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When your organization's next chapter calls for a rebrand, it's natural to start asking tactical questions. How do we build a realistic budget? What's the best way to inventory all our branded assets? How soon do we want to launch? And how long will it take to execute our rebrand from start to finish?
Those are important questions. But before you dive headfirst into your rebrand implementation plan, it's crucial to step back and assess your organization's overall readiness for the change. How well you're able to carry out your rebranding plan depends greatly on whether you have the right resources lined up to ensure a successful outcome. You'll need to assess and strengthen several areas within your organization before you can begin rolling out your new brand in earnest.
Here are three steps you can take to prepare your organization for an exciting transformation.
1. Secure and communicate executive buy-in for the rebrand
The ultimate success of any rebrand hinges on everyone in your organization fully embracing everything your new brand stands for. If you want your employees to step up as rebrand ambassadors, they need to understand why your organization is making the change.
Therefore, it's critical that your CEO and entire executive leadership team understand and communicate both the reasons for the rebrand and the benefits your organization stands to gain:
- How does the rebrand support your overarching business strategy?
- In what ways might it position you to edge out the competition or achieve higher levels of market success?
- What does the change mean for product lines, services, and the ways you deliver your brand promise?
- And what are you ultimately hoping to achieve as you propel your brand forward?
Executive leaders should communicate the rationale for the rebrand and signal their support for the initiative early and often. Furthermore, they should communicate clear expectations regarding what each department's role will be in the implementation process. By doing so, they'll reinforce that the brand belongs to everyone.
2. Align with stakeholders across your entire organization
Rebranding success begins with executive buy-in, but it doesn't end there. You can't accomplish an undertaking of such size and scale without the support of stakeholders across your organization.
Do your counterparts in other departments understand the operational and logistical impact of making a brand change? Do they know what the implementation process will require of them and their teams? Have they carved out adequate time to devote to the project? And do they have the resources they need?
Think through all the dependencies that will affect your success and bring all the necessary parties to the table early in the process.
At a minimum, you'll need the support of...
- Your internal marketing team, to carry the day-to-day responsibility of shepherding your rebrand
- The CFO and finance area, to evaluate and approve your implementation budget and help you factor in ways to make wise use of your OpEx and CapEx policies
- Operations and facilities team members, to help you take a detailed inventory of all your branded assets and work with you to convert them when the time comes
- Digital, IT, and Web teams, to achieve brand consistency in all the digital spaces where your brand appears.
- The legal/regulatory compliance department, to keep your legal filing requirements on track for M&A-driven rebrands, name changes, and considerations if you are rebranding as part of an IPO
Rebrands are time-consuming, intense, and complex. You don't want to risk running out of steam and stalling out before you cross the finish line. Be intentional about reaching alignment and building relationships with stakeholders across your organization. Make sure everyone understands and is ready for the scope of the project coming down the pike.
3. Evaluate and bolster the internal and external resources you'll need to implement your new brand
Rebranding is a perfect opportunity to assess the strength of your internal team, your agency partners, and the vendors you engage to carry out your vision.
1. Round out your marketing team with new roles and skills
The marketing landscape continues to change rapidly. To effectively support your new brand now and in the long run, identify the skills and roles you need to add to create a well-rounded marketing team. From data analysts who can help you implement a data-driven rebrand to marketers who are adept at navigating a host of new channels, your team should position your brand for success in an increasingly digital-first environment.
2. Audit your agency and vendor partnerships
Agency and vendor partners augment your team's bandwidth and bring niche expertise that can help drive your business forward. But it's easy for large organizations to lose track of the number of contracted services they're managing if they aren't constantly taking stock.
Rebranding is a good opportunity to review your agency and vendor relationships, rationalize which ones to keep and which ones to let go, and optimize performance across the board.
Questions to ask stakeholders across the organization:
- How many agency partners are you working with? Are you content with those relationships?
- Are you getting the value you expect from each agency and vendor you are working with?
- Are you confident in each agency and vendor's ability to deliver your brand promise?
- How many vendors do you work with to produce branded assets? Are there any areas to eliminate redundancies and reduce costs?
- When was the last time you compared vendor pricing?
- As you roll out your rebrand, should you hire any new agency partners to help you achieve your objectives and reduce the burden on your internal team?
Take time to fill in any gaps in your internal and external teams long before you launch your rebrand. Doing so will increase your chances of rolling out your implementation plan without a hitch.
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A runner wouldn't show up for an important race without completing months (or even years) of intensive training. In the same way, it's important for you to spend considerable time and energy preparing for rebrand implementation long before you approach the official starting line.
Assessing the state of your organization and factoring in all your dependencies is key to starting well and finishing well. Embrace this important part of the rebranding process to give your rebrand the best chance of reaching a successful outcome. When you're ready to start your pre-race training, get in touch.
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