Embarking on a rebrand is one thing; making sure you have a successful launch is another. How do you make sure that your new brand identity is successfully implemented and brings the ROI it deserves? And how do you ensure that long-term, your rebrand is a success?
After over ten years of helping clients in finance and professional services, such as Apax Partners, Forensic Risk Alliance, and Singer Capital Markets, launch their new brand identities, we’ve collated the four most common mistakes we see companies make. Read on to find out how to avoid them and ensure your rebrand launch plan is a success.
1. Not having a robust enough rebrand launch plan
A lot of the time, the majority of the focus in the rebranding process goes on creating the new visual identity and refreshing all the materials that go along with that, i.e. changing logos, the website, marketing materials, sales collateral, etc. However, to ensure your launch has the impact you desire, you’re working as efficiently as possible, and all your changes are rolled out correctly, you need to have a solid plan for how you’ll communicate the launch to your internal and external audiences.
What content will you create?
Create bits of content that complement each other and build them into your rebranding launch plan, for example:
- A custom web page telling the story of your new identity, the meaning behind your new logo, your new missions and values, etc.
- A video message from a senior stakeholder as another way to tell the story in a more engaging manner
- A webinar to outline your new brand and your mission and values in more detail
Also create templates and assets that teams can use to share the news with clients, including:
- An email template with a link to a launch video or webinar
- Email signature banners
- Banners for LinkedIn profiles and other social media
Furthermore, adopt a multi-channel approach to your rebrand launch plan – don’t assume that telling people once is enough. Push the message out multiple times to make sure it’s absorbed.
And finally, give yourself enough time and budget to do all of this. Developing an effective rebrand rollout plan will require weeks of planning and execution, so factor this in from the beginning of your rebranding campaign – set the date and work backwards.
How will you communicate?
Make sure you have a clear story to tell about why you’ve rebranded and how it’s going to benefit your clients and other stakeholders. Each group of stakeholders – clients, employees, prospects, investors, partners – will need different messages, assets, and channels for communicating your rebranding announcement. So, adopt a multi-pronged communication strategy, with a tailored plan and assets for each group.
Explain the purpose of the rebrand and what it means for employees. Depending on the scope of your rebrand, your objectives might vary. For example, if one of your new values is to reduce your impact on the environment, you may be announcing practical changes like a move away from printed materials. Or, if you have decided to completely redesign your logo or rename your company, you will need to focus more on explaining how this will help make the brand more successful and quelling any concerns employees might have.
Try to engage in a personal manner – you could send out an exclusive email telling the story of the rebrand and the meaning behind it, alongside a personalized video message from the CEO explaining the thought process and mission behind the rebrand.
For prospects, keep things light but frequent to maximize the number of people you’re reaching, without being intrusive. Post regularly on social media, add banners to your website and sales teams’ email signatures and, if they’re on a mailing list, add links to newsletters, directing them to a landing page with more information. You could even use this as an excuse to engage your prospects more by inviting them to a launch party, or sponsoring a larger industry event with your new brand identity. However, if you decide to organize your own event for prospects, have an angle – make it something they’d be interested in that’s relevant to your rebrand. For example, if one of the missions of your rebrand is about aligning with your new ESG-related (Environmental, Social, Governance) values, the event could be focused on this topic and sharing best practices that you’re putting in place.
You’ll need to have different strategies for other stakeholders, like investors, partners, suppliers, etc. How you communicate with each stakeholder and how often will be entirely bespoke to your relationship with them – be that through email newsletters, in-person events, brochures, etc. – so develop your rebrand announcement strategy with that in mind.
2. Not enough focus on internal adoption in the rebranding process
Often, one of the biggest challenges in a rebrand is getting internal buy-in – for a project of such scale, convincing all employees that it’s necessary and will be worth the effort can be hard. Yet, ensuring everyone in the business is fully on board and up to speed before your official rebrand launch is fundamental to its success.
Generate excitement around the rebranding launch
Develop a thorough internal launch strategy, not only for how you will communicate the changes to everyone, but for how you will onboard everyone in the new culture and materials. “You need to ensure your rebrand mission is being communicated cohesively to avoid confusion and misinterpretation”, says Amélie Pantaleone, Managing Graphic Designer at UpSlide, who has a wealth of experience in successful rebrands. “Having an internal team of brand ambassadors, or a rebranding committee, who can champion the rebrand and disseminate the message and materials is really helpful.”
Ensure your team involves a variety of people from different departments, who can offer different perspectives. These team members can then act as points of contact to communicate the changes throughout the rest of the organization and feed back on the reaction, allowing you to adapt your strategy if needs be.
