Rebranding represents an enormous commitment of time, energy, and resources. As a result, marketers must find ways to maximize their budgets and do more with less — even when the benefits of brand change are clear. That’s true whether the economy is soaring or budgets are being slashed. But in difficult economic times, your ability to execute an efficient rebrand may be the reason your organization can still afford to pursue this important strategic initiative.
With the right process, you can embrace streamlined budgets and smart spending — while at the same time delivering on the promise of a new brand to your customers. Here’s how.
Five things you can do to create a more cost-effective rebrand
When you find ways to streamline your rebranding process, you won’t just save money—you’ll also boost the ROI of your rebrand. In addition, the structural efficiencies you put in place during your rebrand will continue to benefit your company for years to come. Use the following tips to squeeze the biggest return from your rebranding dollar.
1. Use scenario planning to build an agile and streamlined rebranding plan
Efficiency-minded planning is the critical first step in executing a cost-effective rebrand. And that begins with scenario planning. You see, there are multiple ways to scope, plan and execute a rebrand. Scenario planning is about exploring your options and finding the best-fit solution given what you know about your current-state objectives.
By comparing multiple rebranding scenarios, you can select the rebranding plan (and budget) that represents the right balance of impact and efficiency for your business. For example, you might opt to stretch your rebranding rollout over a longer period of time in order to capitalize on existing operational cycles and save money.
But there’s another, lesser-known benefit of scenario planning — one that also ties back to efficiency. Scenario planning makes you more agile over the course of your rebranding project. This is important when you consider that rebrands are long-lived projects. In fact, many of them span multiple years. That’s a long time in the life of a business. During that period, many unanticipated things could happen. Your leadership could change. The economy could move in a different direction. Your firm might need to prioritize differently for any number of reasons. If any of these happens you will have multiple high-level scenarios to refer to as you consider how best to pivot to meet your new needs. And if none of your previously scoped scenarios fit the bill, you will at least understand that you have options — and know exactly how to go about exploring and assessing them.
2. Optimize your vendor strategy
In order to execute your rebrand, you’ll need to partner with a number of vendors to produce your branded assets. You almost certainly already have a rolodex of incumbent vendors with whom you partner on a regular basis. You may be tempted to keep things simple by going with those existing vendor relationships. Doing so may save time on the front end, but it often means leaving money on the table.
If you want to execute a truly cost-effective rebrand, you must work to get the most competitive prices from your vendors. That means going through an RFP process to see which vendors can come in at the lowest price while also meeting your stringent quality requirements.
The efficiencies you gain will benefit you long after the rebrand is complete.
3. Rationalize your branded assets to reduce the scope of your rebrand
The biggest task in rebranding is converting your branded assets to the new brand identity. But before you rush into transitioning assets, stop and take some time to assess which assets are branded and why. Take a detailed inventory of your assets and appraise them with a critical eye.
Which assets form the backbone of your branding efforts? Do you have multiple, similar versions of the same assets? The templates you use for marketing, documents (such as patient forms, in the case of a healthcare company), stationery, and signage should all be rationalized so that you reduce the number of different iterations of digital and physical assets down to what is actually needed to operate.
For example, healthcare organizations often have hundreds of different sign types. Surely, there are ways to streamline, and rebranding represents the best time to do just that. By building out a rationalized signage book, you can create a new signage standard that ensures you have a reduced number of signs that meet your organization’s needs. In doing so, you create a more streamlined approach. And in the long run, you create a higher degree of brand consistency from location to location and achieve economies of scale with your vendors.
4. Analyze your internal capacity to make the most of what you’re already spending
Another way to drive a cost-effective rebrand is to leverage your internal and external workforce as fully as possible as you execute the rebrand.
To start, examine your internal resources. What are your people doing on a day-to-day basis? Do any of them have the capacity to pitch in with the rebrand while also managing their existing responsibilities? Find ways to fully utilize your existing internal resources before pulling in new ones.
Next, review your relationships with your current vendors. Are you using them to the fullest extent possible? Can you leverage them to complete some of the work related to the rebrand without having to open new contracts?
5. Centralize and streamline your brand and spend approval processes
The more convoluted your approval process, the longer and less efficient your rebrand will be. If you want to centralize your approval processes, you must take the time to formulate and document your clear policies.
When it comes to marketing materials, make sure everyone in your organization (and vendor network) understands the pathway to approval. In addition, you should create a central hub where all brand-related materials can be submitted.
In terms of budgeting approvals, make sure your entire team understands the rules related to spending money, getting invoices approved, and any relevant approval thresholds (who has the authority to sign off on what amount).
By creating a clear set of approval guidelines, you ensure that your team moves quickly and efficiently and avoiding bottlenecks along the way.
Rebranding is a massive undertaking, one that is inherently challenging for even the most sophisticated organizations. The good news? By making small tweaks to your approach, you can yield major cost savings. Follow our tips, and a seamless, cost-effective rebrand is well within your reach.