When organisations invest in a rebrand, we often find they are unprepared for the impact this has on their business.
A rebrand is much more than a new logo and colour palette. Businesses are often surprised by how the rebrand process touches everything they do and the way that they do it.
This article explores some of the changes to prepare for, in order to make the most of a rebrand.
Branding is a key part of business strategy. While a rebrand might be instigated to resolve business challenges, it quickly highlights other inconsistencies in the business that are not ‘on brand’. Most importantly, it opens up new opportunities, clarifies direction, and makes business decisions clearer for the future.
Embraced by company leaders, a rebrand with clear purpose is a North Star to guide competitive differentiation.
It is only worth investing in a rebrand if an organisation is prepared to reassess the customer experience to match the brand promise. With a design-thinking approach, we highlight ways to enhance the customers experience. It needn’t mean huge investment in new systems but just simple changes in attitude and realignments that help claim your brand territory.
Staff culture is a huge part of making sure your employees ‘walk the talk’ of the new brand so every touchpoint gives the right brand experience.
A new brand should never slip in under the radar without involving employees and firing their enthusiasm for being part of the change.
Nor can it be ‘set and forget’. Leaders need to reinforce the brand values and culture in every example they set year in and year out. Employees need to be empowered to express the brand in their work (within clear guidelines, of course). They need to understand exactly what the values mean for their behaviour. There has to be a clear line of sight between the brand promise, brand values and what is expected of each person.
This can’t be just a single training course but has to be integrated into the way you do business, the things you measure and the things you acknowledge.
Do you have the right employees and structure to meet the brand promise? Does your recruitment process need to emphasise different qualities? How do you reward the right attitudes and secure the loyalty of your most precious human resources? Do employees feel responsible for the brand and are you giving them enough responsibility to take the initiative?
How will you communicate strategy and change so it is an ongoing part of the brand story that employees can relate to? How will you involve them in suggesting change and improvements to keep the brand vibrant?
A brand has an ongoing story that unfolds over many years, through many different channels and tools. While times change, the brand fundamentals should last a lifetime. The story just needs to be expressed a little differently to resonate with different times, places and audiences.
Expressing the brand goes to the heart of every message you send out, and not just the obvious big-picture marketing pieces. It has to be considered whether it’s a social media post, a formal contract letter, a media release, a questionnaire or your answering machine message. This may mean changing your language, changing the tone, changing the emphasis. Communication is too important to be left to chance!
Increasingly organisations need to consider their social responsibility as part of their brand. The emerging generations are particularly hot on any inconsistency between brand claims and the way a company operates. By the early 2020s, nearly half the workforce and many of your customers will be Millenials. If your brand embraces social responsibility and integrates it into all decisions, you will have a huge advantage.
Do you need to rethink your supply chain? Your sponsorships? Your environmental guidelines?
That often means some big decisions internally. While each company will decide how far it can take its social responsibility and where it can best contribute, be prepared to consider this as part of your brand for the coming decades.
It should be clear from this brief overview that all your leaders and departments need to be involved in understanding a rebrand so it can be made an authentic reality throughout the organisation. It’s not easy for a brand to change its spots, but it can be done when leaders are ready to put their weight behind it.