How To Plan For A Rebrand

One of the most exciting opportunities for marketers is when they get to rebrand a company.  All of us get the privilege of supporting and growing our brands, but the times where we get to truly create a brand from scratch or evolve the name and/or image of our enterprise are fewer and farther between.  The importance (and pressure) that goes along with that is exciting and it does take a different set of factors into consideration.

First is a well-defined vision of where you want to be – not in months but in years.  You have to see how your company fits in the landscape of its market and industry in the long-term and see yourself where you want to be.  That is a challenge since markets move, customers evolve and firms enter and exit the space, but without a clear sense of that destination you face having to go through rebranding more than you like or should. The greatest danger any company can have is constantly having to rebrand itself over and over again.  Organizations that do this are often lacking strategic intent or mission clarity.

The next key step is an actionable plan.  Even before you start to work on names, logos and positioning statements the marketing team needs to establish a construct that provides a framework for the key milestones of project and a strong forecast of delivery expectations.  Without a planful sense of purpose rebrands can fall into the timeline eternal – something that is inched along over time without any true sense of purpose.  Timelines move and conditions change but there has to be consistent momentum placed on a rebrand in order for it to truly move.

The last important part is commitment.  Rebrands are hard and are loaded with change – items that organizations struggle with, especially when they are busy doing their day-to-day jobs.  A dedication to reimaging your brand is critical since it can take weeks to years to fully complete a rebrand depending on the size of the organization.  That resolve is just as important in areas beyond marketing, particularly the executive suite, because rebrands encapsulate the entire entity if they are truly to be successful.

A rebrand is usually one of the highlights of a marketer’s career. A vision, plan and commitment to the outcome that is both strategically sound and tactically solid are critical to success not just of the rebrand but the long-term viability of the organization.