These 3 brands stuck the landing on their rebrand rollout. (Here’s how you can too)

These 3 brands stuck the landing on their rebrand rollout. (Here’s how you can too)

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Sunday, August 8, 2021 | Vladimir Kacar, Jo Clarke, Eli Greenspan

If you’ve made the pivotal decision to rebrand, you’ve likely spent months — perhaps even years — developing the strategy, conducting market research, and gaining buy-in from your leadership team. And you’ve probably engaged a branding agency to help you design a compelling visual identity that will crystallize your new brand promise in consumers’ and stakeholders’ minds.

But when it comes to introducing and rolling out your new brand into the world, your work has just begun. Now it’s time to determine which rebrand strategy will yield the right results based on your organization’s goals and objectives — and begin weighing all the details related to a successful rebranding implementation.

Whether you launch your rebrand with a big bang or slowly introduce your new identity over time, you’ll need a thorough and thoughtful implementation plan that will set your rebrand up for success.

To help you think through what’s possible — and to show you how BrandActive can help — we’ve curated three examples of brands who rolled out their rebrand in unique and memorable ways.

A big bang rebrand helped this global communications company smoothly launch a spin-off brand

When Siemens Enterprise Communications made the strategic decision to spin off from Siemens, the global German manufacturer, they knew they needed an entirely new name to distinguish themselves from their well-known legacy brand.

To ensure a successful outcome, spin-off Siemens engaged BrandActive to help plan an impressive social media-driven rebranding initiative that spanned 40 countries. In the months leading up to launch, teaser campaigns showcased colors from the new logo. Ads let stakeholders know something big was coming.

This lead-up culminated with a perfectly coordinated launch event based at the company’s headquarters in Munich. The simulcast event featured remarks from the CEO and a grand physical and digital unveiling of the company’s new name and visual identity. And by watching the webcast and joining the social media conversations, each location around the globe was able to celebrate together.

The launch was just the beginning. A complex trademark license agreement required that Unify convert all their branded assets — including vast quantities of hardware products and the service manuals and documentation that accompanied them — within one month of launch. This was no easy feat for a company that produces communication hardware used all around the world!

To support Unify in reaching their objectives, BrandActive:

  • Helped create a realistic budget and find ways to fund it.
  • Developed branded asset conversion strategies, processes, and documentation.
  • Factored in the dependencies that existed among the many global offices and teams.
  • Managed the vendors and agencies who were integral to planning and executing the launch.

Your takeaway? It’s possible to pull off a global rebranding initiative that makes a big impact with employees and customers. And with so many moving parts, an expert partner can help you make sense of the myriad factors involved and integrate them all into a cohesive action plan.

How a smart branded asset conversion strategy helped propel a household name into the modern era

Rebranding takes many forms. Sometimes it’s a full-fledged revolution, as was the case with Unify. On the other hand, sometimes it’s an evolution that illustrates where your brand is heading while building on the value and name recognition your brand has established over many decades.

That was the case for Verizon. When they embarked on a visual identity evolution in 2015, they did so to make their logo more relevant, modern, and reflective of the ways the company had grown and expanded over time. Their goal was to make their red check mark stand for itself, like Nike’s swoosh and Starbucks’ siren.

The biggest impediment to Verizon’s rebranding initiative was the enormous cost involved with converting their logo in hundreds of retail locations. Therefore, BrandActive helped Verizon’s marketing leadership team make the case for the value of the brand evolution through extensive financial modeling, smart planning, and creative branded asset conversion strategies.

Verizon introduced its new visual identity through targeted, consumer-facing advertising and media campaigns — kicking off with the first NFL game of the 2015 season. They converted sponsorships and other high-priority assets quickly in order to get the most ROI upfront as possible. Then, they replaced the majority of their branded assets (e.g. retail storefronts, Fios fleet vehicles) over a much longer time scale and multiple budget cycles.

Your takeaway? There are many ways to make the cost of a rebranding initiative more attainable. By focusing on the areas with the biggest ROI first, you can begin reaping the benefits of your brand’s new identity as you systematically convert your assets over a period of years.

Honoring the emotional connection to a legacy brand was key for this rebrand

When rebranding a health system, it’s important to keep a key factor in mind. A health system’s brand equity isn’t just about the monetary value of the brand. It’s about the emotional value as well. After all, hospitals are where the realities of life and death come into clear focus for so many of us.

Providence, a comprehensive health care organization made up of 52 hospitals and 1,000+ clinics located primarily on the West Coast of the U.S., rebranded with a firm understanding of the emotional complexities they faced. Their rebrand came as a result of merging two well-known health systems together. Each legacy brand brought its own heritage, patient base, and brand equity to the merger. Therefore, the rebrand implementation strategy focused on communicating thoughtfully with the 120,000 employees (known as caregivers) and community members who cared deeply about each brand.

Helping caregivers let go of the legacy brand

Providence went to great lengths to honor the legacy brand and help caregivers let go of the name they loved. As a historically Catholic organization, they incorporated prayer cards and blessing ceremonies into their rebranding strategy. When signs were taken down from buildings, caregivers were invited to witness the process, reflect, and let go of that physical representation of the brand.

Additionally, at a select few locations, caregivers received their new ID badges, and were encouraged to take a piece of rice paper, write a prayer, thought, or memory on it, and then drop it into water where it would dissolve. This served as a tangible and meaningful symbol of change.

Inviting community members to embrace the new brand

A key part of Providence’s rebranding strategy was to time the external launch with fall open enrollment. That way community members could experience the new brand in a cohesive manner while enrolling for their benefits and services. To promote open enrollment, Providence developed a media campaign that showcased time-lapsed drone footage of new signage being installed at several hospital locations.

BrandActive helped Providence with all elements of the planning process, including replacing a few key signs that could be expedited through internal and external review processes more quickly. This enabled Providence to meet their launch deadline and make an impact with their members. Like Verizon, they then continued converting the remaining branded assets over a longer period of time.

Your takeaway? When rebranding, know your audience. If your stakeholders have an emotional connection to your legacy brand, find meaningful ways to help your audience let go so they can wholeheartedly embrace your new brand.

Are you ready to rebrand?

What will your rebranding launch and implementation look like? It’s up to you. There’s no right way to approach your rebrand — but in order to pull your good ideas off without a hitch, you need the right partner by your side.

We’d love to help you think through your launch strategy, create a detailed asset conversion plan, develop a realistic budget, and integrate your agency partners and vendors toward a common goal. We can take you from start to finish and make the process as memorable and enjoyable as possible.

Whenever you’re ready to get started, we’re ready to help.

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