Keys To Successful Rebranding Strategy
Your leadership team has decided that rebranding the company is the solution for reigniting brand relevance and jumpstarting growth. Following this, determining the organization’s rebranding strategy has now become your top priority. Consider this day one of your rebranding journey.
Rebranding is often mistaken with other terms like brand refresh, brand repositioning or brand revitalization. But rebranding encompasses all of these actions. And because of this, it is a huge undertaking.
Because when you’re rebranding a company, everything is on the table. It’s like bulldozing a house down to its frame. The structure remains, but everything that sits on top of it is being reworked.
In the case of rebranding, everything that encompasses how someone experiences your brand is being updated. Starting with what we at Trajectory refer to as your company’s big energizing idea, and extending to strategy, story, culture, design, communication, marketing and digital experience.
A successful rebranding of a company should ensure that audiences once again see the promise of your corporate brand, in a whole new, though genuine, light. Which means rebranding is not just about a name change, redesign or logo. Because a brand is so much more than its visual elements or the sum of its features.
A successful rebranding should be undertaken with the purpose of changing the emotional and mental associations and connection consumers have with a company over hundreds of thousands of individual experiences. No name change, logo change or redesign can accomplish this.
To quote Richard Branson – every success story is a tale of constant adaptation, revision and change.
Reasons For Rebranding
Rebranding is a viable solution for any of these situations:
- An integration of organizations following a merger, acquisition or consolidation, e.g., Phillips and Conoco merging in 2002 to create ConocoPhillips.
- An organization brand name and associated identity that pigeonholes you as something that you (and customers) have outgrown, e.g., Weight Watchers evolving to WW.
- A new direction for the organization that can’t be realized through current branding and marketing efforts, e.g., Dunkin leaving behind its Donut.
- A major internal event that requires the organization to undertake a fundamental transformation, e.g. Uber’s complete brand overhaul to address its bad reputation.
Checklist For Rebranding Of A Company
Trajectory has a long history of partnering with companies that are rebranding across the healthcare and wellness continuum. We’ve partnered with health systems and hospitals, healthcare services agencies, clinical trials support companies, wellness services companies, among others. Based on our experience, we know the importance of a tight rebranding strategy process (we call ours DELIVER™) to increase the odds of success.
Here’s an infographic including a quick checklist of rebranding considerations to help you deliver a successful rebranding from the inside out:
More Tips For Avoiding Rebranding Bottlenecks
After 20+ years of rebranding organizations across the health and wellness landscape, we know where delays and pitfalls can creep into the process of rebranding of a company and setting rebranding strategy.
Here are a few areas that you should watch out for:
- In larger organizations, it generally takes more time to assemble the senior leadership and Board teams who are critical to upfront and ongoing program approvals. Bake into the process that you’ll likely need to schedule both one-on-ones and group sessions with these audiences throughout the entirety of the rebranding process.
- Agreeing with your CEO about the business case rationale for rebranding as well as any risks that are on the table, prior to sharing recommendations with senior leadership and Board. Take into account the financial commitment it will take to effectively support the rebranding, and the operational commitment to align the organization around its new identity.
- Identifying upfront the decision-makers and influencers whose formal buy-in is required throughout the entire rebranding process. Consider that this will often include people outside of the day-to-day workings of the organization.
- Making clear to all senior leadership and Board members that a true rebrand requires ongoing commitment from them as well as employees at every level of the organization to support new values and promises. This is not a marketing campaign. It is a long-term change management initiative.
- Agreeing early on about the amount and type of market research required throughout the rebranding process (both internal and external; across strategy and design). Most important is ensuring your strategic and design recommendations, and the long-term consequences, are grounded in reality – so use this time to learn, not simply confirm.
- Determining who will be/must be involved in decision-making if development and buy-in of a new name is required. Likely this will be CEO, senior leadership team members and Board. In some cases, new name candidates might also be vetted through market research with different audiences.
- Cataloging the scope and number of brand assets that must be accounted for (across all locations and departments), as well as who is responsible for each. It can be common to overlook the extent of the many environments, signs, forms, IT systems and other branded assets, as well as some of the legal implications, vendor and outsourcing relationship implications, and other dependencies. In a program of this magnitude, errors in estimating add up fast and lead to costly delays.
- Taking into account the scope of your internal brand launch, e.g., do you have multiple locations? multiple shifts to consider? multiple languages and translations to consider?
- Formally informing all external stakeholders (partners, vendors, media, etc.) about the launch. Determine the order in which they will need to be introduced to the new brand and which stakeholders will require a more personalized approach.
- Ensuring Marketing and HR have come together to evolve employee performance benchmarks in line with new brand values and promises. As the rebranding of a company is an organization-wide effort, these two teams must work together to build a true brand-led culture.
Since 1999, our New Jersey marketing agency has partnered with organizations across the United States healthcare and wellness continuum – developing, launching, rebranding and supporting brands to rise above the noise to reach their full market potential. Reach out for a no-obligation consultation.