Cost-saving process improvements that extend beyond the rebrand

Cost-saving process improvements that extend beyond the rebrand

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Monday, December 3, 2018 | Philip Guiliano

At first take, now seems like the time to celebrate. Or at the least, let out a long sigh of relief, sit back and relax a bit. Your executive team has signed off on the new brand. Your peers and employees seem excited about the new strategy and design.

But if you really want to hit your rebranding initiative out of the park, hold off on booking that two-week vacation. There’s more to do. Take the time now, before your smartly organized teams roll out the brand to the market, to identify and implement process improvements for branded assets that could leave marketing, facilities, and other corporate budgets in the green for years to come.

Use rebranding as a springboard for significant cost reductions

Producing branded assets is the single biggest expense of rebranding initiatives. The decisions you make today will affect spending not just now, but for years to come. One way to reduce costs is through savvy vendor management. Because you touch every branded asset during rebranding, it’s is the perfect opportunity to develop smarter ways to buy. Most companies use multiple vendors—different sets based on geography and/or department/division—to produce branded assets as needed. Now’s a good time to move away from this piecemeal approach. Develop detailed specifications, then consolidate your business with vendors who give you the best price and service. This saves literally millions of dollars at large organizations. The savings from signage, fleet, and uniforms alone can impact the bottom-line financials.

Take a closer look at the costs for high-maintenance branded assets, such as vehicles. Could you get a similar brand impact if you applied decals to just one or two panels, rather than to four? Could you design the branded decal to completely cover the existing decal completely? If so, you won’t have to paint the vehicle. These tactics save costs on an ongoing basis.

Potential cost savings: 10-25%

Leverage branded assets more efficiently

Where should you go all-in to make an impact with your brand?

This may not sound like a money saving endeavor. However, if you consider the huge sums spent on advertising to get your brand in front of your customers, it may make sense to increase spending in some areas. Consider the opportunity to apply dynamic imagery to some types of vehicles and signage. Do a bit of math to see if you will be able to create millions of additional impressions for your brand where it counts: out in the real world. Then, consider the savings you may be able to gain by trimming spending on local television or radio commercials—yet still maintain or increase unaided recall and brand favourability metrics.

Potential cost savings: 15-35%

Reduce expense through management techniques

Inventory control: Pursuing cost reductions doesn’t mean taking a completely austere approach to your new brand. A good place to start reducing waste is with smart inventory controls. Many companies keep too much branded material on hand, including collateral, forms, and merchandise. When new strategies or materials are introduced, these are discarded and their sunk costs that can’t be recouped. Investing in better inventory control processes is a good first step. Pair this with improved vendor selection and contracting practices, and the savings add up fast.

Simplification: Simplifying is another worthwhile endeavor. Consider all the collateral and forms your business has issued over time. Chances are only a fraction are being used today. The next step is consolidation. One well-designed piece of sales collateral with clear calls to action may be able to replace three pieces. Strategic simplification and standardization actions like these minimize required spending on branded materials. One tech company employed this approach to pare 1,200 documents down to less than 200.

Digitization: While we’ve all heard enough about digital transformation, rebranding is the right time to give this initiative some attention. Leveraging technology whenever possible to replace manual workflows and paper forms can rack up huge savings in labor and direct costs.

Potential cost savings: 10-20%

For prudent marketing executives, rebranding offers many possibilities for saving money. It’s just one more reason to celebrate your new brand.

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