Rocky Rebrands Nazism and way too much not-safe- for-work imagery.
Rebranding is expensive, but sometimes it’s necessary. Here’s how to get the most out of your new identity.
By Jeanine Skowronski About a year after its 2016 launch, Pencil realized its name was bad for business. Co-founder Sydney Liu would talk about the online storytelling
platform to enthusiastic listeners at
events—but would-be users, thwarted by
a second-rate domain name (usepencil
.com) and a barrage of unrelated search
results, couldn’t find its website.
So, in 2017, the company, based in
Menlo Park, California, decided to redo
its logo, site design, and color scheme
before ultimately relaunching as Comma-
ful. The overhaul worked almost immedi-
ately. “Within a week, we were number
one on Google for our name,” Liu says,
and organic sign-ups began to increase.
Rebrands;are fairly common for
startups and small businesses that don’t
spend the time (or money) in the early
stages to get their messaging, logos, or
even monikers;just right, says Douglas
Spencer, president and chief brand
strategist at marketing consultancy
Spencer Brenneman. Besides discover-
ability issues, “they can run into legal
challenges,” he says, or “find themselves
with a logo that just looks amateur.”
But change is expensive: Most small
companies (with less than $30 million
in annual revenue) can expect to invest
$90,000 to $180,000 on a rebrand,
according to marketing agency Ignyte.
Fortunately, there are ways to cut
down on costs—and make sure your
investment pays o;.
The communications company
rolled out a new logo this year that
reminded many critics of a hate
symbol. (It was notably dubbed
a “penis swastika.”) But Slack
stuck by its newly deconstructed
hashtag, and the furor eventually