By Ilana Shabtay —
Your company’s story and messaging are the core of everything: it’s how you market, how you sell, and how you retain loyal customers. The story is the backbone of your company’s brand and should permeate every aspect of the business. That’s why rebranding your company is such a big project – it’s a chance to revisit the essence of the company and apply it to every part, big or small. Rebranding is a journey to take only if the name, logo, and tone of your brand no longer do your company justice. Whether it’s outdated or misaligned, the decision to rebrand should be intentional and purposeful. The rebranding process takes time. Dedicating the proper resources and creating a robust timeline is the best way to ensure a frictionless process. Here are four things that helped our company manage our recent rebrand: Start with buy-in Before beginning any process, it’s critical to get executive buy-in on the process. As mentioned, a rebrand is no joke, so making sure you’re aligned with the leadership of the company will set up the process for success as it becomes a company priority. In addition to getting leadership buy-in, establish an internal committee responsible for providing feedback along the way. The committee should include different team leaders and members from various departments to keep the feedback as expansive as possible. You want different opinions and perspectives, so ensure the makeup of this committee serves that purpose. Keep the committee intimate and controlled; we found the sweet spot to be about 5-6 people representing different areas of the company. Once you’re set on a final direction, employee buy-in will kick in. Prepare your team with the tools they need to understand and embrace the change. Stick to a project plan Creating a master project plan is best practice as there are a lot of moving pieces in a rebrand. Start with a master list and break down tasks by department. Once tasks are assigned, you can rely on department heads to fill in specific details along the way. Use organizational software like Asana or monday.com to help organize the project. It’s also helpful to create mini-deadlines to support the major deadlines. If you plan on launching your new brand on a specific day, make sure you create deadlines to hit certain milestones before launch day. This will break down the project into smaller, more achievable tasks. Lastly, you will likely benefit from creating a phase 1 and phase 2 of the project. A rebrand is no small project, and it may be impossible to accomplish everything before launch day. Creating a phase 2 allows for more flexibility and can re-energize the teams heavily involved in the project. Create a comms strategy Aside from the master project plan, there should be a separate communications plan that maps out the messaging for each specific audience. How and when will you tell external stakeholders, journalists, enterprise partners, and clients about the rebrand? What does communication look like? Who will be handling this on behalf of the company? It’s also critical to create an FAQ document for your clients and employees so you can answer any concerns or common questions that will arise. We used the table below to help us prepare our comms strategy: While it may seem unnatural, it’s important to make a big deal out of the rebrand, so it helps get your brand’s new story out. Be obsessive about it so the news can spread and you can feel good about the work you put in. Setup a “war room” The rebrand doesn’t end on launch day. Once the news is out, you want to set up a post-launch execution room with your top players. There will be certain things you can’t set up before the news is out, so this dedicated time will let you focus on pushing live anything that couldn’t be set up pre-launch. You should have a running list of these items, so prepare a checklist prior to launch day, as launch day will be exhausting. Expect things to go wrong and be prepared to fix them. This time is dedicated to setup spillover, inbound questions and requests, and to head-off any mishaps. Rebranding a company’s story, logo, design, and/or messaging is a big deal - so prepare for it. Be consistent and aggressive with aligning your team, departments, and all stakeholders around the change. And, of course, use the opportunity to create buzz and news about your company. This is your time to shine!