The Art of Rebranding


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Presentation given to the Fort Worth IABC chapter. The focus was on my experience changing a company name and the marketing and communication strategy involved in doing it. I had fun with the crowd with the first slides to show different companies that had recently re-branded and changed their logos.

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  • Thank you Cheryl and to all of the members of the Fort Worth Chapter of the IABC. It is an honor to be here. Today I will be talking about rebranding and all that it encompasses. Currently, I serveras the director of marketing for SRS Real Estate Partners. Prior to joining SRS, last August, I was the diector of marketing for UCR and ChainLinks Retail Advisors. UCR is a Dallas-based, regional retail real estate firm. ChainLinks Retail Advisors is a national retail real estate network based in Atlanta. Prior to that I worked in the political consulting arena where I focused on the advertising and media strategy for policital candidates. Throughout my career, I have had the great fortune to help brand about a dozen political candidates, hep about a half dozen companies create their identity and then most recently, helped UCR and ChainLinks recreate their brands and also create a new company, UCR Urban. However, the biggest project, so far, in m career, is the rebranding of SRS Real Estate Partners. I will walk you through our decisions and what we did, communications, wise for this pivotal time in our company’s history
  • But first, I would like to play a little quiz. I will give you a teaser of a famous logo and I ask you all to tell me what company it is. I will give you a hint, the companies portrayed all changed their logos in the past year.
  • Changed their programming strategy
  • The old logo had all the fixings of a classic American fast food chain logo: red and quirky typography. Plus years of equity. The new logo is a very contemporary departure from the original, which is par for what’s been happening to fast food logos
  • It signals to employees, consumers and investors what the new Kraft Foods is all about. Corporate logo February the red swoosh was unveilfed, but they already altered it within two months due to internal changes.
  • Pepsi says they want to create a logo for each generation.
  • Announced in 2007, with 11,000 signs changing by 2010. First major change to their logo in 50 years. The relaunch will incorporate a new service promise, a redesigned welcome experience as well as refreshed guestrooms with signature bedding and bathroom products.
  • renewed sense of purpose" towards consumers. Very slowly implementing
  • The new brand is designed to reflect today's Xerox, a customer-centric company built on a continuing history of innovative ideas, products and services that meet the needs of businesses small to large.
  • Sprint/Nextel merger
  • Although in 2007, I thought this was an interesting one to feature because this rebranding was due to Delta emerged from bankruptcy protection as an independent carrier
  • And, special note. Coca Cola has not change their logo since its’ introduction in 1892
  • Branding is more than a mark or a logo or a font. A brand is who your company is on paper and in conversations A brand is: What your employees believe in What your customers believe in What your salespeople sell How your receptionist answers the phone.
  • This may involve radical changes to the brand's logo, brand name, image, marketing strategy, and advertising themes. These changes are typically aimed at the repositioning of the brand/company, Rebranding can be applied to new products, mature products, or even products still in development. The process can occur intentionally through a deliberate change in strategy or occur unintentionally from unplanned, emergent situations, such as a corporate restructuring.
  • At UCR, their brand was somewhat known on the local level and they had very basic marketing. I was brought in to help revamp and grown their marketing. Over time, we rebranded to drop the words, United Commercial Realty. Additionally, I was responsible for executing a new subsidiary company focused on high-end lifestyle shopping centers and tenants. We wanted to work with the UCR reputation, but twist it to reflect the modern feel that most lifestyle retailers can relate to.
  • At ChainLinks, I was brought in as the iterim marketing director. During that time, ChainLinks changed direction to be more ambitious and grow exponentially. With that, came the need for a new identity and overall brand facelift. I was charged with bringing them a logo that represented this 60+ network company plus unifiying each of these members through collateral and basic communication startegies. The problem was that each member was its own company and didn’t have to listen to what CL corporate was telling them. There was little communications strategy to this unveiling. In fact, it was completely unveiled through a trade show campaign.
  • Who are we?
  • The Staubach company logo has always been used with the Staubach Retail logo. In 2006, the company wanted to feature the retail portion of their business. The Staubach Retail brand was launched in 2007. However, it was very poorly executed and overshadowed by the Staubach brand. No communication plan was done for its’ launch. When the board decided it was time to change our logo, we bypassed the Staubach retail brand in favor of going back to our roots and keeping the legacy we were given.
  • Due to the gossipy nature of retail real estate, we wanted to be the first to tell our story, not someone else. So, we chose a quick, fast rebranding that was done in extreme confidence
  • Branding is more than a mark or a logo or a font. A brand is who your company is on paper and in conversations A brand is: What your employees believe in What your customers believe in What your salespeople sell How your receptionist answers the phone.
  • 10:30 am - Graphics powerpoint is emailed to market leaders 11:00 am - Company-wide Announcement Call Announce name/logo Announce structure change (CEO/President) Business cards and letterhead are distributed 11:30 am - Internal from Chris Maguire and Clay Smith PDF’s attached: FAQ’s, media release and media policy reminder 11:45 am - Internal email from Roger Staubach 12:00 pm - External email from Clay Smith to clients 12:00 pm - is replaced with SRS Real Estate Partners coloring and logo 12:00 pm - goes live with splash page for transition 12:00 pm - receptionists start answering the phones as SRS Real Estate Partners 1:00 pm - Media release sent 1:30 pm - Intranet updated with new look 3:00 pm - Media release sent to clients, competitors 12:00 pm and beyond - call top clients personally
  • Although I have done this for several companies, the ideas shown here are unique to my company. Each company that decides to rebrand needs to take a long, hard look at why they want to change because rebranding is not something to be taken lightly, especially if you already have a long-established brand.
  • The Art of Rebranding

