The SaaS project I work on was acquired by a new company back in 2009. We are finally preparing to do a branding/logo change. We are split in-house between whether to do a cold-turkey change, or a gradual change.
The change entails:
- New logo
- New brand name
- New CSS theme
The change will be seen by our direct customers (partners), as well as the customers of our customers (end-users). In any case, we will be notifying our partners of the upcoming changes, but the our partners' ability/willingness to relay the info to the end-users is unreliable. So inevitably, regardless of what we do, some end-users will notice the changes without warning. On the up side, those end users won't be calling us, they'll be calling our partners :)
The two options being bounced around are:
A cold-turkey switch. BrandA becomes BrandB immediately, with the new name, and new CSS theme. No mention of BrandA is ever seen again once the switch is made.
Gradual "phasing in" of BrandB. Probably done in three steps, with probably 3-6 months between phases:
BrandA brought to you by BrandB - Retains BrandA CSS theme and brand name, except for the banner logo across the top of every page in the UI, where BrandB is mentioned in a "brought to you by BrandB" tagline.
BrandB, formerly BrandA - Here we switch to BrandB's CSS theme, the entire product refers to BrandB now, except the banner logo across the top, where BrandA is mentioned in a "formerly BrandA" tagline.
BrandB Now the transition is complete.
Is either method known to provide a better or worse customer experience? Are there mitigating factors that effect which one ought to be preferred?