The Rebranding Challenge: What’s an In-House Marketer to Do

Successfully navigating your firm through a rebrand can be a career high point. It’s also a monumental challenge. The role you choose to play in the process and how you play it will make an equally monumental difference in your credibility and the perceived value you bring to the firm.

So how do you ensure that you stand out as a strategically smart and brand savvy leader from beginning to end?

Understand the Big Picture

Rebranding process is not about cosmetic changes or a series of design deliverables – it’s about defining and articulating your company’s story. While others become fixated on a single aspect of the new brand (like the colors or the tagline), keep your eye on the bigger picture. Allow the process to unfold in a way that reveals multiple truths about your company and allows the brand to have meaning. You’ll be remembered as the one who shaped the future of your company rather than one who talked for an hour about why the typeface should be purple.

Map the Right Path

There are two general paths for creating and managing your brand: 1) outsource it entirely to an outside branding firm, or 2) work with internal teams to manage the process. Your choice of whether you can undertake the entire rebrand internally depends on the qualifications of your team and your available resources – financial and human. Be prepared to outsource the rebrand strategic and creative process to an expert.

Do Diligent Legwork

Don’t begin without key stakeholder’s support – ensure that everyone understands and agrees to the reason, cost, value and expected impact of the rebrand.

If sending out a formal RFP, make sure it clearly defines your needs so that you only get responses from agencies whose strengths match your project. Invite only a handful of shortlisted firms to participate in the RFP process – you’ll save yourself a lot of work and it will be easier to make the final selection.

Define your budget up front. This will garner you realistic, tailored proposals rather than a “wish list” that will never see the light of day.

Plan your rollout before you start. A full launch is best, but if carefully preplanned, a staged rollout can make rebranding on smaller budgets possible.

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Your Brand Toolbox

Building a strong brand is anything but easy. To assist you with the entire process – from conducting your brand audit through rebranding, we’ve developed this Brand Toolbox.

Manage Mindsets

As the person leading the charge, it’s up to you to instill a positive perception throughout your organization about the rebranding process and the coming change. Strategic and open internal communications are a must; usually, people simply want to know what’s going on. When working with an outside firm, create a partnership in which you’re viewed as part of their team. Most external branding firms want to make the in-house marketer shine and will do whatever they can to help you get the internal buy-in you need.

Launch Out Loud

Dropping new business cards on everyone’s desks and calling this the brand launch shows you’ve spent too much time watching The Office. Use the launch to celebrate past accomplishments and get everyone involved in creating the future. Your brand launch is also an opportunity to reconnect with past clients, members of the media and prospective clients and employees. Take the time to remind the marketplace about who your company is and what it stands for.

Cement the Story

It’s not enough to make a great differentiating promise. You must deliver on it. Your new brand must extend into your firm’s business processes, culture and every action. It is your responsibility as brand steward to lead this effort and to continue to bring additional value to your firm’s marketing effort by doing what it takes to ensure that the expected results are realized.