How to handle copy during a rebrand (and how not to)

A fresh, eye-catching new logo. A new website that perfectly reflects your company’s mission, vision, and values. Maybe even an updated name. These are the deliverables you likely have in mind if your company needs a new brand identity. What may not be top of mind, however, is that your agency of record delivering these action items on time hinges on how you decide to handle your copy.

Copy is a crucial yet overlooked aspect of a rebrand. You should have a plan to maintain an efficient process between your company’s leadership and the agency handling outsourced branding elements. That’s why we’re outlining what you should do (and what you shouldn’t do) with your copy to keep your rebrand on schedule and sailing smoothly.

1
Have everything ready to go

If you have a strong marketing team at your disposal, preparing a full site map and getting copy approved internally before hiring a marketing agency may be an attractive option. When it comes to website images, themes, and layouts, “Lorem ipsum,” placeholders don’t always cut it, so having approved copy will grease the wheels for designers and developers.

By getting your copy as close to the finish line as possible before concepting and design begins, you can avoid unnecessary back-and-forth between your team and your creative agency. The agency will thank you, and your team will be crushing deadlines to get the new brand identity up and running faster.

2
Take advantage of outsourced content services

When you know your platform better than anyone, letting a creative agency take control of copy may seem counterintuitive. But trying to keep components of a rebrand in-house when your team is busy with day-to-day business operations could be a recipe for a delayed launch and a strained relationship with your creative agency.

Not only does an agency bring a fresh set of eyes to in-the-weeds marketing teams, but they also likely have the upper hand on institutional knowledge and experience. Whereas clients may not know where to start, a marketing agency with content services will know what to write, where to write it, and how it should sound. Plus, a copywriter will have a better understanding of the approval process to stay on track and meet deadlines.

While giving up control may be difficult, spending an hour or two bringing a copywriter up to speed could save you days or weeks of trying to squeeze writing and approval into your day-to-day.

3
What not to do

Too often, the process is set back by internal teams struggling to approve copy when they already have their hands full. If your marketing team isn’t fleshed out, a marketing manager with other responsibilities may get stuck trying to prepare copy themselves. This results in feedback loops and a stunted, piecemeal process while your agency attempts to finalize the design.

Even if your copy is prepared beforehand, it still may not be web-optimized. Providing a paragraph when a snippet is needed or being too technical in your writing can result in excessive edits and a prolonged back-and-forth as both parties revise the copy to ready it for the web.

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Your copy strategy can make or break the efficiency of your entire rebrand. You should be proactive and find out what works best for your team or be prepared for missed deadlines and a messy process. And if you’re in the market for an agency that can manufacture seamless client experience through content creation.