Going through the rebranding process in your organization can be tough, even if everything goes smoothly. In our experience, there are six things that get in the way of a perfectly-executed rebrand.
1- The CEO or leadership team is not involved
Too often, we see the rebranding efforts beginning in the marketing department instead of with the CEO. Branding is a CEO-level initiative because it deals with the fundamental definition and expression of the business. The brand consultant is the worst person to deliver the brand to the organization. It can ONLY be delivered by the CEO as an expression of their vision for the organization’s future
2- There is no budget allocated
Not having a budget for the rebrand usually means that the project has not been taken seriously yet. Yes, there will be strategy and design fees, but the bigger costs come in the implementation and execution. How tragic it is to go through all the work and then to find out that there is no money to execute properly.
3- There is no internal ‘point person’ to drive the rebranding implementation from the inside
Most brand consultants and designers are wonderful people but they cannot successfully govern the intricacies and politics of their organization alone. Either the CEO or someone closely linked and authorized by the CEO must drive the process for it to be taken seriously.
4- There is no visual evidence of change
If you’re going to go through the effort of rebranding then it must be as conspicuous as possible. The brand does not exist in the words of a policy manual (of course you do need one of those too). It must exist where people will notice and feel it. New paint, new logo, rearranging furniture, new signage and a host of other tangible changes let people know that the rebrand is real and alive.
5- Not having a roll-out plan
When will the rebrand be complete? How and when will we tell our staff? How and when will we tell our customers and clients? How will we tell the public? If these questions are not answered from the beginning then all kinds of hell can break loose. If the roll-out needs to happen over time then that must be communicated clearly to all involved. Having a plan and somebody accountable for executing it will give all stakeholders comfort that the rebranding efforts will stick and be meaningful.
6- Not enforcing the company values
If the hiring, firing and overall operations are not rooted in the company’s core values then it is unlikely that anyone inside will take it seriously. The values must be openly displayed for everyone to see (not just in the employee welcome handbook). It is not uncommon for some people to quit once the company’s values have clearly been articulated—in reality, these people should have been gone a long time ago—they just still happen to be drawing a paycheck. The best companies make a big deal about their values and look for those traits and evidence in the people that work for them. Remember that it is your people that deliver the brand experience of your company and that experience, if it is to be consistent, must be based on the core values of your organization.