Eliminate the guesswork: how to roll out a data-driven rebrand

Eliminate the guesswork: how to roll out a data-driven rebrand

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Tuesday, November 16, 2021 | Eli Greenspan

If you’ve recently made the pivotal decision to rebrand, you’ve undoubtedly amassed ample data to inform your strategy. You’ve conducted extensive market research and taken a discerning look at emerging consumer norms and expectations. And you’ve used what you’ve learned to create the visual identity and brand messaging that will best represent your organization’s new chapter.  

Because you’ve made data-driven decisions throughout the strategic process, you can be confident your new brand will propel your business forward in a host of exciting ways. But when it comes to effectively implementing your rebranding vision, you might have more questions than answers about how to proceed.  

How much will the implementation process cost? How long will it take? And how do you ensure you have the right resources to achieve a successful result?  

The answers to these questions also lie in the data. That’s why you need to gather information from every corner of your organization to help you develop an effective implementation plan. 

Tally up all the branded assets you’ll need to convert 

A large majority of your rebrand implementation budget will be spent converting your branded assets to reflect your new logo and visual identity. Therefore, to provide your CFO with an accurate financial analysis of how much your rebrand will ultimately cost, you’ll need to take a thorough inventory of everything your brand currently touches.  

This might include: 

  • Digital and printed marketing and communication materials 
  • Promotional giveaways (i.e. branded swag)  
  • Indoor and outdoor signage 
  • Websites, microsites, and social media 
  • Fleet vehicles and other large-scale assets like helicopters or planes 
  • ID badges, workwear, and branded apparel  
  • Products, packaging, and related materials like instruction manuals 
  • Employee training materials and handbooks 

Don’t rely on your own institutional knowledge when taking stock of all the branded assets you need to convert. Why? You simply don’t know what you don’t know. To round out your own expertise, send questionnaires to every department, conduct interviews and workshops with employees from key functional areas, request historical financial reports and requisition information, and complete site visits to satellite locations you might not be as familiar with. This will help you understand how and where your brand is used so you don’t miss a thing. 

Once you’ve completed your detailed inventory, you can begin building your budget and determining whether you can operationalize or capitalize some of your expenses.  

Assess the dependencies that will impact your ability to roll out your rebrand 

When counting the cost of a rebrand, it’s natural to focus almost solely on the monetary investment the endeavor requires. But there’s another important factor you should take into consideration: the amount of time your team will be working on the rebrand rather than their normal responsibilities.  

It takes a village to implement a rebrand. Unfortunately, some marketing leaders may not understand the significant toll the rebranding process can take on people throughout the organization. And that can cause a rebrand to lose momentum and stall out before reaching a successful conclusion.  

So, while you’re gathering the data you need to roll out your rebrand, be sure to factor in your dependencies.  

For example, you might need to work closely with:

  • Your legal team. If you’re changing your name or rebranding as a result of a merger or acquisition, your legal team will need to stay on top of the paperwork and fillings to keep you in compliance.  
  • Information services/IT. Your colleagues in IT may be juggling a multitude of complex projects that impact their ability to update the many digital assets under their purview (e.g. screensavers, Sharepoint files, login portals, etc).  
  • Finance. You will need to partner with the finance team to set up the project budget, and, if requested, define processes of how to access and track the budget accordingly 
  • Human resources. It’s crucial to lean on your HR team as a partner in rebranding. After all, they introduce your organizational culture and brand values to your employees every day. You’ll depend on them to update job postings, training materials, and a host of other employee-facing resources. You may also rely on them to help navigate organizational policies and determine things such as which content goes on which ID badges and who is required to wear certain branded apparel.  

All these organizational partners — and more — will play an important role in your rebrand’s ultimate success. Be sure to factor in their bandwidth, desired timelines, and competing priorities as you plan your rollout. 

Use data to inform your rebrand launch strategy and timeline 

While you were busy gathering data from across your organization, you may have also been planning the best way to introduce your new brand to the world. But that may have been premature. The truth is the volume and scope of the assets you need to convert — and the resources available to support the implementation process — will impact your launch strategy and ultimate implementation timeline.  

Your vision might be to launch your new brand in a bold, splashy way to make the biggest impact possible, possibly with a grand reveal that requires transitioning all your audience-facing branded assets overnight (or in a very short timeframe). 

Before you decide whether to proceed with this plan, take a look at the data you’ve just collected to determine if the plan is even possible. How much will it cost to transition assets in one fell swoop? Is your organization able to fund that entire price tag in one fiscal year? Or will you need to look for ways to reduce expenses and spread the budgetary impact out over a few years?  

Furthermore, do you have the non-monetary resources to make your big bang launch possible? If your internal stakeholders are busy with other strategic initiatives, can you hire external vendors to achieve your desired outcome? Are there alternative options that might achieve a similar outcome with less of a financial and operational toll? 

The key is to have cold, hard facts that help you make a wise decision.

All the data you’ve gathered to this point might tell you that you can absolutely move forward with the high-impact launch and short rollout timeline you’ve envisioned. Or it might show you that a slower, longer, more methodical rollout would be more prudent from a budgetary and dependency standpoint. The key is to have the cold, hard facts that help you make a wise decision.  

An experienced implementation partner can help you gather the data that will lead to a successful rollout 

Rebranding almost always costs more than you initially think and takes longer than you may expect. But by gathering the right data from the onset, you can craft a realistic implementation plan that will help you achieve the impact you desire.  

There are many details to consider. Taking a realistic inventory of your branded assets and honestly assessing your dependencies is an important first step. But to factor in every data point that leads to a successful outcome, you may want to consider hiring an implementation partner who has seen it all before.  

We have helped many marketers navigate the implementation process and make their rebrand vision a reality. And we’d love to help you, too. Let’s talk. 

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