March 19, 2014

Rebranding Company’s Top 10 Tips for Getting Your Entire Organization on Board With Your Rebranding Project

As a rebranding company CEO, I’ve seen enough corporate rebranding horror stories to write Branding Gone Bad, the TV series. Maybe not as dramatic as Mad Men, but a Jon Hamm lookalike should still play me.

For instance, there was a time when my rebranding company was brought in to handle implementation for a corporation with over 3,400 locations. The project involved changing the brand identity on signage and vehicles at all locations. Now, you might think our rebranding company would be given immediate access to information about touchpoints, but it took a looming deadline before our primary contact on the branding team could put us in touch with the right data specialist. Once there was buy-in about why access to the data was important to the entire corporation, not just our rebranding company and the in-house branding team, we received timely updates from the data specialist about specific locations, which improved the accuracy of our scheduling and planning.

For an outside rebranding company, being able to meet corporate deadlines on time and on budget is directly related to how effectively communication is handled throughout the corporation. Without building buy-in from all departments before the rebranding project starts, individual departments or locations may fail to cooperate or even sabotage the project because they view it as an inconvenience or waste of time and money.

How bad can it get for the rebranding company if there’s no buy-in? We had employees in some of the 3,400 locations refuse to allow us to rebrand corporate vehicles and signs. By keeping the old name and logo, their very visible protest showed their dissatisfaction with a corporate directive to anyone driving by or posting photos on the Internet.

Here are the top 10 tips from an expert rebranding company to help your corporate rebranding project run smoothly.

  1. Identify all relevant stakeholders as early as possible in the rebranding, such as key players, influencers, division heads, and department heads.
  2. Communicate the objectives of the rebranding and ask for input from the stakeholders.
  3. Listen carefully to identify real and perceived benefits and obstacles to the rebranding project.
  4. Ask for clarification and additional information as needed, increasing buy-in for the rebranding at each step of the process.
  5. Report back to the stakeholders to let them know how their input was incorporated into both internal and external rebranding rollouts.
  6. Keep the entire corporation in the loop by communicating relevant information during the internal rebranding rollout, such as the name of the rebranding company handling implementation, and key dates and deadlines (kickoff, milestones, and completion).
  7. Provide updates as often as possible to keep employee engagement high, sharing data about the importance of the new brand to your overall corporate success.
  8. Eliminate surprises by over-communicating scope, schedule, and policy changes.
  9. Celebrate cooperation and progress along the way with success stories.
  10. Include some type of employee celebration at the end of the project – from throwing a large party to giving out t-shirts or coffee mugs sporting the new brand identity.

Don’t make the same mistakes the corporation with 3,400 locations did. As your rebranding company, we want to share in your success, not annoy your employees.