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5 Steps to Successful Rebranding Effort


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Five tips for a successful rebranding effort.

Published in: Business
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5 Steps to Successful Rebranding Effort

  1. 1. Steps to REBRANDING Done Right by Brian Elkins Senior Brand Strategy Consultant
  2. 2. INTRODUCTION When is the right time to rebrand? In many marketing strategy engagements, this question invariably arises as research implications underpin shifting market dynamics and evolving consumption models for our clients. Critical to answering this question is understanding that rebranding or refreshing a heritage brand, intended or not, signals to the market place that something of significance about the business is changing. Too often rebranding is undertaken as simply a reactive means to garner attention or supercharge a campaign launch that will drive engagement in the near term, but lacks sustainability and risks leaving internal and external audiences underwhelmed and disappointed. A successful rebrand requires a coordinated effort across the organization so that the brand evolution is delivered at every touch point from senior management to frontline employees and product/service experience. It requires discipline and rigor, but also the energy and excitement to tell the organization’s new, compelling story. Getting this right is as much art as it is science and the brands that get it right put their customers and authenticity at the center of every aspect of their approach.
  3. 3. DEFINE: First and foremost, identify and clearly define the catalyst for rebranding. There are many reasons an organization may seek to rebrand. Some, but not all catalysts may include: new leadership or ownership structure, a new or evolved value proposition or positioning, new or enhanced products, experiences, channels or ways for audiences and customers to engage with the brand. Building a strong business case for rebranding pays dividends for successful go-to-market strategies and clear ROI measurement.
  4. 4. ENGAGE Once this case has been made, it is crucial that senior leaders within the organization are not only champions of the process, but play an active role throughout the process building buy-in at every level of the organization. It is also important for an organization and its brand partners to go wide and bring representatives from across the organization into the process. They will all have something at stake with a successful (re)brand implementation and bringing them into the process early will often illuminate insights that are important to the brand’s makeup. We find that in addition to strong governance, leveraging engaging tools like Illumination LabTM go far to bring disparate parties and interests to the table.
  5. 5. MEASURE AND MEASURE AGAIN Establishing benchmark metrics through research and tracking (quarterly or bi- annually) against those metrics post-launch will be paramount to sustaining a successful rebrand and to providing further rationale for investment in the brand. While quantitative tracking is both necessary and useful, never lose sight of the power of qualitative tools like online communities, ethnography, our digital BrightBoardsTM and in person methods to provide the “why” beyond the numbers through context, texture and storytelling.
  6. 6. TAKE STOCK The excitement of a rebrand endangers the positive brand equity an organization has built over time. One of the most important activities, once measured, is to recognize existing equities to be brought forward and improved while also identifying baggage or disequities the organization aims to diminish or leave behind. Group strategy labs and workshops often uncover latent equities not readily apparent in the data.
  7. 7. OWNERSHIP AND ACCOUNTABILITY Establish a brand governance system from the outset. Too often, rebrands lose steam without people and processes to act as stewards for the brand long after the new brand is rolled out and the confetti is put away. Building a cross-functional team not only reinforces engagement, but helps ensure consistent implementation, compliance, and sustained success. This group should ultimately be responsible for developing an implementation process that identifies costs, resource needs, communications and advertising and brand experience mechanisms, ensuring there are no gaps when an organization is ready to go to market under a new brand.
  8. 8. ABOUT THE AUTHOR: BRIAN ELKINS Brian is a Senior Brand Strategy Consultant specializing in brand strategy (positioning, naming, portfolio architecture), advertising strategy, employee brand engagement and consumer insights and planning. He has served as lead consultant and strategist launching a number of brands including: CenturyLink, Western Union, WTOP, Paychex, First American Financial and serves as a brand strategy consultant to current clients including Wynn Resorts, Constellation Brands, Royal Cup Coffee and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (Beef USA).
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