Great Beginnings

Hatching a new brand or rebrand? Make sure you set yourself up for success.

Wendy Ruyle 4.12.2018

Branding projects can seem overwhelming at the start. Expectations are high and knowledge of the process may be shaky. How do you hatch a new brand or a rebrand successfully?

The answer is to start off with all the right elements in place. Before you begin, make sure you have all these ducks in a row.

A goal in mind

The first step is to know what you are trying to accomplish and how you will measure success. Set some organizational goals (e.g. increase sales by 15%, increase staff by 10%, improve employee engagement, etc.). Then set some more specific marketing goals (e.g. create an elevator speech for leadership, create targeted messages for 3 new markets, update stationery and recruitment materials, etc.) Make sure all your stakeholders are on the same page and agree with the proposed goals. If you don’t agree on where you are going, you’ll all be on different routes to get there.

The right people in the room

Then pull your team together. You need a committed group of people to make a project like this happen. You need leadership on board to make sure the project will have company-wide support and you need doers who can get the job done. Be sure to include stakeholders who have a long history with the organization as well as some newbies. The combination with ensure you are true to your history but not stuck there.

Starting out, choose a team that represents the entire company—sales, marketing, operations, customer service, leadership, etc. The full team doesn’t need to be involved all the way to the finish line but be sure to loop in anyone who could block your effort in the future if their views aren’t heard. Or whose departmental knowledge is essential to understand your customer. Get their buy-in early so you don’t waste your time.

Enough budget and time

Provide a realistic view of how long the project will take and how much it will cost to your entire team. If you aren’t ready to invest fully, wait until you are. If your staff doesn’t have time to devote to the project and you can’t afford to make real changes in your website, collateral, signage, etc., all of your work will be for naught. Be sure to set achievable but proactive deadlines to keep you moving forward. If your deadlines are too far out, you’ll be working inefficiently.

A champion to lead you

You’ve got to have someone leading your team internally who is organized enough to get the work done and inspiring enough to others to propagate your brand throughout the company. A cheerleader who will also keep everyone on task and on target. If there is no one inside the company who is fully invested, the project will fail. This person should also be able to continue to train brand ambassadors within the company as time goes on.

The right partner

Starting a branding project without an outside viewpoint to help you confront uncomfortable truths, correct them, and move past the conflict can be difficult. Company culture can sometimes block your ability to see the elephant in the room. An outside perspective can help you deal with the issues that are holding you back.

Asking the right questions

Before you start do some homework and engage your customers and employees in the process. There are some easy ways to get input that will help you set your goals and determine the right strategies and tactics to achieve them.

If you have all these elements in place, you are set up for success. Not to say there won’t be bumps along the way, but you’ll have the structure needed to take your brand to the next level.

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