Rebranding a staffing agency: 3 ways to position your professional services firm for transformation

Rebranding a staffing agency: 3 ways to position your professional services firm for transformation



Staffing agencies are poised for more growth in 2023 as they continue to grapple with record revenue of $212.8 billion in 2022 according to Staffing Industry Analysts, up 14% over the previous year. 

This growth presents an ideal opportunity for firms to rebrand as a way to reposition themselves and carve out a differentiated position in a competitive market. Therefore, if you’re a marketing leader at a staffing agency, you should be asking two salient questions: Is a rebrand the right strategic move for our organization? If so, do we have the knowledge and expertise to implement brand change effectively?

In recent months, BrandActive has partnered with several workforce development firms to bring their rebrand to life. In each scenario, we’ve discovered unique complexities and industry realities that impact the rebrand implementation process in the staffing agency sector.

With these experiences in mind, here are three areas to address in order to roll out a successful brand change of your own — and a look at how an implementation partner can help you navigate each one.

1. Determine how to structure your staffing agency’s brand architecture

It’s increasingly common for modern staffing agencies to be composed of a number of distinct sub-brands. One reason for this is that many firms are actively evolving their brand promise and identity. By expanding their service offerings and areas of expertise, they’re positioning themselves as holistic consultants equipped to solve a variety of workforce development challenges.

Much of this evolution takes place through M&A deals. In fact, an average of 130 new deals are brokered in the staffing industry every year. But what’s unique to this sector is that many firms have absorbed new brands without adjusting their overarching brand strategy. And that means they’re missing out on creating a cohesive, thoughtful identity that reaches a wider audience than each brand can on its own.

To that end, rebranding is the perfect opportunity to think strategically about the best way to structure your brand architecture. Should you:

  • Rename your organization and/or consolidate everything into a master brand?
  • Implement a co-branding strategy to capitalize on the brand equity of your sub-brands?
  • Reorganize brands into groups or families based on the industry sector or region they serve?

As you weigh your options, determine what your ideal future state looks like based on your overarching business goals. At this stage, don’t let concerns about cost stand in the way of pursuing the best course of action for your company. There’s almost always a way to bring your preferred strategy to fruition.

No matter your situation, creating a right-fit, fiscally responsible rebrand implementation plan starts with asking the right questions.

For example, many clients think enacting an organizational name change will cost more than implementing a co-branding strategy or a house of brands. But this is not necessarily the case. A rebrand implementation partner like BrandActive can help you conduct scenario planning and cost-benefit analyses to chart out your options and weigh the implications of each.

2. Build a fiscally responsible rebrand implementation budget and timeline

As you determine your brand architecture, you should also begin thinking about creating fiscally responsible cost models and scenarios that will set your rebrand up for success. How much will your staffing agency rebrand cost? How long will it take to roll it out? And will your investment in rebranding generate a significant ROI?

These fundamental questions pose a bit of a “chicken and the egg” problem. On one hand, the quicker you need to roll out your rebrand, the more it will cost. But on the other hand, spreading out your implementation over a longer period will have less impact on your bottom line.

Determining the best way to convert all your branded assets is a big part of this cost vs. timeline equation. BrandActive can walk you through a variety of exercises to help you prioritize appropriately and achieve the impact you’re looking for.

Together, we’ll:

  • Consider which branded assets to transition first in order to achieve the market impact you need when you launch your brand
  • Identify the lower-priority assets that can be converted over time
  • Evaluate whether some assets can be eliminated, consolidated, or otherwise rationalized to reduce your project’s scope

For example, one staffing firm we worked with opted to de-prioritize assets related to their brick-and-mortar locations. Because their primary audience doesn’t access these in-person spaces, they determined it was more cost-effective and impactful to focus on transitioning client-facing assets and collateral first. They also opted to limit spending on “nice-to-have” elements like new swag for employees. Instead, they pursued more cost-effective ways to boost employee engagement and excitement.

There are numerous additional options to consider when you’re seeking to implement a rebrand in a fiscally responsible and beneficial way. No matter your situation, creating a right-fit plan starts with asking the right questions.

3. Optimize your marketing and brand operations to improve brand consistency

Governing a brand effectively and ensuring it’s consistently and accurately applied is an ongoing challenge for all marketing leaders. But for staffing agencies that are growing rapidly due to M&A activity, brand adherence is often particularly low.

Rebranding presents a perfect opportunity to evaluate your current marketing and brand operations and set your team and organization up for long-term success. BrandActive can help you:

  • Define your organizational roles and responsibilities to better carry out the rebrand and deliver a consistent brand experience post-launch
  • Create a centralized repository of brand guidelines, templates, decks, and other resources so decentralized employees know how to develop on-brand materials
  • Solidify clear, repeatable processes that spell out how to access brand-related resources and how to gain approval when developing new branded assets from scratch
  • Set up training opportunities and ongoing support so your employees feel equipped to meet your brand expectations

How do your company’s marketing and brand operations measure up

Now more than ever, marketers are expected to do more with less. Efficient brand and marketing operations are essential to achieving this mandate. Download a cheat sheet of the five characteristics of an effective brand and marketing operations function.

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Taking these steps boosts efficiency and strengthens brand consistency. Furthermore, reducing redundancies and eliminating time-wasting activities can result in significant, sustained cost savings for your organization.

Lean on BrandActive to navigate your staffing firm’s rebrand implementation

For most staffing agencies, rebranding is uncharted territory. In fact, we’ve found that firms in this sector need support navigating everything from conducting RFPs with new vendors to choosing a branding agency.

It’s ok not to know what you don’t know.

Just as your clients look to you to help them find the ideal candidates to fill their open positions, you can count on BrandActive to walk you through every part of the rebrand implementation process. Just reach out — we’d love to help.