They can also help you promote the rebrand – “brand ambassadors are the eyes and ears on the ground in your organization, helping filter the rebrand mission through every facet of the business”, continues Amélie. “They should embody the values of the new brand and demonstrate how to use the new materials properly in their day-to-day work.”
Organize internal training
As part of the rebranding rollout plan, organizing multiple training sessions in how to use the new branded materials and messaging, across different departments, can provide both an opportunity for internal feedback, as well as a medium for testing how these materials work in practice. For example, you could show investment banking teams how to build an example pitchbook using the new PowerPoint template and materials. Tailoring these training sessions will help create a more personalized experience that will contribute to better internal brand adoption.
With a wealth of new materials to use, helping employees use these is also part of the challenge. Train your teams in where to find the new materials, what the processes are for using them, and how and where they can provide feedback or report issues. Adoption goes well beyond the rebrand launch, so having thorough company-wide training like this in your rebrand rollout plan will lay the foundations for a long-term successful uptake of the new brand.
Have brand assets easily available to teams
Make sure all your new brand assets are housed somewhere that is easily accessible to everyone internally. These assets can include:
- Your new brand identity – mission, goals etc.
- Brand guidelines and rebranding examples – have a master version, alongside customized versions for individual teams that only include what’s relevant for them
- PowerPoint and Word templates
- Marketing templates – for emails, social media, brochures, etc.
- Tone of voice and messaging guidelines
- Design guidelines: new default logo, colors, fonts, imagery
- Support contacts
You’ll most likely have a hub for all this content; however, the key is making these assets easily accessible for users – i.e. making using the new brand easier than NOT using it – otherwise, they won’t be used and you won’t have successful adoption. One way to counteract this is to use a tool like UpSlide to roll out your new brand across Microsoft Office. It’ll help you:
- Ensure your new branded templates, and your fonts, themes and colours are set for your entire business
- Create a central place for all new rebranded slides, logos, images, guidelines etc. to be stored and accessed when needed, with the Content Library
- Apply your new brand colors instantly to graphs, charts, and tables, with Smart Format
Other rebranding tools that can help you disseminate your new brand internally include Sigilium. It allows you to centrally create and update your internal email signatures and add banners while offering visibility on the number of clicks each banner generates.
3. Not enough time spent optimizing ‘less exciting’ assets
Make sure no asset is left behind
A rebrand is about more than just a logo and a website. However, too often, so much time and attention are paid to these areas that others get left until the last minute and end up being rushed or even forgotten, resulting in inconsistencies. Common examples of this are quote templates, voicemails, printed materials and event collateral etc. Read our article about why consistency is key to a successful brand strategy to find out more.
Ensure all assets are optimized for purpose
It’s about more than just updating assets – they need to be impactful and easy to find so that teams will actually want to use them. As such, don’t go into your rebrand launch blind – thoroughly test your templates and assets with a group of internal users beforehand to make sure they work and are fit for purpose. Ask yourself:
- Do my brand colors work when creating graphs, tables, and charts?
- Do they work well when presenting my presentations virtually?
- Do the fonts I’ve chosen work correctly across different mediums?
PowerPoint templates, in particular, often get rushed yet they’re usually the documents that clients have the most interaction with. Read our blog about how to build a successful, user-friendly PowerPoint template.
4. Viewing the rebrand launch as the finish line
The rebrand process is a marathon, not a sprint; the work doesn’t stop once the launch has taken place, so think long-term. Your brand should be constantly evolving with your audience and you may need to tweak things at a later date. So, adopt a mindset of continual improvement – take on feedback, internally and externally, and be prepared to action it.
You could also collect feedback by joining client meetings to see how the materials are being used in real life, as well as conduct random audits to check usage. If you choose a solution like UpSlide to distribute your content, you can gather feedback from your internal teams on your PowerPoint content directly inside the Office application.
Furthermore, think about the budget and resources you will need to manage the rebranding campaign post-launch, and delegate clear areas of responsibility to everyone involved. Also be sure to:
- Run internal refresher training courses in the new branded materials and messaging
- Run review sessions with a test group
- Embed it into the onboarding process, so that new starters understand the brand identity and how to translate it day-to-day
Finally, promote the rebrand with a long-term mindset – if you’re only pushing the rebranding launch for a month, it won’t be enough. So, do a big push in the first month – really emphasize the change that’s taken place – and then consider a more staggered approach for the next six-twelve months.
Ultimately, all of the mistakes in this article can be costly to your rebrand launch, but the most important thing to focus on is making sure there’s successful internal adoption. Mastering this will ensure your rebrand has the impact you desire, and you get the ROI you were hoping for.
If you’re curious about how UpSlide can help you ensure successful internal adoption of your new brand, get in touch.