Rebranding budgets: a CMO’s blind spot

Rebranding budgets: a CMO’s blind spot



Our competitive global economy — ripe for major transactions including mergers, acquisitions, splits, spin-offs and affiliations — means every chief marketer can expect to manage a complex, large-scale rebranding at some point in their career. However, it is common for executives charged with leading a brand change to lack a clear line of sight into the financial and operational implications involved in these complex projects — even with a great depth of knowledge about the company and industry.

During times of change and brand transformation, absolute clarity is needed. Without access to accurate cost estimates and realistic scenarios, implementing a rebrand can have costly repercussions. Even a ten percent variance in your budget can equate to millions of dollars.

Know what you don’t know

Rigorous data-gathering and analysis is required to arrive at a reliable and informed cost estimate. Be sure to:

  • Base your budget on accurate scoping and realistic assumptions. An inability to forecast likely delays will leave you exposed to financial risk and halts in rollout, compromising the credibility of the new brand with key stakeholders.
  • Involve subject matter experts from the start, so gaps can be identified and risk minimized early in the planning process.
  • Draw on multiple sources of funds from across the organization; CAPEX, OPEX and special projects are all potential sources of funds for covering rebranding costs.
  • Consider the needs of all your audiences when setting budgets. A corporate rebrand is a transformational event. Different stakeholders will have varying expectations and requirements that must be met.

Few companies have all the talent they need in-house

Today’s CMO is expected to be more data driven than ever before and this requirement extends to managing the implementation of a rebrand. Having a thorough, comprehensive grasp of the myriad costs and the effective financial management of rebrand implementation empowers marketers as analytical operational leaders of brand change. This requires experience in leading rebranding initiatives, access to relevant benchmarks and the ability to develop viable scenarios to execute brand change that achieves the branding objectives within the larger commercial realities of the business.

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