A rebranding or brand refresh is an exciting time for any organization. It can also be a way to energize interest and engagement with current customers and employees, as well as new audiences. However, if not launched properly — internally and externally — it could be detrimental to the brand. Let’s look at both:
Internally: It’s often necessary for the leadership team to be tight-lipped when it comes to rebranding. There could be many reasons, but it comes down to the impact on the business should there be a leak. Whether it’s a merger or something else, it’s too risky to let something slip. That said, it’s also dangerous to not communicate with employees and have them hear about it from people outside the organization. Whether they’re getting questions or compliments about the new brand, it puts your employees in an awkward and embarrassing position. It also leaves it up to the employees to provide potentially inaccurate or incomplete information, if they don’t have any other source of input.
Externally: Whenever a brand undergoes change it creates buzz. Hopefully it’s a good buzz, and any change will make people wonder what’s happening with the company. Was there a merger or acquisition? A change in leadership? A new focus or new products? For current customers, this can cause excitement and anticipation, or angst and uncertainty, around how the changes will affect their relationship with the brand and organization they’ve trusted.
For both audiences, communicating the “why” behind the branding initiative is key to a successful launch. Even if you can’t pre-launch what’s new to employees, have a plan to communicate that there’s something big coming that will positively impact the company. Then on launch day, you will have built excitement and can communicate what’s happening. And speaking of communicating, be sure to provide a clear understanding of what’s happening, with plenty of resources and support so people are not caught off-guard should they receive questions. It’s also important to share how/if it will impact their role within the organization. In doing so, you’ll gain brand ambassadors.
For customers or clients, make sure your team reaches out to inform them about the changes ahead, and ensure them they won’t negatively be affected. Then after the launch you can circle back with them on the particulars.
All of this comes down to communication and education. When you look at your internal tools/systems for branding and marketing resources, do they provide information about your brand? Are you able to train current and new employees about their role supporting your brand? How engaging is it? In addition to storing the assets, help build your brand by having a system that can be used to inform, educate, and engage stakeholders on an ongoing basis. The results will be invaluable.