Don’t Forget These Steps When Rebranding Your Mobile App
Sean McGowanOctober 18th, 20174 minute read
Sean is a technical researcher & writer at Codal, authoring blog posts on topics ranging from UX design to the Internet of Things. Working alongside developers, designers, and marketers, Sean helps support the writing team to ensure Codal produces engaging web content of the highest quality. When not writing about the latest innovations in app design, Sean can be found cooking, watching old movies, or complaining about the shortcomings of his favorite Philadelphia sports teams.
In the business world, the term ‘rebrand’, ironically enough, suffers from a lack of good branding. It’s an intimidating, sometimes risky undertaking, evokes high pressure and higher stakes, and can carry a hefty price tag to boot.
And in some ways, those are valid claims. An app rebrand essentially scraps everything about the perception of your mobile platform and restarts from scratch. That means an enormous workload, regardless of the size of your app or scope of your brand overhaul.
But as a UX design agency with a considerable amount of successful app rebrands under our belts, Codal understands that ‘rebrand’ doesn’t have to be a dirty word.
Rebrands are, above all else, promising opportunities—for growth, for change, and for improvement. Here’s a few tips to ensure yours goes as smooth as possible.
Ask Yourself Why?
You may have already made a firm, affirmative decision on whether or not to rebrand, hopefully after careful deliberation and consultation. There’s a laundry list of answers to collect before you green-light such an expansive project—cost, time, ROI—but the most important question to ask isn’t a business metric or KPI. It’s simply ‘why am i rebranding?’.
Is your app’s user interface hopelessly outdated? Is it lacking enough major functionalities that an reboot is necessary? Has your company’s values, mission statement or even business model changed? Are you personally just tired of it?
Codal's recent rebrand of Contap, a social networking app
In Codal’s experience, we’ve found that the most common motivator among our clients' rebrands stemmed from their app needing to match new market trends and modern user expectations. Consumers’ affinity to different design styles changes over time, and apps must adapt to survive—this is the impetus behind a vast majority of mobile app rebrands.
Asking yourself why an app rebrand is necessary not only offers insight into whether a rebrand is the right decision for you, but it also dictates the project’s strategy moving forward. If you answer why you’re rebranding, you’re essentially forming a rough draft of project requirements.
Conduct A Content Audit
Once you’ve identified your app’s specific reasons for rebranding, and have fully committed to the overhaul, the next step is to perform a full-scale, exhaustive content audit. And I do mean exhaustive.
A quality content audit effectively translates every facet of your mobile application, from the splash screen to the color of the logout button, into solid documentation. Content audits deconstruct an app into its most granular components, so that each one can be analyzed and revamped by a UX design agency.
Content audits can also serve as an excellent opportunity to review your app's current offerings, such as specific features or content. Consider what their role in your rebranded app might be. If your rebrand includes a new functionality, how might it interface with pre-existing offerings?
Guidelines vs. Open-Ended
With every aspect of your app accounted for and packaged in comprehensive documentation, designers can begin the actual rebrand of the mobile platform. You still have an important decision to make though—how much guidance will you be providing?
Many companies, usually medium- to enterprise-sized, already adhere to an established set of design guidelines for all branding, whether it’s in an application, a website, or outside the digital realm in print media.
Codal's rebrand of SpendWitty, a deals-locator app
A rebrand offers you an opportunity to create this set of aesthetic standards, and if you do, it provides the UX design agency you’ve hired to rebrand with a solid foundation for the app’s overhaul. It can even significantly lessen the app’s time to market.
Choosing to forgo design guidelines can be an effective strategy as well. Lifting the limitations placed on UX designers can foster creativity, experimentation, and truly cutting-edge design techniques.
The primary disadvantage of eschewing guidelines is that it often requires several more iterations and rounds of approval from the client, and may necessitate user testing as well. All of this extends the rebrand process and exhausts resources—but the final product’s quality can be worth it.
Ready To Rebrand?
Rebranding your mobile app is a serious commitment, but its payoff can be immeasurable. Rebranded apps cultivate a positive perception of your app to its users, and stay attuned to the latest design styles and techniques.
If you’re considering an app overhaul, try reaching out to a world-class UX design agency like Codal. We’re experts not just in design, but in mobile app development too, meaning we can guide you through the rebrand process from conception to deployment.
Rebranding gets branded as risky, but Codal can deliver an upgraded, innovative mobile app to you safe and sound.