TOP EIGHT REBRAND MISSTEPS TO AVOID
Rebranding initiatives are major milestone events where everything is evolving: strategically, creatively, internally and externally. Typical reasons for a rebrand may include:
- mergers or acquisitions
- an organizations’s goals shifting in a new direction
- updating a brand that no longer resonates in an evolving marketplace
- an organization name no longer reflecting the depth and breadth of offerings
Given their magnitude, here are eight missteps to avoid to ensure you realize the returns of a rebranding.
NOT UNDERSTANDING THE MAKEUP OF A BRAND
A brand defines what a business is about in the hearts and minds of its audiences. Beyond a logo and slogan, it’s the strategic thread that ties together purpose and story, culture, strategy, design, communications and experience. So realize that when you’re undertaking a rebranding, you’re undertaking a strategic exercise that impacts the entirety of your organization.
CLINGING TO HISTORY
One major reason to rebrand is to maintain your relevancy. While it’s beneficial to have a legacy to genuinely build upon, it’s dangerous to cling too tightly to your history when so much around you is likely changing. For example, one important theme in recent years is the evolution of traditional healthcare (sick care) organizations positioning themselves as more proactive well-care organizations in light of our evolving health and wellness culture.
With so much at stake, this is not the time to rely on gut instinct. In order to be grounded and relevant in your efforts, you must understand, at least qualitatively, current perceptions of your internal and external decision-maker and influencer audiences. And in healthcare, there are multiple audiences that can impact the future of your organization.
A TEAM OF ONE
Rebranding impacts the entire organization, across all levels of the organization. As such, there should be a senior cross-functional team of flag bearers for the initiative outside of one internal point person tasked with oversight and implementation.
NOT ADAPTING A PHASED INTERNAL APPROACH
Done right, a rebranding will need to pass through four deliberate internal phases: planning and development (research, strategy, design, stage-gate approvals), initial launch (where employees hear it/feel it), post-launch (where employees learn it/engage in it) and ongoing (where employees live it). A big word of caution – don’t try to shortchange the process.
OVERLOOKING THAT BRAND GUIDES CULTURE
The only way to ensure that your rebranding has the power to align your organization-wide teams is if your brand is center stage, guiding the everyday actions of those who drive your business performance. Take the time to align your new brand with all facets of the organization and across all facilities and service lines. Make it personal for everyone.
LIMITING TO A CAMPAIGN
A new ad campaign and an accompanying new slogan do not equal a rebranding. Brand strategy – as an extension of business strategy – should lead marketing and advertising, and not the other way around. As you would plan the rollout of a new facility or service line over time, so too should you plan the rollout of your rebranding.
SPRINTING RATHER THAN A MARATHON
Prior to, and during launch, there’s anticipation, excitement and action. But after the launch, momentum needs to be sustained as a rebranding is a marathon and not a sprint. Know that rebranding done right should be measured in years and not months.
Founded in 1999, Trajectory is the specialist branding and marketing agency partnering with clients across the health + wellness continuum to grow better business. Reach us at 973-292-1400. trajectory4brands.com.