December 9, 2014

What holiday promotions can teach companies about rebranding building signs and vehicle graphics

Earlier this fall, when we were installing building signs and vehicle graphics, I noticed holiday shopping promotions all around. We’ve worked on seasonal campaigns for individual clients before, putting promotional messaging on building signs and vehicle graphics.

I hadn’t thought about buying Christmas presents before Halloween candy, but with so many consumer brands and retailers announcing the start of holiday shopping season, it was suddenly on my mind. By simultaneously running commercials and print ads, setting up holiday displays in stores, and posting holiday campaigns on websites, these companies are sending a powerful message to consumers. Shop now! In October!

Why don’t corporate rebranding efforts have this same sense of urgency? Unlike holiday promotions designed to generate sales revenue and beat the competition, most brand implementation projects are not coordinated to trigger customer and employee impact. While the marketing department, in conjunction with sales, rolls out holiday promotions for its brands, the same may not be true with corporate brand rollouts. After a merger or acquisition, I often see corporations delegate changing out vehicle graphics to fleet management and building signs to the real estate department or local management. Without a high-level executive championing the strategic need for a quick, comprehensive brand rollout and overseeing the entire project, some departments or regions might view the rebranding as a low priority and put it off for months.

To maximize impact, a corporate rebranding after a merger or acquisition should follow the blueprint of a seasonal holiday promotion. Let me break that down:

  • Deadline Driven. Just as holiday promotion schedules work backwards from the date of a specific holiday, the entire organization needs to know the completion date for the rebranding. If we look at Halloween as an example, promotions need to start and candy and costumes needs to be produced and shipped way before the actual holiday.
  • Centralized. Project management needs to be centralized to ensure economies of scale and keep the entire project on track. If internal resources are limited, project management should be outsourced to experts. Otherwise, some locations and items may fall through the cracks.
  • Communicate effectively. To rollout a holiday promotion nationwide, numerous departments need to work together to ensure holiday sales revenue. During a corporate rebranding, brand implementation specialists use technology to keep employees (executives, brand teams, frontline employees, etc.) informed on project specifics and monitor real-time progress to avoid surprises.
  • Market size matters. Instead of candy and costumes, corporations need to make sure building signs, vehicle graphics, and other branded touchpoints are on display in large markets simultaneously to have the greatest impact.
  • Partner wisely. Quality control is just as important in corporate rebranding, so selecting vendors for building signs, vehicle graphics and other services based on their ability to deliver high-quality, cost-effective results by the deadline is key.

If corporate rebranding projects adopt holiday sales promotional strategies (well planned and deadline driven to boost sales), customers and employees will take notice. Let the Valentine’s Day promotions begin!