After they safely crossed the brand rollout ‘finish line’, many of our clients confessed they’d had no idea how critical and complex a new brand transition (also known as a brand implementation, or brand rollout) could be. Our ‘scope and assess’ phase alone requires an interdepartmental effort that will rely heavily upon your team’s organizational and communications expertise.
A corporate rebranding initiative is a high-profile, risky venture because it impacts all of your employees, customers, and your bottom line. Our top 10 insider tips below will position you to ask the right questions and make the best decisions when you’re assigned to manage a rebranding initiative.
- Be crystal clear on your company’s rebranding goals and the bottom-line drivers of the brand identity change. Understanding the reasons for the rebranding and the expectations of C-Suite execs allows you to keep your eye on the prize and prioritize accordingly.
- Gain the trust of your C-suite decision makers. Have a solid handle on the data you need to present to management (what, how, who, when, how much it will cost, and metrics for success), to support informed decision making with your proposed rebranding strategy.
- Develop a rock solid brand implementation strategy while the new brand is being designed. Creative development (new logo, tagline, etc.) is just the beginning of a corporate rebranding project. A brand transition strategy (separate and distinct from your brand strategy) should be your road map to success for getting your branded assets transitioned to the new brand on time and on budget.
- Know what data you need to gather. Compiling the right data upfront is key to a successful brand implementation. Most companies have lots of information, but the challenge is to consolidate it into a workable format, ensure you don’t miss anything, and analyze it in a meaningful and comprehensive way.
- Identify whose support you will need internally and align all parties early in the process. Departments like IT, HR, finance, legal, marketing, and facilities will likely be key partners in the process. Be sure to take into account whether these functions are centralized or decentralized, especially if you are a global company.
- A full rebranding project will likely cost more than you think. The cost to create the new identity is just a fraction of what you will spend implementing it. Be sure that you have a good handle on all the costs that need to be accounted for.
- Consider where you can tap existing budgets to help fund the initiative. Be prepared to work with all departments impacted by the brand transition. We help our clients identify funds for their brand rollouts from operational budgets, capital budgets, and special project budgets.
- Define early on what “launch” looks like. What you consider the launch of your new brand can be whatever you want it to be; consider business, political and other relevant factors to determine the best approach.
- Understand the brand compliance requirements for the transition. Guidelines, standards, and technical specifications must be adhered to, for brand consistency and ongoing brand management.
- Expect change and plan for it. As mentioned earlier, a rebranding initiative is a high-profile undertaking. A comprehensive brand implementation approach should build in contingencies and include a risk mitigation plan.
BrandActive has walked through the rebranding fire with scores of clients whose new brands benefited from our industry-specific branded asset lists, subject matter experts, and top-notch financial analysis. Learn more about us at www.brandactive.com and follow us on LinkedIn to grow your expertise in corporate rebranding and brand implementation best practices.