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From Uber to CareerBuilder to Google/Alphabet (and SeaWorld on the horizon?), organizational rebranding has been top-of-mind lately. Companies rebrand for a variety of reasons—whether mergers and acquisitions, reputational issues, or strategy shifts, among others.

No matter the reason, there's no denying that a rebrand is a major decision—and an expensive undertaking—that shouldn't be taken lightly.

A company's ability to execute has a direct effect on future success, so the process should be strategic, collaborative, and rooted in actionable intelligence.

Marketing is often at the helm of what is a cross-functional "mega-project," and its task is to ensure smooth, synthesized efforts.

Among the various areas to address, here are five to-do's that are vital for a successful rebrand.

1. Intelligence gathering

What needs to change? How do we get there? For the answers, it's important to survey the following:

  • Key internal stakeholders who have a firm grasp on your company's strategy. Their insights often inform subsequent surveys among other important audiences.
  • Employees. Make sure you collect enough demographic information (How long have they been with the company and in what function? And so on.) to understand the context of their responses.
  • Customers, particularly at types of companies targeted with your future strategy. As with your employee survey, it's important to gauge their perception of your brand now—along with whether they associate it with any of your aspirational attributes.
  • Market experts and analysts for additional insights about the landscape.

Often, an important output is whether rebranding will also encompass a renaming. That is, are perceptions of your company so steeped in your old positioning/reputation that they can't be peeled away?

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image of Robin Saitz

Robin Saitz is chief marketing officer at  manufacturing ERP/MES cloud software company Plex Systems.

Twitter: @robinsaitz

LinkedIn: Robin Saitz