Doing a Rebrand Right

Fri, May 20 2016

If you’ve never rebranded a company before, it’s tempting to believe that it will be a fun process. After all, you get to pick out colours, fonts, and logos. You’ll get a new explainer video, have a launch party, and design t-shirts. That sounds exciting!

Anyone who has rebranded a company before knows better. These fun parts are actually a very small portion of the actual rebranding process, and the important parts - like research, communications, and internal marketing - can be painful if you don’t know what to expect.

With all that in mind, we wrote this post to help you better understand how you can do a rebrand right, with as little pain and hassle as possible. If you have any questions or need someone to help you with a rebrand, just say hello to cheers@milesherndon.com!

How to Get the Rebranding Process Right

If you’ve never rebranded a company before, the key word here is “process.” If you’re working with a branding firm to hammer out the details, that will give you a big leg up, but how do you ensure that all of these changes are implemented and executed on appropriately? Ideally, your branding agency would help with this as well, but here’s a checklist for you to better understand the ideal process to rebranding your company:

1. Always Start With Research

Don’t even consider a rebrand until you’ve done extensive research. Make sure that you understand your brand, your customers, and your market better than anyone else. Make sure you’ve effectively identified your brand’s niche and know how you will go to market in that vertical. You’ll likely get some help in this department by your branding firm, but you should make sure that you’re just as informed as they are. Make sure you research all of the following:

  • Your current customers’ wants, needs, and opinion on your company
  • Your company’s current brand assets
  • Your competitors’ products, services, and public sentiment
  • Your employees opinion of the company and its brand
  • What lost prospects think of your company and its brand
  • What community and thought leaders think of your company and its brand

2. Communicate Effectively With All Stakeholders

All it takes to screw up implementing a rebrand is one director with an axe to grind. This is where communication and internal politics can derail your best-laid plans. Prevent this by effectively communicating with all relevant stakeholders throughout the entire process. From the very beginning of the rebrand, you should communicate all of the following in writing to all stakeholders:

  • Timeline
  • Budget
  • Key objectives
  • Relevant research as to why you’re making the decisions you’re making
  • Changes in competitive positioning
  • Implications for their specific department

This will help keep everyone in the organisation on the same page and assist you later when you roll out the brand.

3. Document Everything

Remember when I said you should communicate in writing? There’s a reason for that. You need to make sure that you have documentation on everything you do during the rebrand process. It’s vital that you have this information in case something goes awry. In the ever-changing world of rebranding a company, the last thing you can afford to do is leave specific changes or decisions undocumented. We recommend using a tool like Evernote complemented with an inbox folder for all things brand related.

4. Plan The Roll Out Well

There’s no reason to rebrand if you can’t roll the new brand out with style. Start by getting your employees excited so they can act as brand advocates. This can be done in several ways - and best practices vary by size of your organisation – but regardless of what tactics you choose, getting this stage right is essential to success. A few ways companies successfully roll out new brands include:

  • Internal PR campaigns – Featuring meetings, videos, and emails to employees announcing the change.
  • External PR campaigns – Featuring earned and paid media mentions, emails to client lists, and rich media assets on their social media and blog.
  • Launch Parties – Inviting clients, employees, the press, and the community to come to your space or a rented venue to hear more about the new brand that you’re launching.

Each brand roll out is different, but one thing remains the same across every rebrand. No rebrand ends with the marketing department. A rebrand is pervasive throughout your entire organisation. Make sure to hire a professional branding firm to help you manage your brand roll out effectively.

5. Defend The Brand – Lest It Die

The final – and most critical – component of the rebranding process is ongoing. Once you’ve built and launched a new brand, you need to defend it at every turn. People will want to mess with your messaging, corrupt your colour palate, and lose your logos, but you need to stand firm with the decisions you made. If you can’t defend your brand after it launches, you’re losing the most valuable asset your brand has – continuity.

If you’re just starting the rebranding process, check out our free brand audit to help you get started. If you’re ready to start implementing a rebrand, we’re happy to talk! Check out some of our work and reach out if you want to learn more!

Author: Tim Hickle, resident Digital Marketing Strategist at MilesHerndon

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