The right way to factor HR into your rebrand implementation plan

The right way to factor HR into your rebrand implementation plan


Heather Jones, Maggie Rickaby

Much of your rebrand’s ultimate success hinges on how well you roll it out to your internal audience. That starts with understanding the role your human resources department will play in the implementation process.

Why? Employees are simultaneously consumers of and representatives of your brand. Their brand experience begins when they apply for a job at your organization. Your brand is reinforced (or undermined) every time they log in to their employee portal, access a pay stub, or participate in professional learning opportunities.

Employees are also expected and encouraged to live out your brand’s values and ethos every day. They influence your organizational culture and deliver your brand promise to your external audience.  If you want employees to function as true brand ambassadors and champions, there can’t be any difference between the brand they’re delivering and the one they’re experiencing.

Since the HR team plays a key role in influencing the employee experience, it’s essential to include them in your rebrand implementation plan and the brand asset management that follows. Here’s how to do it well.

Invite HR to the table early in the rebrand planning process

Employees’ first impression of your brand often comes from HR and they can be a key partner in helping promote culture and organizational changes, a potential by-product of brand change. But because HR people and processes intersect with all your team members on an ongoing basis, they become de facto brand ambassadors with internal stakeholders.

To equip HR to carry out these responsibilities effectively — and to help them model the behavior for employees to become advocates for your brand in their own right — it’s essential to engage HR as critical allies.

To that end, ask HR to help inform and shape your rebrand implementation plan by providing:

  • Guidance on how to communicate the details of brand change with employees. HR often has its finger on the pulse of employee morale and perceptions, so they can give helpful advice around socializing the news of your rebrand in ways that foster acceptance and enthusiasm.
  • Critical data such as employee lists, organizational which inform your overall scope. This is also helpful information to refer to when it’s time for you to identify the right workgroup leads to roll out your brand migration in their departments and locations.
  • Information about HR-related external partners who will need to apply your brand to their materials (e.g., health insurance companies, the financial services firm that manages the retirement plan).
  • Insight into any labor laws and/or regulatory guidelines that govern your ability to assign rebrand-related responsibilities to employees.
  • HR branded assets that should be prioritized during brand conversion.
  • Advance notice of upcoming company-wide initiatives that may impact the brand launch.
No matter your industry or size, rebranding your HR-managed assets can be a bigger challenge than you realize.

Involving HR early also ensures your organization doesn’t miss out on any opportunities to streamline operations. For example, if your organization is planning an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, or Updating your logo and messaging on internal systems and tools can be quite complex and costly. It’s best to implement changes like these in conjunction with the brand refresh to minimize spend.

Get a clear picture of your HR-managed branded assets

No matter your industry or size, rebranding your HR-managed assets can be a bigger challenge than you realize. In fact, many marketing leaders are surprised to discover just how many branded HR items there are that must be included in the rebrand implementation. And that’s true for centralized and decentralized organizations.

Additionally, HR has many sub-functions (e.g., Learning Management System, training programs). In some cases, many of these sub-functions may be contracted out to third-party vendors. That means when you conduct a branded asset inventory for HR, you might uncover thousands of branded assets that need to be dealt with.

These assets might include, but are certainly not limited to:

  • Recruitment materials such as job postings, position descriptions, applications, pop-up banners, and “About Us” synopses on sites like Glassdoor.
  • Digital assets found on the HR portion of the website, employee portals, and social media channels
  • Employee handbooks, orientation packets, performance review templates, and policy documents
  • Learning and development resources, training materials, and mandated compliance-oriented videos and e-modules
  • Benefits packages, payroll forms, and paystubs
  • Employee rewards, anniversary gifts, and other branded swag
  • ID badges and business cards

It’s unlikely that your HR team will have the bandwidth to inventory and convert all these assets on their own. HR’s workload tends to be demanding as it is, and rebrand implementation requires many additional hours of concentrated attention.

Rebranding checklist | Over 150 branded touchpoints

Is your company in the midst of a rebrand or planning for one? Our free rebranding checklist is a great way to start to scope what is involved with a initiative like this.

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Give HR the resources they’ll need to support your rebrand

One way to supplement your HR team’s bandwidth and keep your rebrand implementation on track is to hire temporary employees and/or vendors to manage the details of the rebrand and all the assets associated with it. Engaging an implementation partner like BrandActive is often the best way to ease the burden on your HR team and ensure the job is done in a strategic and timely fashion.

An implementation partner like BrandActive can:

  • Help cull and rationalize large quantities of assets to eliminate redundancies
  • Recommend a prioritization plan that spells out which assets to update prior to launch and which to convert over time
  • Work with third-party vendors and external channels to ensure they have the information they need to represent your brand accurately and consistently

An implementation partner can also help you conduct scenario planning and create accurate financial projections so you can make informed decisions about how to proceed. This will allow you to integrate converting your HR-managed branded assets into your overarching  implementation plan – and in a way that fits within your budgetary constraints.

Don’t underestimate the impact human resources has on your rebrand

Rebranding is always a larger-than-life endeavor. It can be a real challenge to build a thorough implementation plan that simultaneously avoids common pitfalls and seizes every efficiency-boosting-and-cost-saving opportunity.

That’s why it’s so important to have the right people at your side from start to finish.

When included in your plans from the get-go, HR can help you identify the communication pathways to your employees about your new brand and provide useful insight regarding your rollout strategy. But the truth is HR will also need allies by their side to support your rebrand effectively while managing the demands of their department.

That’s where BrandActive comes in. Whatever the structure of your HR department, we can help you determine, organize, and simplify which HR (and other) assets need to be rebranded. And we’ll leave no stone unturned to ensure a consistent and impactful end-result.

Is it time to get some help with your rebrand implementation? Let’s talk.