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That's How Much a Rebranding Really Costs

We often hear start-ups saying they would get a professional brand design "in a few years". For the start, "something small" would also suffice (whatever "something small" may be). The aha moment a few years later is inevitable: that scenario backfires and causes immense follow-up costs.


Andreas Rinnhofer, founder and managing director of Spedifort, reveals how badly this strategy backfires talking about his own example. At the end of 2020 we were hired to redesign the brand design of the Spedifort brand.


Conclusion: In the end, it costs a significantly more money to create and implement a rebranding than to start with a professional brand design in the beginning. But read for yourself.


Rebranding Brand Design Spedifort

Helene Clara Gamper: Dear Andreas, you are the founder and managing director of INN-ovativ KG, which unites several sub-brands under one umbrella brand. The most famous product is without a doubt Spedifort. What is Spedifort all about?


Andreas Rinnhofer: With Spedifort, we have created a platform on which we have finally made e-learning for the forwarding and logistics industry accepted by the industry.


HCG: How did you come up with the idea of starting such a business? How did that happen?


Andreas Rinnhofer: I myself was a forwarding manager for years and struggled with two major issues: the shortage of skilled workers and the fact that certain legal requirements in classroom teaching were very difficult to transport - regardless of whether it was about training newcomers or instructing existing employees.


One day my wife downloaded a fitness app, a "12 weeks - I'll make you slim" program. Although she was already slim - but hey, that's the way it is sometimes with women. (laughs)


So I thought, why shouldn't it be possible to develop an "I'll make you a freight forwarder in 12 weeks" program? That was ultimately the starting point for Spedifort. As a customer, I was looking for it and even wanted to implement it myself within the company I was working for at that time. Both failed due to the lack of time - after all, everything always has to be kept up to date, you know, and it was just not an idea supported by the industry. So I just started this idea myself.


HCG: At the beginning you created your own logo yourself. You have also defined two or three colors and a font yourself. How was the brand perceived by customers and business partners?


Andreas Rinnhofer: In the beginning, we were perceived as a classic start-up. We founded Spedifort out of our garage, so to speak. From practice for practice was the motto and we are just not the high-class players like vehicle manufacturers, for example. So we thought that all of this was too expensive and we couldn't afford it. We're not a start-up with millions in funding.


Of course, we always felt a bit bad at public appearances or presentations, when handing out flyers, at trade fairs and so on.


I wanted to have a rebranding relatively quickly, but I didn't dare because I thought "what shall I do with a 30-page manual" that nobody cares about? In reality, it's not about a manual, but about an operation manual. And with these operating instructions we are now much faster and manage to make everything look equally good relatively quickly, which we simply did not do before.



HCG: Many entrepreneurs mistakenly believe that a rebrand would be cheaper than a proper brand design from the start. Well, the cost of the design is one thing. But the re-creating of all marketing materials (online as well as offline) has to be added here on top. Many people forget about this. This is where the real costs of a rebranding become visible. How do you see this after your rebranding experience with Spedifort?


Andreas Rinnhofer: In relation to other marketing and sales expenses, rebranding is a small investment if you are honest with yourself. But it was a huge issue for us to redesign everything internally. This went from ballpoint pens to Google ads, social media, stationery, Word templates and even the website. So all of this was an enormous amount of effort that we could have saved ourselves if we had had a professional brand design right from the start.


Let me put it this way: I hire the architect before I have the house built and not the other way around. So it makes a lot of sense.


HCG: How long did it take to convert everything to the new design? And what roughly did it cost?


Andreas Rinnhofer: Switching to the new design is an ongoing process, it is still going on here and there. There are still some promotional materials in the old design. It took us many weeks to convert.


An example: We had 10 different Google campaigns, each with 10 different sizes. That meant we had to change 100 ads. But it really pays off: With the new brand design, we are much cleaner, moving away from the start-up look and towards the corporate look.


Andreas Rinnhofer

"In relation to other marketing and sales expenses, rebranding is a small investment if you are honest with yourself. But it was a huge issue for us to redesign everything internally. This went from ballpoint pens to Google ads, social media, stationery, Word templates and even the website. So all of this was an enormous amount of effort that we could have saved ourselves if we had had a professional brand design right from the start."


HCG: What would you advise someone who has a great idea for a start-up and wants to start their own business?


Andreas Rinnhofer: Just do it! 5% is the idea, 45% is doing it and 50% is selling. Many have ideas, but many do not implement their ideas.


HCG: Andreas, I thank you for the interview and wish you and your team a lot of success with Spedifort.


 

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