Telecommunications companies are large and complex, with branding that manifests itself broadly in the marketplace. From storefronts to apps, from products to vehicle fleets, telecommunications companies are strikingly visible in both the physical and digital realm. Competition within the space is fierce, and telecommunications providers must stay top of mind in order to defend and grow market share.
As a result, all the major telecommunications players invest heavily in their brands and work hard to achieve a high degree of brand recognition and saturation. With so much brand complexity and visibility, rebranding a telecommunications company is a uniquely challenging endeavor.
How to rebrand your telecommunications company
If your telecommunications company is anticipating a rebrand, you must take the appropriate steps to ensure that you transition from your old identity to the new one without generating unnecessary market confusion. The success of your rebrand ultimately hinges on how well you plan for it. The following tips are designed to get you started in the right direction.
1. Begin planning your rebrand well in advance.
With so many moving parts and pieces, it’s imperative that your team begins the rebrand planning process as soon as possible. The more runway you give yourselves for planning, the more control you will have over the rebrand’s execution.
Begin by identifying the main goals of the rebrand. Your rebrand execution plans must flow from and support those overarching goals. Next, map out a detailed timeline for rebranding, including all interdependencies. Keep in mind that a rebrand can be completed with varying degrees of investment, depending on the selected strategy and the impact and degree of change required.
Remember, too, that each individual branded asset will have its own unique lead time for production. In order to rebrand even one subset of assets on the same timeline, you’ll need to begin the process of rebranding those assets at different intervals to ensure a simultaneous completion date.
In addition, your rebrand plan should identify potential risks and offer mitigation plans to offset those risks.
Finally, your plans should take into account the adjacent opportunities offered by the rebranding project. Your organization likely has the opportunity to gain new efficiencies in the process of rebranding. (For example, you can streamline your vendor network or improve brand governance. But you’ll only realize those benefits if you intentionally plan to achieve them.
2. Transition branded assets in strategic packages to reduce customer confusion.
Telecommunications companies are so large and intricate that it would be next to impossible to launch a comprehensive rebrand on a single date. More commonly, these organizations must plan to execute their rebrands on a rolling basis. This necessarily means they must prioritize and sequence the conversion of branded assets with the goals of achieving the highest possible impact and minimizing brand fragmentation.
The best way to do this is to group your assets into strategic packages and create a timeline for the conversion of each package. You can approach the asset-bundling process in a number of ways, depending on the broader goals of the rebrand.
For example, if your goal is to boost revenues with a particular type of customer, you might choose to approach your rebrand sequencing according to customer type. In this case, you would map each customer type’s buyer journey and package together the branded touchpoints that appear on that journey. Doing it this way ensures that a customer who buys cable service sees the same branding on the modem, the remote, the uniform of the serviceperson who comes to install the equipment, the installer’s delivery vehicle, and the graphic that appears on the screen when the television first powers on.
Alternately, you might choose to package assets by geographic location. In this case, you’d begin by transitioning all the touchpoints in your highest-impact markets (such as major cities) and work your way down.
3. Structure your rebrand plan so that business operations are impacted as little as possible.
A rebrand is a major, one-time project whose primary goal is improving your organization’s perception in the market. But a poorly implemented rebrand – one that interrupts day-to-day business operations or leads to discernable brand fragmentation – can actually erode your customers’ experience of your brand.
One of the biggest challenges of rebrand implementation, then, is figuring out how to transition branded touchpoints while continuing to use those same touchpoints seamlessly in daily operations.
In planning a rebrand, your team must take care to consider each branded asset and create a transition plan that minimizes disruption. Often, this means leveraging existing operational and production cycles. For example, plan to rewrap vehicles with the new branding during normal, scheduled maintenance.
4. Pay special attention to the effect of rebranding on customer service.
When a telecommunications company rebrands, they are choosing to tell a new and different story about who they are and the value they provide to their customers.
In order to clearly and effectively communicate your company’s new brand story, you must properly train your customer service team. Prepare each of your customer service representatives to answer customers’ questions about the rebrand and embody your new brand attributes in their interactions with customers. This means that everyone in your organization must be aligned in their understanding of why your company is rebranding. They need to know what the goals of the rebrand are, and how the new brand should be communicated to customers, both directly and indirectly.
With proper training and a healthy dose of change management, your new brand can be meaningfully incorporated into your company culture, including your staff’s interactions with customers. When your staff consistently adopts the new brand, your customers get more clarity. They come away with a better understanding of why your organization’s brand has changed and what it means for them. They experience firsthand the reality that the rebrand is more than just a new color palette or refreshed logo.
With the right plan in place, telecommunications companies can ensure they achieve a smooth and successful rebrand.