Business often overlook the importance the roll out strategy has in the rebranding process.
After all, if your staff does not buy in to your refreshed brand and the values it's built upon, the best laid brand plans will fail right out of the gate.
So, how do you avoid a turbulent brand roll out? Here are 4 factors to consider early on in the rebranding process.
Give Your Team a Sense of Brand Ownership
We've all heard the phrase, "Too many chefs in the kitchen." And you have to be careful when it comes to inputs into the rebranding process. Too many voices will cause grid lock. On the other hand, completely isolating your team from the rebranding process is damaging as well.
The key is to designate a core team to spearhead the brand refresh process; they lead the charge and make decisions. This core team should be charged with managing the internal communication process from launch to finish in a transparent and inclusive manner.
The entire staff needs to believe in your organization's new look and feel. If there's a disconnect, or if the new brand is a surprise or feels forced upon them, your staff will not buy in and will not effectively communicate your new brand to the market.
Understand the Rebrand Roll Out Has Different Phases
The term "roll out" often gets associated with a "launch". And that's true in many cases.
However, it's a bit different when it comes to your brand. During a rebrand, the roll out starts as soon as you engage the process, not when your new logo and tagline gets put on a brochure or your new-look website suddenly appears to employees.
Leaving an old look and message behind and embracing a new approach can be emotional, particularly for founders and long-time employees. You're not just changing a logo; you're altering the very essence of what your business means to those that work for it.
This is why you need to delineate a brand roll out into at least two distinct phases: (1) Transparent internal communication during the process; (2) An internal educational and application phase once the rebrand is complete.
In other words, engender buy-in and ownership during the process and then show your team how to apply the brand in their day-to-day work, covering everything from elevator speeches and customer service to rules around style and logo treatment and color usage.
Ask Your Marketing Agency Partner For Help
Businesses that engage marketing agencies often don't know to ask for roll out help.
Some agencies that rebrand companies include an internal roll out as part of their standard process while others don't. But it's important to know to ask.
Any marketing agency worth its salt has been in the branding trenches many times and can offer critical assistance during the internal comms or the internal education and application phase.
- The scope of roll out assistance is up to you, your internal capabilities and the size of your budget.
- You don't want to get in a situation where you invest significant time, money and resources in redesigning and tweaking your brand approach only to have the effort fail because your roll out strategy was insufficient.
- During your marketing partner interview process, ask them straight up: what role can you play in helping our team ensure the rebrand roll out is effective?
Rebranding your business is a very complex undertaking that's much more than changing your color palette or adding a new element to your logo. It can, in some cases, represent a significant and intense culture shift for your team, your customers and your target audience.
Be thoughtful. Be regimented. Be inclusive. Be strategic. And ask questions. You'll be happy you did.