Successfully implementing a major rebrand is no small feat. To do it well, you will need to have the right team in place. But that’s not all: You will also need to assemble the right set of tools to help you analyze, plan, track, and manage your rebrand implementation process.
While there are many tools behind every successful rebrand, they generally fall into four major categories. These are:
- Project management and implementation support systems
- Vendor management systems
- Rebrand help desk
Here, we take a look at the ways each category of tools helps you execute a rebrand smoothly.
Putting the tools in context
Before we dig into the tools themselves, it is important to put them in context. With more sophisticated tools, especially, businesses sometimes make the mistake of expecting them to provide all the functionality needed to navigate a business challenge. While each of these tools is crucial to the execution of your rebrand, they are not a replacement for subject matter expertise.
The right tools and processes allow you to deal with the amount of data inherent in a rebrand. They make it possible to consider multiple scenarios, but they do not take the place of the judgement that can only be provided by an experienced rebrand expert. For example, any solid budgeting tool can help you compare various budgeting scenarios. Subject matter expertise, however, is what allows you to accurately estimate line item costs, assess the relative merits of different budgets, and make a final decision about which budget represents the best fit for your particular situation.
Having the right team, supported with best-in-class tools and processes, is what’s needed to allow you to successfully navigate the complexity of rebranding.
A rebrand initiative can be executed in multiple ways. Analytics tools are used in the early planning stages of your rebrand to help define the cost and associated strategy that will guide your ideal rebrand execution plan.
The first rebrand planning task your organization will face is how to structure the rebrand itself. This depends on a number of factors, including:
For example, if your organization is in an industry in which your physical branded assets play an important role in the overall customer experience, then it likely makes sense to prioritize branded environments, signage, and other tangible touchpoints. If the majority of your brand experience is delivered to customers through digital assets, you may choose to de-prioritize physical signage, and focus instead on improving online platforms and branded digital collateral.
Rebrand analytics tools can help guide this decision-making process by modeling different scenarios and their associated costs.
At BrandActive, for example, we use our proprietary RAE – Rebrand Analytics EngineTM (RAE) to identify the most important factors driving an organization’s rebrand initiative and use that to estimate costs and support the development of the most effective strategy. RAE TM is a very sophisticated tool, and it allows us to quickly and efficiently quantify numerous scenarios. It also provides industry benchmarks to use to validate client data provided and assumptions.
Rebranding project management and implementation support systems
Once you have landed on a rebranding strategy, project management and implementation tools are there to help you manage the nuts and bolts of the rebrand. Your tool should provide a central repository for tracking all data and activities associated with your rebrand’s execution while it is unfolding. This includes:
- Benchmarking and reporting
- Separate workspaces for individual teams and their to-do lists (such as marketing, legal, IT, etc.)
- A dashboard view for executives
- Content management capabilities
This crucial tool, which may include a CRM, keeps all members of your organization on the same page during the rebrand. When used properly, it plays a crucial role in keeping your team on track, both in terms of schedule and budget.
Vendor management systems
Vendor management is a complex undertaking that significantly impacts the overall success of your rebrand. After all, you can have the greatest rebrand plan in the world, but if you do not have the right vendors implementing it, you are going to run into challenges. Global rebrands, in particular, may involve dozens of vendors spread across multiple continents. If you fail to manage your vendors well, the result is likely to be an inflated budget, scheduling delays, and uneven quality in the production of branded assets.
Vendor management tools help your team:
- Identify possible vendors
- Generate RFPs
- Evaluate and select vendor partners
- Capture economies of scale
- Manage quality control
- Track the progress and results of vendor work
A centralized repository for all your vendor-related activities helps your team make the smartest decisions around vendor management, helps facilitate apples-to-apples comparisons, and enables consistent quality standards.
Rebrand help desk
Organizations in the midst of a rebrand tend to be extremely conscious of how they communicate the rebrand externally. But before you can consistently communicate your new brand to the broader marketplace, you need to educate your employees, brand ambassadors, and any other partners involved in managing your brand. The last thing you want is to launch a new brand and then have it fall to the wayside because your staff don’t have easy access to the latest brand standards, know how to apply them, or where to get updated templates.
The rebrand help desk is a mechanism to ensure governance. Depending on the size and scale of your organization, you may have a dedicated help desk staff that is trained to answer questions as they arise. You may also use a “help desk” portal that houses all the updated brand guidelines, forms, and templates in one, consolidated location.
You can also use help desk tools to engage employees in identifying and correcting any lingering brand inconsistencies after the rebrand launch. Some companies even “gamify” this task, challenging employees to spot and submit brand inconsistencies.
The right mix of help desk tools is needed to bring your team into alignment around the new brand standards and the nitty-gritty details of how to present them.
To sum this all up, when you start to manage a rebrand, be certain your plan includes identifying and procuring the right tools. It’s how to set up your team for success—enabling them to deliver smarter, faster, more consistent, impactful, and cost-efficient brand change.