Ensuring the long-term success of a rebrand

Ensuring the long-term success of a rebrand


Eniana Vrenozaj

As your marketing team is shepherding the rollout of a rebrand, the process may feel like it will never end.

It shouldn’t.

Which is not to say that individual projects, like updating fleet vehicles with the new branding or printing updated business cards for everyone in the organization, don’t have an endpoint. A rebrand requires significant effort to reach the necessary level of impact.

But maintaining the new brand thereafter is just as important, if not more so. Take the time now to rationalize your business practices and ensure that the new identity you’re establishing remains consistent, that processes remain in place, and that the value you intended to create from rebranding continues to pay off over time.

A rebrand isn’t just a marketing exercise

While brand changes are often led by marketing departments, most of the time they serve as an opportunity for leaders across the organization to revisit ways of doing business. A rebrand is more than a stylistic revamp of the logo and messaging, but the impetus for other departments to improve processes and quality assurance.

As your marketing team is engaging many people throughout the enterprise — evaluating the brand, developing strategy, scoping the deliverables — seek ways to engage colleagues in addressing other underlying challenges. Branded assets such as signage, forms, and print collateral serve a function in the business, so now is a good time to inventory them, evaluate their strategic role, and streamline how they’re produced.

Evaluating branded assets impartially

Clients often come to us with a rebranding initiative arising from a merger or acquisition (or to refresh or reposition their current brand). So simply getting a handle on an unwieldy library of branded assets is a key part of our Plan and Prepare phase.

Consider a healthcare brand we consulted with that had grown through a series of acquisitions: The new organization represented multiple entities that were operating separately, each with its own identity, collateral, and vendors. The rebranding process revealed problems with consistency, quality, and duplication. Different locations had multiple versions of the same forms, creating confusion for clinicians and patients who moved between offices.

Once our process revealed redundancies in branded assets, our form owners could impartially evaluate, consolidate, eliminate, and centralize. We helped identify which materials were essential, which could be discontinued, and which could be repurposed from printed forms to digital systems. Not only did the organization create a more cohesive brand in the eyes of its patients, they made work a little easier for practitioners — and at the same time, reduced the overall rebrand budget.

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Managing the brand with greater efficiency

This state of redundancy is not uncommon in large organizations. People like to hold on to their favorite vendors or one-off materials they’ve produced. As the company grows, it tends to produce more assets that don’t adhere to brand guidelines. Our rebrand implementation services help marketers evaluate the need for each element, then rationalize materials and streamline processes before they roll out the rebrand. This is true not only for digital and printed marketing materials and forms, but for other branded assets such as signage and HR materials.

We commonly find that branded asset owners across the organization are not aware that they are duplicating efforts or creating material that are off-brand. To address this, we gather all key stakeholders that touch a specific asset around a table to review all applications within a category and review the instances where there is an opportunity to rationalize and improve consistency. As an example, this approach allows someone from a Western office who wants to retain the sales brochure they produced to get another perspective from their colleague in the Midwest. We facilitate these sessions and have participants brainstorm solutions. The facilitator then creates a set of recommendations and works with the team to create consensus. These workshops have the added benefit of providing touchpoints among internal teams to help build relationships across regions and functions, and creates an opportunity for collaboration and learning.

Our guidance in this realm is not limited to working with internal teams. It extends to vendor selection and procurement practices, as well. Often, various facilities have a preferred vendor, so there’s a diverse roster of local providers that can’t service the entire company. Consolidating a lineup of approved vendors through a proposal process ensures quality and reduces costs, not just during the rebrand but in the future.

Because assets have to be replaced quickly and en masse, a rebrand often drives home the need for streamlined ordering and approval, which has long-term benefits as well. If you don’t currently use one, this is the time to consider a digital asset management tool that serves as a centralized hub for everything related to the brand: approved fonts, PMS colors, approved images, logo lockups, workflow and approvals, and more. Without smart systems to govern the production of branded assets, you may end up back in the land of inconsistency and redundancy.

Facilitating relationships and knowledge

As you embark on the rebranding implementation, take advantage of the time and attention it’s generating from the top to the bottom of your organization. While your team is doing the heavy lifting, this isn’t solely a marketing project. Enlist input from other departments, rationalize operations, and educate your colleagues on why the brand matters and how it should be represented.

A rebrand is a major investment, in dollars and in bandwidth. We can help your marketing team leverage this opportunity to make strategic changes across your company — changes that will extend the new brand’s impact and ROI for years to come.