Why an implementation partner is critical to your agency’s rebrand engagements

Why an implementation partner is critical to your agency’s rebrand engagements

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Monday, April 20, 2020 | Patrick Heath, Andy Pollock

Your branding agency is no stranger to rebrands. You regularly work with organizations that are seeking to refresh or completely change their brands. Chances are, you pride yourself not only on the quality of your creative work, but on the thoroughness of the brand identities you create. From a strategic standpoint, you create the brand your client need to meet its business goals.

If you’ve never partnered with a rebrand implementation consultancy like BrandActive before, you might be skeptical about what rebrand implementation specialists actually do — and why it’s so critically important. To top it all off, you may be concerned about how BrandActive will fit into your existing client relationship.

When you fold BrandActive into a rebranding engagement, both you and your clients are sure to reap the benefits. Here’s how.

How branding agencies benefit by partnering on rebrand implementation with a specialist

BrandActive’s focus is crystal clear. We don’t create brands, and you won’t find any Corporate Identity designers or brand strategists in our organizational chart. That’s your territory. Instead, we make brand change happen. That means we focus on the logistics of rebrand implementation, from budgeting scenarios and branded asset conversion to vendor selection and operational brand governance. Put simply, you develop the brand strategy and create the design intent, concepts, brand identity, guidelines, and messaging. We see to it that your strategic and creative vision are executed fully and flawlessly, across all an organization’s many branded touchpoints – not just in marketing but through operations, facilities, fleet, HR and every other function and business unit. Not only that, but we make sure the rebrand happens on time, on budget, and according to a strategy that optimizes the client’s resources and captures efficiencies.

It boils down to this: BrandActive works in true partnership with creative agencies like yours when it comes to serving shared clients. And when your agency chooses to work with BrandActive, you benefit, too. Here’s how.

Your creative rebranding work is more likely to be implemented.

Rebranding represents a massive lift for your client’s organization. The marketing leaders who hired your team already understand it’s time for a rebrand. But the executive leadership team may not immediately understand the value of rebranding — and while they expect to be told the full costs, they aren’t ready to absorb a sticker-shock inducing estimate of the full costs to create and implement the new brand. (And most agencies aren’t prepared to provide a reliable estimate for the full program.)

When BrandActive enters the picture, we help organizations understand that they do in fact have a great deal of financial control over how to go about rebranding. We know from experience that there’s no one right way to rebrand, and we present our clients with multiple rebranding and budgeting scenarios to consider.

These options ultimately drive action by showing executive leaders what possibilities exist when it comes to bringing a new brand to market, including timing, cost, and quality considerations. The options we present often serve to bridge the gap between marketing’s vision for a rebrand and the leadership team’s understanding of what, tangibly, such a rebrand might entail. We tap our two decades of experience, proven methodology, and a database of benchmarks to produce highly reliable scenarios and budgets. These concrete details supplement the agency’s conceptual work around a brand’s messaging, look and feel. As a result, executives are able to make decisions that are both financially and strategically sound. When executives realize that a rebrand can be tailored to meet their organization’s financial and big-picture strategic objectives, they are much more likely to pull the trigger.

There are many ways to implement a brand. By holistically defining a varied set of options, executives, marketers, and branding agencies can align on what is best for the organization — and the new brand.

Your brand will be implemented more comprehensively and consistently.

As you well know, creating a new brand identity for a large organization is a major undertaking. Yet it is only the first step among many when it comes to actually bringing the new brand to life. Organizations that don’t hire rebrand implementation experts commonly struggle to implement their new brands across every touchpoint in a consistent manner. Prioritizing which branded assets are mission critical or most visible vs. which regions or product lines should be transitioned first, is a complex analysis and the choices made affects impact, budgets and more. The result? Brands that are expressed unevenly, with glaring inconsistencies across touchpoints and increased brand fragmentation.

Unfortunately, poorly executed rebrands reflect negatively on your branding agency — even though that piece of the puzzle is usually beyond your control.

When BrandActive is engaged in the process, however, that is no longer a concern. Our entire focus is on the operational activation of new brands. You provide the toolkit for rebranding, and BrandActive uses those tools to create the roadmap for rebrand implementation. In fact, we typically stick with clients for one to two years after the initial launch to ensure that every “i” is dotted and every “t” crossed. This means you can be sure that your brand work will be implemented in a logical, consistent, and timely fashion as you envisioned it — across every single branded asset and consumer touchpoint.

Managing the details through a much-needed project structure drives momentum.

Many organizations that choose to rebrand have relatively little firsthand experience navigating the rebrand implementation process. From legal and regulatory considerations to products and packaging, success is in the nitty-gritty details. And there are literally thousands of details to manage. Without a strong project implementation structure in place, organizations can quickly lose steam on a rebrand and fail to follow through on key tasks.

BrandActive brings much-needed discipline to the rebranding process. When we are involved from the earliest planning stages, we can also help keep momentum going in the brand creation phase. For example, we create a project timeline that includes time for approvals on creative work. This helps ensure that the creative process doesn’t run aground unnecessarily because of executives’ busy schedules and lack of sustained attention.

In addition, by adding structure and rigor to the process, we marry your creative and any production work you take on with the practical details necessary to make sure the brand you worked so hard to create is implemented as consistently as possible—from the splashiest signage and branded environments down to nametags and letterhead.

Better processes yield better results every time.

On-the-ground insight elevates your work and uncovers further opportunities.

Because we at BrandActive work so closely with the client’s on-the-ground operational teams, we can help agencies make more informed decisions about how to extend the look and feel across the full range of applications. For example, we could tell you that a particular client doesn’t put any branding on their hard hats for safety reasons — something you may not know without extensive experience in that specific industry and detailed conversations with branded asset owners. Our deep subject matter expertise in technical brand execution can also help in this regard. A designer may want to recommend an illuminated blue sign to go on top of a forty-story building across a city skyline. But we know from twenty years of experience that this wouldn’t work well from a visibility standpoint.

Finally, BrandActive ensures that ALL costs are accounted for in the cost estimates developed in the first phase of implementation planning, including the fees for ongoing agency support needed to ensure the integrity of the design and other related creative issues as the rebrand rolls out.

When agencies partner with BrandActive, together we create a one-stop shop for organizations looking to rebrand, from brand work to execution. It’s a perfect lock-and-key fit — and every party, including the client, comes out a winner.

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