March 16, 2015

10 things brand managers need to consider before rolling out a brand change

Brand managers have a lot to think about prior to a brand change. If you’re never been through one before, it’s a time-consuming, costly and high-pressure process, forcing brand managers to juggle so many balls that extreme organization is the only way to succeed.

There’s the fun, creative side of brand changes – naming and logo development. There’s also the minutiae-driven implementation side – replacing the old brand identity with the new brand identity on each and every physical and digital touchpoint.

Let’s talk minutiae for a minute. Just how many branded touchpoints are involved? That’s a question many brand managers can’t answer at the start of the process. Think about it – do you know every place your brand identity appears? Some come to mind immediately, like websites, business cards, marketing materials, and promotional items. You’ll notice others as you leave the office, like interior and exterior signage, name badges and company vehicles. If your company has locations throughout the country, the number of touchpoints grows exponentially. And there are usually a few (hundred or thousand) that get overlooked for one reason or another.

Since brand implementation is typically more expensive and time consuming than brand identity development, here are 10 things brand managers need to consider:

  1. Deadline. Even if there isn’t a regulatory deadline, make sure to set a completion date for the brand change.
  2. Internal Rollout. Start with an internal brand rollout to get employees on board. Internal buy-in and support are necessary for a smooth external brand rollout.
  3. Brand Asset Database. Create an inventory of digital and physical branded touchpoints, with photos. Physical touchpoints (exterior signs, interior signs, vehicles, kiosks, etc.) may not be “owned” by brand managers, which is why fleet managers, facilities managers and others need to be on board from the start.
  4. Analysis. Analyze data and segment touchpoints based on categories like ownership, location, exposure, visibility, and usage to develop brand treatments.
  5. Project Timeline. Map out the brand change process. If brand managers don’t own a touchpoint, get feedback from touchpoint owners. Things like store hours and service appointment schedules can impact the timing of sign and vehicle conversions.
  6. Budget. Understand the full scope of the project before developing the budget. To ensure brand compliance, standardize specifications for brand treatments (sizes, color vibrancy, etc.).
  7. Vendor Selection. Make sure supply chain vendors are high quality, can meet deadlines and have experience with brand changes. Leverage economies of scale during negotiations.
  8. Communications. Keep lines of communication open with vendors and touchpoint owners throughout the brand change.
  9. Accountability. Track progress in real time to avoid missed deadlines.
  10. Planning Ahead. Update your brand touchpoint database with details and photos as work is completed. This will help with your next brand change.

Brand managers using brand management software with database and real-time tracking capabilities save time, money and frustration. That’s one reason we developed software and mobile apps for our clients. Please contact us to learn more.

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