March 27, 2014

Nationwide Rebranding Company Inspiration: The Question That Launched Implementix.

About a year before I officially launched my nationwide rebranding company, I was on a conference call with several other vendors when a member of the corporate branding team asked, “What does a successful brand conversion look like?

The other conference call participants and I were quiet at first, then the branding team lead answered her colleague’s question, “I don’t know. All I know is that we have to finish by the 31st.

As CEO of DI Graphics at the time, my family-owned printing company with an 80-year history of working on corporate projects, I remember the light bulb going off. If a corporate branding team doesn’t understand brand conversions, I should launch a nationwide rebranding company to lead nationwide rebranding projects because it’s the perfect fit for our expertise.

After working on numerous vehicle rebranding projects for corporations growing through mergers and acquisitions, I knew there was more at stake than simply meeting a deadline. We had already become an unofficial nationwide rebranding company after completing the largest rebranding project in the U.S. in 2006 – 75,000 vehicles in over 20,000 locations with over 40,000 different contacts – on time and on budget in 18 months.

But that knowledge wouldn’t be present for someone who had never done a nationwide rebranding project before, or even a regional rebranding project. It’s like the first time you attempted to do your own taxes. It’s all about meeting the deadline until you realize how much time and effort goes into (a) figuring out what needs to be done, and (b) completing the task correctly in order to get the best outcome. You quickly realize that it makes sense to hire someone who already knows what to do.

With decades of brand implementation experience, my new nationwide rebranding company could offer project management and brand conversion services to corporations and brand development firms. We’d already developed systems to handle complex corporate identity projects, and had experienced project managers on staff.

So, as CEO of a nationwide rebranding company, I thought I’d offer the basics of brand conversion success:

  1. Assess what branded touchpoints (signage, vehicles, marketing materials and other assets) need to be rebranded.
  2. Set a completion deadline and do whatever it takes to meet it.
  3. Define what “completion” means. (Do you need to complete 100% of the brand conversion by the deadline or is 80% acceptable?)
  4.  Stay on or under your budget.

Whenever a corporation changes its name or logo, it’s a huge undertaking and requires expertise that most employees lack, similar to the corporate branding team mentioned above. Just like me hiring a CPA to handle my taxes, hiring a nationwide rebranding company to manage a complex corporate brand conversion project make sense, and leads to a better outcome than handling the nationwide rebranding on your own.