Avoid overspending and gain flexibility with rebrand implementation scenario planning

Avoid overspending and gain flexibility with rebrand implementation scenario planning


Kavya Paul

When organizations decide to rebrand, they usually start by focusing exclusively on brand strategy, logo designs, and color palettes. Often there is little consideration given to how the rebrand will be implemented until this work is complete. At this stage, launch can be just around the corner and there is not enough time to fully assess the full spectrum of options that would have been available had consideration been given to implementation early in the process. As a result, project sponsors may have unintentionally settled for suboptimal rebrands that leave both money and opportunity on the table because they did not build the critical step of scenario planning into their rebrand project plan.

Rebrand implementation scenario planning empowers organizations to holistically compare multiple rebrand rollout options that vary in scope, timing, cost, and quality. The organization is then prepared to choose the one that best matches their branding objectives with fiscal and business realities. When it comes to the success of a rebranding initiative, how you implement your new brand is as important as what you implement. Here’s what you need to know about utilizing scenario planning to optimize your rebrand.

The benefits of scenario planning in the rebranding process

Scenario planning is the key to making informed and fiscally responsible decisions when it comes to brand change. When you invest in scenario planning, you:

  • Avail yourself of the full range of rebranding options. Scenario planning inherently recognizes that there is more than one way to approach a rebrand. It’s your opportunity to explore multiple options and consider the implications of doing it one way versus another. With scenario planning, you guard against overspending, wasted effort, and suboptimal results.
  • Enable your team to make an informed, apples-to-apples comparison of a planned rebrand’s bookend price tags. For example, scenario planning allows you to compare the relative cost (and impact) of a high-speed rebrand versus one in which you move more slowly and leverage existing operational cycles.
  • Educate your leadership team on the impact of various transition strategies. Your leadership team may have certain assumptions or goals when it comes to a planned rebrand. Scenario planning enables you to meaningfully address those assumptions in a way that sets realistic expectations and facilitates decision-making.
  • Gain greater insight into brand change must-haves and define priorities. Scenario planning makes it much easier for organizations to align around the right set of priorities for their brand change initiatives. For example, let’s say your organization is planning to update its brand with a refreshed logo but no name change. With thousands of locations around the country, the cost of updating all of your signage would be considerable. As a marketing executive, you have a hunch that this magnitude of change is probably out of the question. But you also know your CEO will want to understand why you are proposing a rebrand that won’t include new signs everywhere on Day One of launch. Scenario planning allows you to demonstrate the true cost of rebranding, thus simplifying the prioritization process.
  • Get faster approval for proposed rebranding projects. By leveraging scenario planning as soon as you start considering a rebrand, you give your leadership team the information necessary to make a fast and fully informed decision about the rebrand, thus reducing the time from proposal to approval.
  • Lay a solid foundation for budgeting and rebrand implementation planning. Scenario planning results in a more accurate rebrand budgeting as well as a smoother and more efficient rollout.

How rebrand implementation experts approach scenario planning

On the face of it, scenario planning sounds pretty straightforward. But in practice, it’s a complex undertaking, one that is as much an art as it is a science. Without the experience of previous rebrands under their belts, many marketing executives struggle to know what to include in their rebranding scenarios — and what level of detail is required to make meaningful projections. Moreover, they may feel that they are already at capacity as they navigate the creative rebranding decisions.

At BrandActive, we take the lead in guiding our clients through the scenario planning process. Our work begins with a discovery phase. To begin, we conduct key stakeholder interviews with representatives from each impacted functional group (such as web/IT, marketing, products, and facilities

The next step is to hold a scenario planning workshop. Thanks to our initial research, we come prepared to share a list of branded asset priorities, opportunities, and pain points with your brand team. With over twenty years of experience, we also bring a deep understanding of best practices, relevant benchmarks and comparative strategies from similar industries and brand change situations. This allows us to have a strategic, data-driven conversation as we consider the following variables:

  • Type of brand change (Is it a logo refresh or a name change?)
  • Scope of rebrand (Are all products and lines of business in scope? What about markets and geographies?)
  • Timing (Will the rebrand launch in a “big bang” or can it roll out in a slower, phased approach?)
  • Branded asset treatment (Will the quality of branded assets remain the same, or will it change? How will the brand be applied to assets? What is the magnitude of change?)

Once we’ve identified the variables we wish to compare, we present you with high-level priorities and break out the costs of each scenario by asset/functional area, fiscal year, and CapEx versus OpEx expenses. You now have at your fingertips all the data you and your organization need to make informed, data-based decisions about your rebrand.

Scenario planning provides the critical due diligence to set your rebrand up from the start —one that should form the basis of your rebranding budget and implementation plan. Ready to get started? We’d love to talk.

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