Reboot: Research

On the research side of things, a brand reboot typically includes a limited amount of internal research to understand how the brand is perceived by key internal stakeholders. This might include one-on-one interviews with a handful of members of the executive team.

In addition to internal research, a brand reboot should feature in-depth customer research to get a comprehensive understanding of current brand perceptions.

The cost and duration of the customer research phase depends on a few factors.

  • How large is your customer base?
  • How many unique customer segments do you serve?
  • Will the research entail one-on-one customer interviews and quantitative surveys?
  • How many different customer personas must be developed?

The answers to the questions will help to determine the rebranding costs and timeline associated with your brand reboot.

Another important facet of the research conducted in a brand reboot is the brand audit.

A brand audit includes both an internal audit to assess the strengths and weaknesses of your current brand and a competitive audit to understand the competitive landscape in which your brand operates.

If there are things that are working well with your current brand, it’s important to identify them so that you can leverage them in your brand’s next chapter.

If there are opportunities for competitive differentiation amidst the competitive landscape, it’s critical to understand them so you can take advantage of them in your brand’s new positioning.

Brand Reboot: Strategy & Positioning

The strategy and positioning side of the brand reboot is where you define the strategic framework of your brand and position it for growth and success.

Core messaging, brand personality, competitive advantage, brand promise—these and other foundational elements are refined or redefined during the strategy and positioning phase.

Strategy and positioning are essential for companies that have big goals, particularly those around increased growth or expansion into new markets. It is both the roadmap to future success and the blueprint for the brand that will get you there.

Brand Reboot: Naming & Tagline

Another variable area of scope in a brand reboot is naming or renaming. A new name can address a number of challenges faced by growing companies:

  • Has your company outgrown its current name?
  • Have its offerings or geographical reach expanded?
  • Do you need to divorce your brand from negative associations?
  • Is your brand vision no longer embodied by your current name?

Renaming is a powerful and often unavoidable initiative. But it can tack on thousands of dollars to the cost of rebranding, as it usually requires weeks of research, brainstorming, and vetting.

Level 3: Brand Overhaul Costs

cost of rebranding your company

Budget: $225,000 – $350,000+ | Timeline: 9 – 12 months

The final rebranding level, the brand overhaul, is best suited for companies with wide-ranging and complex challenges.

For a company that is an established enterprise with a global presence, rebranding is complicated by the size and complexity of its business model. Accordingly, the rebranding costs associated with a brand overhaul represent the ceiling of the pricing spectrum.

A brand overhaul often includes the following:

  • Brand Discovery
  • Internal Research
  • Customer Research
  • Brand Audit
  • Brand Positioning
  • Brand Architecture
  • Brand Naming
  • Visual Identity
  • Marketing Collateral
  • Website
  • Messaging
  • Photography
  • Brand Guidelines
  • Brand Rollout

A rebranding initiative of this scope comprises the full spectrum of inclusions. Let’s look at some of the most important ones:

Brand Overhaul: Research

A brand overhaul demands extensive and in-depth research. This includes not only comprehensive customer research across multiple segments, but also thorough internal brand research including both qualitative and quantitative initiatives.

Qualitative internal research consists of initiatives like interviewing internal stakeholders to better understand how they think about your brand.

Internal interview participants usually include targeted segments of the workforce such as sales, marketing, customer support, management, etc. These interviews return important insights into how your brand is perceived by its most important ambassadors.

Quantitative internal research includes things like online surveys designed to collect data from a wide range of participants that will either confirm or deny certain hypotheses developed in the qualitative research phase.

The Ultimate Guide to Rebranding

Everything you need to know about rebranding your business-and avoiding costly mistakes.

Brand Overhaul: Brand Architecture

In addition to brand research, the extent of a brand overhaul and the rebranding costs associated with it depend in a large part on your brand architecture.

Brand architecture is the integrated system of names, symbols, colors, and visual vocabulary that maps out your brand and its offerings. Oftentimes this includes multiple sub-brands in an organized hierarchy.

How many brands does your company include? Is it a monolithic architecture with a singular parent brand and sub-brands underneath it? Or are we creating distinct brands that live on their own?

The nature and extent of your brand architecture will in turn affect the scope of your visual identity.

Your visual identity is more than just a logo. It is the visual embodiment of the positioning work done in the strategy phase.

A powerful visual identity will capture your brand’s defining attributes, like its purpose, promise, and personality.

Brand Overhaul: Marketing Collateral

The number of marketing and design touchpoints also affects the rebranding costs associated with a brand reboot.

How are you currently marketing your brand? Do you sell physical products? If so, packaging is critical.

Are you a life sciences company who gets the majority of your leads through trade shows? If so, you’ll need to think about trade show booths, catalogues, and brochures.

Are you a consultancy marketing yourself almost entirely online? In addition to a stellar website, you’ll need an arsenal of content for automated marketing including guides, whitepapers, case studies, and the like.

Or are you a restaurant or retailer operating out of a physical location? In that case you’ll need signage and wayfinding in addition to flyers and menus.

Brand Overhaul: Activation

Finally, the extensive human capital that is involved in a brand overhaul also entails a considerable investment in brand activation once the new brand is ready to be introduced to the world.

Meticulous brand guidelines must be created if your team is expected to execute the brand in a cohesive and consistent fashion.

Both new and existing employees must be trained on the implications of your brand’s positioning. They should be familiarized with core messaging including your vision, mission, values, and brand promise before your brand launch.

A brand is only effective if it is aligned both internally and externally, and both of these goals require investments of time and money. That’s why when it comes to a brand overhaul the cost of rebranding can be significant.

Choosing a Partner for Your Rebrand

ignyte cost of rebranding
When it comes to choosing a branding agency with which to partner on your rebrand, keep in mind that just like brands, there are large agencies and small agencies.

If you’re a large, multinational Fortune 500 company in need of a comprehensive rebrand, you’ll likely need to work with a large branding agency with a massive staff and offices across the globe.

This type of rebrand can cost millions of dollars and span across multiple years.

If you’re a medium to large company, working with a smaller, boutique branding agency has many advantages.

Boutique agencies are highly specialized and much nimbler. They give you the advantage of working directly with senior level staff and top talent.

You’re more likely to ensure that your project is prioritized by working with a boutique branding agency.

One thing to keep in mind is that a lot of agencies claim to be experts at branding when in reality they’re just marketing or design firms without deep experience in research and strategy.

It’s important to be mindful when selecting an agency to work with. A qualified branding agency will have a proven track record of substantive successful rebrands, including in-depth research and strategy.

The Takeaway

When it comes to rebranding, no two company’s needs are the same. A successful rebrand will be custom tailored to your company’s unique challenges and opportunities. That’s why the cost of rebranding varies so widely between companies.

Wherever your needs fall on the rebranding spectrum, the most important advice we can give is not to cut corners.

If you’re going to invest in a rebrand, it’s always in your best interest to spend the time and money to do it right. Any savings you realize in the short term by taking shortcuts are sure to cost you a lot more in the long run.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2017 and has been updated with additional insights.


The Ultimate Guide to Rebranding

Everything you need to know about rebranding your business-and avoiding costly mistakes.


A prolific blogger, speaker, and columnist, Brian has two decades of experience in design and branding. He’s written for publications including Forbes, Entrepreneur, Inc. Magazine, Fast Company, HuffPost, and Brand Quarterly.