As a marketing leader, you’re driven to continually maximize your brand’s impact and increase your market share. As a result, perhaps you’ve made the strategic decision to rebrand as a way to position your company for growth and catapult your brand’s value. Or you might see opportunities within your marketing and brand operations to boost efficiency, manage resources more strategically, eliminate redundancies, cut costs, and/or speed up your time to market.
Whatever your marketing and brand needs, BrandActive can help you manage them. And we can design effective strategies to equip your employees to accept, adapt to, and ultimately adopt any organizational changes that lie ahead. In fact, BrandActive has intentionally expanded our services in recent years to help marketing leaders put infrastructure in place that will support large-scale change while navigating the resulting cultural implications.
To help you envision what a holistic approach to brand change and management looks like, Paige Reilly, Director of Marketing & Brand Operations, and Heather Jones, Director of Client Engagement, offer their expert perspectives.
Rebrand implementation is just the beginning of brand change
Since 1998, BrandActive’s mission has been to help marketing leaders with the financial analysis, strategy, planning, and logistics of rebrand implementation. But over the years, we observed that a well-oiled implementation was only the start of bringing a new brand to life. Many organizations needed more support learning how to live out the new brand and deliver a consistent experience long-term.
“There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to the challenges clients bring to us,” Heather says. “It’s been eye-opening to sit with CMOs, VPs, and other executive leaders and hear what’s top of mind for them. With some leaders, we’ve delved into ‘art of the possible’ conversations around what keeps them up at night, what vision they have for unifying their brand as a result of an M&A, or what their customer research is revealing about their brand’s future. On the flipside, we’ve talked to leaders who are entirely dialed into where they’re headed but need the ‘left-brained’ expertise we offer to make that change happen.”
Paige agrees. “Clients might initially come to us about rebranding logistics, but through the course of conversation, they often discover there are many more ways we can serve them. They might have operational challenges they need to resolve for long-term success. Or they might be moving from a decentralized to a centralized marketing function and not know how to get their team working in lockstep. Our marketing and brand operations service gives marketing leaders the support they need to evaluate their people, processes, tools, and technologies through the lens of making a lasting brand impact.”
How to achieve long-term brand consistency and loyalty
Delivering a consistent and predictable brand experience is an essential part of building loyalty and affection for your brand. But with so many channels, technologies, and touchpoints to keep track of, it can feel impossible to achieve the high levels of brand consistency your audience deserves.
As part of our marketing and brand operations service, our team can assess your current state and identify what you’ll need to adjust in order to uphold your brand strategy now and in the future.
- Evaluating your team’s structure, including roles and responsibilities, to ensure you have the right people doing the right work at the right time
- Uncovering and eliminating redundancies in processes and procedures to improve efficiency
- Identifying tools and technologies that will streamline workflows and enhance collaboration across departments
- Documenting brand guidelines for creating branded assets — from quality and size specifications to preferred materials, approved vendors, and more
“Rebranding is often what prompts conversations about brand and marketing operations and change management,” Paige explains. “But the reality is this work is crucial whether you’re rebranding or not. Especially in today’s competitive market, every organization needs to create more efficiencies, save money, and make the best use of its resources. We help leaders put infrastructure in place that supports the entire marketing function, makes the entire operation more impactful, and helps the team get things done efficiently.”
“Of course, at the heart of any change are the people who have to adopt it and make it part of their day-to-day,” Heather adds. “There’s plenty of research and data showing that when people are supported through a period of transition or transformation — whether it’s an M&A or the introduction of a new system or tool — they’re more likely to embrace the change and help make it successful. That’s where the principles of change management come in.”
Why change management principles are key to your brand’s success
Change is hard. That’s true whether you’re implementing a relatively minor change to a familiar process or rolling out a revolutionary rebrand. And since your people are the living, breathing representation of your brand, it’s essential to consider the human and cultural impact of the organizational changes you make.
Helping employees process brand change in a healthy way is your best chance to see them become authentic brand ambassadors. - Paige Reilly
“Rebranding in particular involves one change after another,” Heather says. “Take a healthcare organization for example. During the course of implementation, employees might need to adopt a new electronic record management system, get new ID badges, become accustomed to new signs and wayfinding systems, trade in their favorite branded scrubs for a whole new look, and talk about the services they provide to patients using unfamiliar words and messaging. All these things in isolation may not be huge changes, but when taken together, they can be overwhelming. Thinking about all of this through the lens of intentional change management is the best way to keep the organization — and its employees — moving forward.”
For maximum impact, it’s best to include change management principles at the outset of a rebrand implementation or marketing and brand optimization project. But the opportunity isn’t over if the project has already started.
Factor in the emotional impact of brand change
“Organizations are sometimes surprised by the emotional impact that brand change can have on employees,” Heather says. “One client I worked with recently started to cry when she talked about changing the beloved brand she’d been attached to for her entire career. She wanted to be a good leader and a good advocate, but she was sad about losing the legacy of what had shaped her career.
“Giving people a chance to voice their true feelings without minimizing their experience or negating what they say is so important. Without those opportunities, organizations can miss the chance to create a great connection throughout the organization and help employees get excited about the brand’s evolution.”
“That’s true in the marketing and brand operations world, too,” Paige adds. “The way you work and support the brand is a personal thing for so many people. If you redefine roles and change processes without thinking about the impact it’s going to have on team members, you risk losing them through attrition or through passive resistance. Helping them work through and process the change in a healthy way is your best chance for helping employees become authentic brand ambassadors and champions.”
“There are bottom-line reasons to make change management a priority as well,” Heather says. “Change management helps prevent costly productivity losses and unneeded employee attrition. And the more you can reduce unhelpful ‘water cooler chatter’ and eliminate undercurrents of dissatisfaction, the more successful your overall venture will be.”
Unlock your brand potential with holistic marketing services
The marketing landscape is changing fast, and as a result, your role has never been more challenging. Now more than ever, your organization needs to respond to market disruptions and emerging opportunities with agility and flexibility.
Whether that means rolling out a rebrand or optimizing your existing brand and marketing operations, embracing change is a key part of the journey.
It can be overwhelming, but you don’t have to do it alone. BrandActive’s team of strategic consultants and boots-on-the-ground experts can help you take your brand where you want it to go. Get in touch.