April 15, 2014

Branding Assets During a Corporate Rebranding – Top 10 Signs Your Project is in Trouble

Branding assets with a new corporate identity may seem pretty straightforward on paper, then reality hits when you start the process. The new corporate identity color palette looks great by itself, but hasn’t been clash-tested. The new horizontal logo is fantastic, but the old logo was vertical. Brand standards guidelines were created, but not widely distributed.

We’ve been asked to take over complex rebranding projects when in-house teams were overwhelmed by all of the moving parts involved with branding assets on a national or regional basis. Having been through numerous nationwide and regional rebranding projects myself, I know that branding assets requires a thorough and coordinated plan in order to meet time and budget goals. There’s no way to anticipate every obstacle that might occur during the rebranding, so being prepared for as many contingencies as possible is the key to success. After all, if a professional weather forecaster can’t predict every storm in advance, how can a branding professional predict that a massive snowstorm would shut down roads on the exact same day 100 corporate vehicles were supposed to receive new brand graphics?

So how do you know when your plan for branding assets is in trouble?

  1. The timeline was created without a backup plan for weather delays or other unexpected problems, so the schedule for branding assets keeps getting pushed back.
  2. Someone ordering brand graphics didn’t have a copy of the new brand standards guidelines, and non-compliant brand materials were used for branding assets.
  3. Someone hired vendors that weren’t qualified for branding assets at the quality level you needed, and the assets look terrible.
  4. No one considered the cost of removing the old brand when branding assets, or the time involved in the process, so the branding budget and timeline are way off.
  5. The branding team overlooked some touchpoints when branding assets, and the old brand appears side-by-side with the new brand on corporate vehicles and signage in the marketplace.
  6. Because of poor data at the start of the project, materials were ordered for branding assets that didn’t exist, forcing you to find storage space and pay for brand graphics you didn’t need.
  7. Brand implementation teams had to make multiple trips to rebranding locations due to poor communication or bad scheduling, hurting the timeline and the budget.
  8. Someone overlooked a deadline imposed by a regulatory agency, and the corporation was hit by penalties for non-compliance.
  9. The designers created treatments for branding assets without realizing the colors would clash with background colors on walls, vehicles, signs and other locations.
  10. Brand implementation work was scheduled during prime business hours, interrupting daily operations for employees and customers.

If you’ve never done a complex rebranding before, it’s hard to anticipate the challenges you’ll encounter. And believe me, there will be challenges. Hopefully these 10 Signs of Trouble will help keep your plan for branding assets on track.