Preparing to rebrand? You need a comprehensive branded asset inventory (now)

Preparing to rebrand? You need a comprehensive branded asset inventory (now)


Eniana Vrenozaj

If you’re on the brink of a rebrand, you’re probably asking a number of salient questions. How much will this project cost? How long will it take to achieve a successful result? What’s the best way to introduce your new brand identity to the world? Do you have the resources you need to pull it off?

Those are important questions to consider. But you can’t answer them accurately until you have a thorough understanding of all the assets that bear your brand identity.

Why? Your branded asset inventory informs your rebrand’s scope and will become the foundation that your financial projections, implementation plan, and launch strategy are built upon. As such, conducting a thorough, organization-wide audit of all your branded assets is one of the very first steps you need to take when planning for a rebrand.

Common roadblocks to creating a branded asset inventory

Auditing your brand’s varied assets is time-consuming and onerous. This is especially true for large, decentralized organizations in which multiple departments and business units are responsible for creating assets independently.

Despite the challenges inherent to conducting an audit, this simple truth remains: You can’t manage what you don’t measure.

It can be particularly difficult to get your arms around the scope of your rebrand if:

  • You use multiple platforms to manage branded assets, such as marketing collateral
  • There aren’t clear processes and procedures in place to govern the creation of branded assets, both in marketing and across the organization
  • Ownership for creating branded assets is scattered across many people and/or departments
  • You don’t have a central repository where all branded assets are filed and organized
  • Redundant assets exist in multiple spaces and places

Due to any (if not all) of these reasons, most organizations don’t readily have complete information about their branded assets on hand.

The multi-faceted benefits of auditing your branded assets

Despite the challenges inherent to conducting an audit, this simple truth remains: You can’t manage what you don’t measure. In order to roll out your rebrand consistently and effectively, you have to know what you’re dealing with.

Even so, it’s not typically a good idea to automatically convert all your existing assets to your new identity. Taking a branded asset inventory should be the catalyst that prompts you to make thoughtful decisions about:

  • Rationalization. When you have a complete picture of all your branded assets, you can decide which ones to convert, which ones to consolidate, and which ones to retire altogether. Thinking this through can save your organization significant time and money.
  • Prioritization. Most organizations don’t rebrand everything at once. It’s often beneficial to convert high impact assets first and complete the rest over time. Again, this can have a significant positive impact on your company’s bottom line while also making your rollout more manageable.
  • Resource allocation. Visibility into your rebrand’s scope helps you determine which  employees, workgroup leads, agencies, and vendors are needed to get the job done. Running out of steam is one of the most common reasons rebrands fail. Therefore, allocating resources wisely is of utmost importance.

Put simply, taking stock of all the branded assets under your purview gives you the insight you need to make data-driven, strategic decisions.

Strategies for gathering comprehensive branded asset information

It’s clear why creating a branded asset inventory is important. What’s not so clear is how to get the information you need when so much of it is hidden from view.

Signage is a perfect example of how difficult it can be to cobble together a complete inventory. National and global organizations might span hundreds of locations. Each location might have dozens or even hundreds of signs. That means marketing leaders at these organizations must gather information about thousands of signs in order to rationalize, prioritize, and transition them appropriately.

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Over the course of hundreds of engagements, BrandActive has employed a variety of creative ways to uncover the information clients need. To tackle the signage challenge described above, we might:

  • Request real estate data such as lists or previous site audits/surveys that may indicate the types of signs available at each location
  • Request a list of every facility the organization currently insures to make sure we look at every site under your brand’s purview
  • Look at the internal systems you use to create signs and wayfinding solutions
  • Ask for a list of your agency and vendor partners so we can request inventories of signs they’ve produced on your behalf
  • Survey managers and employees across the organization to determine whether they’ve worked with vendors to produce signs independently
  • Visit key locations to assess how many different types of signs there are

We then repeat this process (or a similar one) for every type of asset your brand touches: forms, fleet vehicles, workwear, ID badges, marketing collateral, etc.

This process takes time and can be quite involved. That’s why it’s so beneficial to engage an implementation partner to handle the lion’s share of the work required.

During the first six to eight weeks of an engagement, BrandActive will help you compile enough information to make accurate financial projections about your rebrand. Then over the course of many months, we’ll fill in every remaining gap.

Look for ways to optimize your marketing and brand operations

As you’ve probably realized, rebranding can be an eye-opening experience for marketing leaders. In fact, it can be quite shocking to gain a big-picture view of all the redundancies and inefficiencies that crop up in an organization over time.

That’s why auditing your branded assets also affords you a perfect opportunity to evaluate and strengthen your marketing and brand operations.

BrandActive can work with you to:

  • Establish organization-wide processes regarding how to create, manage, and store branded assets
  • Train employees on new brand guidelines and put guardrails in place to enhance consistency
  • Label and meta-tag branded assets such as healthcare patient forms and sales/product documents to help employees easily find what they need. (This can also play a vital role in enabling your organization to stay compliant from a legal and regulatory standpoint)
  • Create standardized templates for signs, ID badges, sales collateral, marketing materials, workwear, fleet vehicles, and other assets to reduce waste and create a uniform brand experience

Getting your house in order before you rebrand makes the implementation process more manageable and sets up your organization for optimal functionality in the future.

Build your rebrand implementation plan on a firm foundation

Rebranding can be a powerful way to bolster your brand’s value and drive your business forward. But to reach your strategic goals, you need a rock-solid implementation plan that factors in every detail.

That means you can’t rely on guesswork. It’s essential to base your decisions on solid information.

BrandActive knows how to track down all your branded assets, create a comprehensive inventory, and build a plan that will take your rebrand all the way across the finish line.

We’d love to help. Just let us know when you’re ready to get started.