    1. 1. the art of re-branding 08.24.09 | IABC - Ft. Worth Chapter <ul><li>Katherine Blachly </li></ul>
    2. 2. A Branding Quiz
    3. 31. What is a brand? <ul><li>More than a logo </li></ul><ul><li>All encompassing </li></ul><ul><li>Culture, products, people </li></ul>
    4. 32. What is re-branding? <ul><li>Take your current brand to another level </li></ul><ul><li>Common during down economic times </li></ul><ul><li>Evolution through advertising </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Chick-fil-a </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Shack </li></ul></ul>
    5. 33. Why re-brand? <ul><li>No longer can use the name/logo </li></ul><ul><li>The name/logo has a negative connotation </li></ul><ul><li>The name/logo is no longer relevant to business strategy </li></ul><ul><li>Merger/Acquisition </li></ul><ul><li>Anniversaries </li></ul>
    6. 36. SRS Real Estate Partners <ul><li>Formerly Staubach Retail Services </li></ul><ul><li>Largest retail real estate firm in the US </li></ul><ul><li>Based in Dallas with offices in every major market </li></ul><ul><li>Retail real estate only </li></ul>
    7. 38. The Communications Plan <ul><li>A re-branding, not a name change </li></ul><ul><li>Quick execution of strategy </li></ul><ul><li>Minimal PR/Media strategy </li></ul>
    8. 39. Re-branding Timeline <ul><li>January 8 - BOD decides final logo </li></ul><ul><li>January 15 - Legal review; draft of communications materials </li></ul><ul><li>January 21 - Unveil new logo and plan to senior executives </li></ul><ul><li>January 22 - SRS Real Estate Partners is born </li></ul>
    9. 40. January 22 Announcement Timeline <ul><li>10:30 am - Graphics powerpoint is emailed to market leaders </li></ul><ul><li>11:00 am - Company-wide announcement call </li></ul><ul><li>11:30 am - Internal email from CEO and Board Chairman </li></ul><ul><li>11:45 am - Internal email from former founder </li></ul><ul><li>12:00 pm - </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>External email from CEO to clients </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li> changes coloring and information </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li> goes live with splash page for transition </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Receptionists begin answering “SRS Real Estate Partners” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Call top clients personally </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>1:00 pm - Media release sent </li></ul><ul><li>1:30 pm - Intranet updated with new look </li></ul><ul><li>3:00 pm - Media release sent to clients, competitors </li></ul>
    10. 41. The Day After <ul><li>Voicemail </li></ul><ul><li>Email addresses </li></ul><ul><li>E-signatures </li></ul><ul><li>Client letters </li></ul>
    11. 42. And, the weeks following <ul><li>Key facts </li></ul><ul><li>Collateral changes </li></ul><ul><li>Ads for advertising campaign </li></ul><ul><li>Internal memos, meetings </li></ul>
    12. 43. Re-branding Challenges <ul><li>Every company is different </li></ul><ul><li>Leadership plays a vital role </li></ul><ul><li>Unique circumstances </li></ul><ul><li>Timing is crucial </li></ul><ul><li>Research is the fundamental component </li></ul>
    13. 44. Key Points for Re-branding <ul><li>Communication! </li></ul><ul><li>Change is hard </li></ul><ul><li>On-going for at least a year and a half </li></ul><ul><li>Keep using formal name for at least a year </li></ul><ul><li>Keep educating media </li></ul><ul><li>Keep educating internally </li></ul>
    14. 45. Thank you! <ul><li>Katherine Blachly </li></ul><ul><li>Former Director of Marketing | SRS Real Estate Partners </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>