5 Tips to Navigate the Politics of a Brand Update

Master the politics of rebranding.

Diana Lillicrap 8.16.2016

You may know you need a brand refresh, but sometimes getting everyone else on board can take a little diplomacy. Here are five tips to help you out.

1. Do your homework.

A brand refresh isn’t something you do haphazardly. If you sense your organization needs to consider one, make sure you have valid reasons and business outcomes to support your recommendation to others. Here’s a list of some common reasons to undertake a rebranding effort.

2. Prime your audience and time your plea.

Timing is everything when it comes to persuading others to embrace change. Before you even try to pitch your idea, make sure you are approaching stakeholders when they are open and in the right frame of mind for the discussion. Sometimes that means you need to start by planting seeds of your idea weeks or even months in advance. Give other decision makers time to consider things on their own, which will make the idea feel less foreign when you make your final pitch.

3. Present the facts, but don’t ignore the emotions.

You may have good data to support your need for a brand update. But remember that great brands have a lot of emotions tied to them. Be thoughtful and respective of your loyal brand advocates and how they feel about your current brand. Then, make sure to communicate both the logical and emotional rationale for the changes you think need to be made.

4. Ask, don’t tell.

Getting buy-in from others will always go more smoothly when the other party feels vested in the process. We all want to feel as though we are making a change, instead of having a decision placed upon us. Whether it’s your board, your customers, or your employees, take the time upfront to ask what they like about the current brand and what improvements they would like to see made. Then use that to guide your process, maintaining a sense of what is liked and moving toward something that will be perceived as an improvement by all.

5. Plan for possible resistance.

It would be a mistake to make any change without considering the possible effects a brand refresh may cause. Before you launch your new brand, consider who might resist and why they might resist. Then prepare how you will address these concerns. Be sure to have your messages and marketing tools ready so you can communicate the rationale and benefits of the brand refresh, averting many of the naysayers from the start.

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