November 6, 2013

Budgeting for Corporate Rebranding is a Lot Like…

Corporate rebranding is a lot like moving your office to a new location. You might be asking how so? Your office often says a lot about you and your company – there is a different corporate appeal to companies in trendy downtown lofts versus warehouse space in the suburbs. Let’s say you need a larger office, and you’re faced with finding the best location with adequate space and amenities, all within your budget. Like corporate rebranding, this is a difficult task to plan for, which is why you would hire a commercial real estate agent to guide you through the process. They can predict and prevent issues, accommodate your needs and help you stay on budget. Similar to how you don’t have the knowledge or capabilities to secure yourself a new office all on your own, you probably aren’t familiar with how to go about a corporate rebranding efficiently.

In regards to corporate rebranding, a short cycle is every five years if you look at the history. As a result, very few people have experience with budgeting for a rebrand. That’s where we come in. We’ve already walked you through the project management triangle in a corporate rebranding. You know that cost is an important factor in your corporate rebranding plan. Now, here are a few tips on how to create an accurate budget:

1.       Start the process early. We recommend starting your corporate rebranding after your company and your brand strategy consultancy agree on the branding but before they are finished with creating the design system. At this point you can leverage your supply chain or use a 3rd party implementation firm (like Implementix) to work in parallel with the branding firm to inject some Value Engineering into the process and avoid inflated conversion costs. Similarly, a real estate agent needs time to survey the market and investigate the properties that match your requirements, so you don’t want to end up in a time crunch.

2.       Details are key. You will have to work across your organization by engaging other stakeholders. Your brand appears on many assets owned and managed by a number of departments and business units, who thus own the details about those branded assets. Using a systematic approach to collecting the details about them will minimize interruptions to the day-to-day business routine and set the stage for much needed cooperation from theses stakeholders when the corporate rebranding occurs. Remember that if you were moving to a new office, you would want to see detailed floor plans, find out the number of parking spots, etc.

3.       Reevaluate the supply chain. Not all of your suppliers may be right for corporate rebranding. The right resources will need to hit deadlines and should be able to offer some quantity discounts. Don’t sacrifice quality due to tight deadlines. Similarly, your real estate agent can leverage their relationships with landlords to negotiate you the best rates. They have access to databases that can narrow down the best options for you in an instant.

4.       Understand the “soft costs.” Most companies going through a corporate rebranding see the external cost and feel the internal or “soft costs.” Most resources are expected to maintain their normal responsibilities while participating on the corporate rebranding project. However, trade-offs are inevitable, and they create opportunity costs. Companies can outsource corporate rebranding to minimize the impact on the day-to-day. You don’t want to sacrifice your efforts towards your current customer base due to limited attention and energy, whether you are going through a corporate rebrand or office relocation.

We bring you back to the triangle: time, cost and quality. You can’t have one without the rest in a successful corporate rebranding. We may not be real estate agents, but we have helped countless companies through corporate rebrands. Take it from the experts, planning for your budget has its payouts in the end.