Abion / Blog / Mastering the art of Rebranding: Expert advice and essential insights

Most companies have, at some point, undergone a rebranding to varying degrees. It can involve tweaking colours or, in our case, a complete overhaul. Here, our experts offer their best advice along with insights from mistakes made.

Why rebrand?

On average, companies undergo rebranding every seven years. This process is often complex and challenging, yet it is also incredibly rewarding.

Here, three experts in their respective fields offer advice on:

  • The overall process
  • Trademark registration
  • Domain registration
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Triggers for rebranding typically include one or several of the following factors:

  • Strategy changes
  • Substantial growth
  • Repositioning
  • Mergers or acquisitions

In our case, we experienced all the above, prompting us to adapt our strategy, company name, brand consolidation, profile, logo, colours, and design.

Shifting from a Nordic focus to a major global player

The past two years marked significant growth for us, both organically and through multiple acquisitions. Consolidating our experts under one roof expanded our company in a number of ways, changing our offering.

Simultaneously, we transitioned from a Nordic-focused company to a European presence, with the vision of becoming one of the global leaders in Intellectual Property (IP) protection. Effectively communicating this significant shift requires a substantial investment of time and resources to redefine our identity and brand.

"Form a work group from various departments, considering not only their positions but also their embodiment of our company values. This, together with a steering group for the strategic decisions is a good foundation.”

- Emil Björnum, CMO Abion

Our rebranding process step by step

Discover the stages that transformed our brand, from assembling internal representatives to the final rollout and celebration. Our CMO, Emil Björnum, shares his insights after leading our process.

Step 1: Assembling internal representatives

To gain a profound understanding about the company we formed a work group. Selectively collecting a relatively large group of individuals from various departments, considering not only their positions but also their expertise within their fields. We analysed elements to retain from the old brand, and what to discard, while investigating future plans.

Step 2: Brand strategy alignment

A very important step. Comparing a rebranding to building a house might seem cliché, yet it holds. Without a solid, well-thought-out foundation, the entire process is at risk of failure.

At this stage, we streamlined the working group, as well as created a steering group for the strategic decisions.

In our case, one aspect of the strategy was unifying all company brands under a single, shared name. This decision significantly influenced our strategy's outcome. Having a structured framework for such decisions facilitates making objective, well-considered choices based on facts rather than emotions.

Part of the brand strategy is the brand platform, which played a crucial part in going forward. The steering group had at this stage aligned around our new:

  • Vision
  • Purpose
  • Promise
  • Personality
  • Brand essence
Introducing Abion

Developing the name, colour scheme, font, tagline, and design all stems from the brand strategy and brand platform. The earlier the alignment stems from those, the smoother the process unfolds.

Step 3: Naming process

The smaller work group and the steering group can now, with the brand platform as the cornerstone, dive into the naming process.

  • Take on external help from naming agency. And yes, there are firms only doing naming processes – nothing else!
  • Form a concise steering group comprising individuals with suitable expertise and authority
  • Utilise a structured framework to guide your evaluation, considering factors such as pronunciation ease, domain availability, and visual appeal
  • Check the availability of both the trademark and domain(s). Nowadays, the competition for domains is massive, which means you might need to acquire the necessary domains.

Initially, we had 170 valid name suggestions, which was both a blessing and a curse. We streamlined this list to 5-10 top contenders and conducted a thorough investigation, assessing factors like domain and trademark availability, as well as potential linguistic hurdles.

Those hurdles were also relevant when we considered what markets we are active on today, and what markets that lay in the future.

This manual review can be time intensive. As an ICANN-accredited registrar, we were able to run automated checks and efficiently register the top-level domains worldwide.


Balancing Meaning, Legal risks, and Appeal

  • Choosing a name mostly based on its inherent meaning may not always be the optimal choice. During the process of seeking agreement and opting for a less legally risky name, there's a chance that the chosen name may not resonate well with everyone.
  • Opting for a name that poses fewer legal risks but lacks strong appeal might not be the ideal route. Legal expertise, as provided by firms like Abion, can help navigate such situations.
  • Selecting a name devoid of direct meaning might allow for its gradual acceptance and endearment over time. This often happens as people become accustomed to it.
  • Conducting a Knockout search, which is a pre-filing search of the trademark databases, at a very early stage can minimise the risk of individuals forming attachments to names that may not align with the desired brand image.

Step 4: Design – Trust your competence

With the design decisions, particularly regarding colours and shapes, trust your instincts as a marketer. While making strategic decisions, seek feedback and insights from your steering group. Their input isn't just for guidance during decision-making; it serves as valuable support post-decision.

Abion Inspiration
Inspiration (1)

Step 5: Roll out, launch and celebrate

Execute the rebranding rollout by prioritising tasks and setting clear, realistic expectations. Establish defined goals to guide the process efficiently. Ensure transparency in communicating the right expectations throughout the team. Celebrate the successful completion of the rebranding, acknowledging the achieved milestones and aligning with the set objectives.

Trademarks & Domains – Our expert's best practice

Having your trademark strategy aligned with your domain strategy is always important, but in a rebranding, it's even more crucial.

Here, one of our Attorneys at Law and Domain Experts share their best practice advice on trademark and domain strategies.

Giulia Della Nina, Attorney at Law

Best practice for trademark registrations

Invest time in thorough investigation and clearance research. Avoid choosing a name you're not satisfied with. Rushing the launch may lead to receiving claims or cease-and-desist letters from third parties.

Cybercrime statistics

If you're, like us, filing for a new brand name, Giulia strongly recommends checking the availability of the trademark and domain early in the process. And if the domain in fact is available – register that before filing the trademark.

Once a name is chosen, file for the trademark as soon as possible. This also applies when registering a brand within your existing brand, such as for a new product.

  • Evaluate your strategy: prioritise markets for trademark filing, with a six-month window for additional market evaluation.
  • File the Name: Apply for the name as both a word and a figurative mark.
  • Choose main classes and potential expansion: Register in primary classes and consider classes for future expansion.
  • Coordinate with domain registration: Align the trademark filing process with domain registration procedures.

Prioritise investigation and clearance to ensure operational freedom. It's preferable to encounter rejections early on rather than post-launch, enabling your freedom for future growth.

Rikard Andree, Domain Expert

Best practice for domain registrations

  • Research and Analysis: Make a delineation based on what markets you are active in, and their priority (whether that is linked to their respective turnover or another key driver).
  • Secure relevant domains: Register the primary domain (e.g., .com) and relevant TLDs to protect your brand. Acquire variations that align with potential typos or misspellings to prevent brand dilution.
  • Domain broker assistance: As most domain names are now owned by a small group of individuals, acquiring a desired domain might require the services of a domain broker. Abion provides this service to assist you in acquiring the domain you need.
  • Place a backorder: A domain backorder allows you to reserve a domain currently registered to someone else. If that domain name expires, you get a chance to register it before it's available to the public.
  • Monitor your brands: Track infringing domain registrations across top-level domains not under your control.

It is also important to note that in certain countries, domains cannot be registered until the trademark application has been submitted or even registered.

We ensure alignment with your domain and trademark strategy

With our comprehensive approach we serve as your trusted partners in safeguarding your brand's identity and securing its online presence.

Our expertise and resources ensure a seamless and harmonized process for your domain and trademark needs. Developing the name, colour scheme, font, tagline, and design all stems from the brand strategy and brand platform. The earlier the alignment stems from those, the smoother the process unfolds.

Trademark strategy Abion

Liberate your brand with strong brand protection

Contact our lawyers and experts today.

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