Count down to rebranding: early lessons “affirmed”
We’ll very shortly be relaunching, and revealing the true nature of, one of our clients’ organizations.
It’s an exciting and exhausting time. With all board, leadership and core team discussions and debates about research, strategy and design now concluded, it’s crunch time. Producing internal campaign components, coordinating many moving parts and readying for organization-wide internal launch events. Ensuring we’re doing all we can to unite the organization around common purpose and enabling all colleagues to work together to drive brand and business from the inside out. At the same time, readying our external launch campaign – from tv, to web, social media and mobile components.
We always do our own lessons learned following a client assignment. Here are five starters which you might benefit from:
1. Profile the key players. It’s important to understand the different perspectives and potential biases of all the decision-makers and influencers who can impact the fate of your initiative. Profile these players early on in the process. Understanding their rules of the road will save you time and effort later on.
2. Buy-In Early & Often. There are the obvious check points like research findings and implications, and major strategy and design recommendations. But every organization and every management team has its own way of (formally and informally) moving major initiatives forward. And sometimes, one-on-ones and small group meetings in the cafeteria can prove to be just as important to maintaining momentum.
3. We and Me. “We” refers to the organization. The promise for everyone to believe in and be stimulated by. “Me” refers to what I (as an employee) am going to be tasked with given the new state of things. “We” is exciting and filled with future promise. “Me” is more of a question mark, as it’s the personal drive which must be tapped if the organization’s to achieve its goals. It’s critical that people understand the actions, attitudes, changes and tools that turn ideas into a working style and plan for them. In effect, this is an updated job description, and you need to know what’s expected of you, and be equipped with the knowledge and tools that you need to be successful. Both need to be in alignment for real change to happen.
4. It’s a journey. As Thomas Kleinhanzi, President and CEO, Frederick Regional Health System recently wrote about the rebranding of his organization – remember that rebranding can’t be a quick fix, and that it should never be reduced to simply slapping a new name or a new logo on the organization and then moving on. Rather, it should capture the essence of all that the organization is and aims to be in the future. Attacking every facet of an organization takes time. Realistically, between 9-12 months for the mindset and practices that make the organization competitive around its new ideas to eventually become part of the way people naturally think and work.
5. Patience. Think about what it takes to truly re-calibrate every facet of an organization. One filled with thousands of people. It’s no easy task. So drive hard, but cut your client some slack. Not everything is going to be in the bag on day one. Like everything else, it’s a process. A good rule of thumb that will make it easier for you to get through your day (told to me by a wonderful consultant I know) is “their doing the best they can.”
Any additional thoughts you’d like to share?