We're rebranding our mobile app with a new name and image after 2 years. What should our timeline look like? Are there any pitfalls we should avoid?

The app in question is a consumer-facing app that allows businesses in the hospitality space to sell their products more quickly through an additional sales channel. It has been going for over 2 years and has 10,000+ active users. It is also strong in Google search and has a strong social media base. We have the new brand name and full branding guidelines. We are now looking for advise on a timeline for when things should be done and also on the pitfalls we should watch out for.


Your strategy should encompass at least four components:

(A) Complete Visual/verbal/social/technical audit to find/create needed assets for transition: know which assets need to be retired or replaced and what transitional assets are needed to bridge the gap. Prioritize: not everything always needs to change at once and the more you have the longer it will take or cost. Plan to convert brand book concepts/guidelines into tangible or digital deployables: how much "stuff" do you need?; vendor selection; budgeting; designing production files; ordering; quality assurance etc...

(B) Internal (team) awareness & asset deployment program and monitoring compliance.

(C) External publicity plan: aimed at existing clients & prospects, and any other stakeholders: social networks, media, affiliate partners, etc... Timing should be coordinated with industry / sector calendar (trade shows, if applicable), and major app update for maximum effectiveness. Do you need specialized short term PR/AD help? How can you leverage your 10K+ users to buy in / get the word out?

(D) Technical migration & Monitoring Plan: seo strategy & tracking including all affected url redirects, landing pages, email changes, whatever is affected. Monitoring & analytics to see how effective the transition is (compared to old name stats) and when transitional assets can be retired.

Answered 5 years ago

Then your question is less about what the new brand ought to be and more about how to implement the rebrand during your transitional phase.

Some of your concerns should center around changing the name in social media handles, within your website's domain, and in app store and other listings.

Mainly that's an SEO issue, since back links are affected. So you'll want to talk to an SEO agency with a track record of shepherding websites through domain changeovers. Don't forget about email forwarding, by the way.

Really, changing names online is a common occurrence; and, properly handled, any dip in rankings ought to be minimal and temporary (assuming there is a dip at all). For a well conceived rebrand, the rebound will more than make up for that.

Apart from worrying about search engines, social media profiles, and your various directory listings – which is about as complex as moving from 1 apartment to another – you'll want to think about human customers.

Naturally, you'll want to inform them about your rebrand. Timing that is important. So is spin. A name and image change by itself is disruptive. People who think they know you already must be convinced to meet you afresh. It's important to persuade them that this transformation is a justifiable improvement and that it signals improvements for them as well. I recommend including your audience in the transition and leveraging the rebrand as a PR opportunity.

One last thing ... Before you commit resources and time to the new brand name or fully abandon the old one, talk to someone with naming expertise. Think of it as a home inspection before you sign off on a mortgage and move in. Maybe you already hired a professional, but an independent opinion wouldn't hurt. Probably everything is ok. Still, you never know what little things might cause friction. And having confirmation that everything is ok is worthwhile in its own right.

Honestly, I cannot advise you on the SEO or social media transition. But I can definitely inspect your new brand name before you get underway. Most likely your branding guidelines already include a strategy for pitching the new name to customers new and old, but if there are any gaps in those guidelines I can offer feedback there too.

Answered 5 years ago

Please DM and I'd have some further questions, but I may be able to advise on this.

Answered 5 years ago

Ah the App Market -

There are a few pitfalls too watch out for. Especially because rebranding an app can have a lot of issues - You will most likely lose your search results, and unless you do this properly you will lose most of your active users, and ill be basically starting from scratch.

I have re branded, reskined, and rebuilt hundreds of apps - Specifically Network Booster Pro had 1million+ downloads and we completely updated and rebranded - which was close to starting from scratch.

If you like i can provide you more advice with all your options and the best way for you to make this move with the least amount of problems.

Answered 5 years ago

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