How the environment can mess with your rebrand: 3 questions to ask about seasonality and climate

How the environment can mess with your rebrand: 3 questions to ask about seasonality and climate


Robert Sokoloff

It’s common for marketing leaders who’ve never been through a rebrand to orient their implementation plan around their desired launch date. They choose that date based on a variety of internal factors and then retrofit their implementation plan to meet their deadline.

But the better approach is to factor in all the external considerations first and then schedule your brand launch based on what’s realistic and feasible. After all, Murphy’s Law — the adage that anything that can go wrong will go wrong — is a powerful force. And to get ahead of it, you’ll need to look for ways to mitigate anything that could delay your timeline or increase your costs.

But what if you’ve never been through this process before? How can you plan for the unexpected if you don’t know what to expect?

By asking the following questions about your rebrand’s environment at the outset, you can prevent Murphy’s Law and other disruptions from wreaking havoc on your implementation.

1. How will the weather affect our ability to convert signs and other branded assets?

With enough time and money, it’s possible to execute a rebrand at any time of year and in nearly any circumstance. However, if you’re like most organizations, you don’t have unlimited resources at your disposal. You need to build a cost-effective (and safe!) plan that your team can handle.

So when it comes to transitioning branded assets like external signs and fleet vehicles, remember: There are better times, and worse times, to get it done.

Think through the impact of:

  • Seasonal weather. Rain, sleet, and snow can all affect your ability to install new signs in desired locations. These conditions can also make the entire process onerous (and even dangerous) for your team. In the northern hemisphere, winter is a good time to fabricate signage for spring installation.
  • Extreme weather events. Are you implementing a rebrand in regions prone to wildfires (e.g. California) or hurricanes (e.g. Florida)? It’s best to avoid transitioning signs (especially those on tall buildings) during these seasons. Scaffolding and high winds are not a good combination.
  • Regional/international climate. Some areas of the globe are always naturally hotter or colder than others. Extreme temperatures can affect everything from the way vinyl adheres to a surface to paint’s ability to dry evenly.

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How to plan for weather during implementation

There are two primary ways to create an implementation plan that factors weather into the equation. You can either work around it or you can work through it.

Each comes with its own set of ramifications. For instance, the first option might require you to delay your launch plans or otherwise alter your timeline. The second option will likely cost more and come with additional complexities to consider.

BrandActive has helped clients navigate both approaches.

  • One client initially intended to launch their new brand — and convert all their external branded assets — in September in the southeastern part of the United States. Because this timeline fell in the midst of hurricane season, we worked with them to modify their plan. We converted internal signs and easy-to-convert external signs first and held off on updating large signs (like those affixed to buildings) until hurricane season had passed.
  • Another client needed to move forward with their rebrand during the winter. But their vendors didn’t have the capability to rebrand their extensive array of fleet vehicles in their shop, and it couldn’t be done outside in the cold weather. BrandActive set up a climate-controlled tent and scheduled fleet managers to bring their vehicles to the site on appointed days.

Your overarching business objectives should guide the decisions you make about how to manage the challenges that weather poses. Sometimes your launch simply must happen at a specific time to make the market impact you desire. An experienced implementation partner can help you figure out the best way to pull it off in light of your environmental considerations.

2. Could cultural or geopolitical factors impact our rebrand’s timeline?

If you’re implementing a global rebrand, it’s also important to consider the specific cultural and/or geopolitical environments you’ll be operating within. You need to know if there are holidays, times of the year, or political considerations that could delay your rollout plans.

For example:

  • In Asia, business slows down in the months surrounding Chinese New Year
  • In Europe, many people take extended mid-to-late summer holidays
  • Around the world, some countries still have pandemic-era travel restrictions and import/export bans in place

Cultural and geopolitical considerations like these can affect:

  • Your ability to obtain permits, surveys, and other regulatory approvals to conduct work on your branded environments
  • The availability of vendors, factories, and workers to manufacture and install your branded assets
  • The supply chain for the raw materials you’ll need to implement your rebrand (e.g. products, packaging, vinyls, etc.)
Developing cost projections is critical to implementing brand change; converting your assets will likely take up the lion’s share of your budget.

Navigating international complexities is not impossible, but it is challenging. Leaning on an implementation partner with global experience is the best way to ensure a successful result.

3. How will our rebrand’s environment impact the maintenance and replacement costs of branded assets?

Developing accurate financial projections of how much your rebrand will cost in year one — and in subsequent years — is a business-critical part of implementing brand change. Converting your branded assets is likely to take up the lion’s share of your implementation budget. This may include the cost to maintain or replace assets that don’t hold up after installation.

Manufacturer warranties and/or vendor service guarantees will often cover replacement costs for a period of time. But depending on where your rebrand is located, your branded assets may not be eligible for coverage.

Assets that are positioned in direct sunlight — or those installed in regions with extreme temperatures like the Middle East — could fade or deteriorate more quickly than assets in other parts of the world. Manufacturers build factors like these into their warranties and may reduce the terms of service or eliminate them altogether based on the region you’re operating in. Be sure to check the fine print before you finalize your budget.

Build a rebrand implementation plan that holds up in any environment

As a marketing leader, you undoubtedly want to roll out your rebrand on time and within budget. You’ll need to build a number of contingencies and dependencies into your implementation plan to do so.

We’ve touched on just a few environmental considerations in this article, but there are many more details you’ll need to think through. The good news is you don’t have to do it alone.

BrandActive has helped clients implement complex, multi-national rebrands in every kind of weather and every possible environment. We’d love to help you too, so just reach out.