The following blog first appeared on LinkedIn.
Earlier this year, my company underwent a rebrand. We needed it. We were acquired by a West Palm Beach tech company in 2014, and it was time to unify our message, look and team.
It was interesting where the conversation around our rebrand started: What will our color scheme be? Do we need to review competitor logos to ensure ours is unique?
But it dawned on us; amazing logo or not- this was the time to do so much more and to ensure that we had our most passionate people on the bus (I’m referencing the book Good to Great here – a favorite read). This rebrand represented not only a renaissance of our external messaging and look but also provided the opportunity to look internally at our vision, values and culture.
Here’s eight things I learned during our rebrand:
1. A rebrand is more than a new logo
As I mentioned, initial conversations began around what the new logo would look like. We quickly realized that the reasoning and need for this rebrand went far deeper. Not only were we finally combining two companies under a single brand- we had to unify two offices and a number of remote staff separated by thousands of miles.
2. Give employees many opportunities to speak. And listen.
We started with our employees. It is my absolute belief that only with a strong employee base can we can best serve our amazing clients.
With the collaboration of our research, creative and marketing teams, we got to work. We developed sound tools and methods to gauge how employees felt about the rebrand. What did they believe are the core values of our company? What makes us unique? Why would someone want to work here? Why would a client hire us?
With a blend of surveys, interviews and focus groups, we found our answers. It took a few months, but I cannot stress enough the importance of this crucial step.
3. Communication is key.
We got a lot of feedback. And we got just as many questions as we did answers. Communicating our timeline and deliverables was key to keeping employees and leadership engaged in the process. Committing to open lines of communication demonstrated to our team that we listened to their feedback; they wanted a transparent process, and we delivered.
4. Think you’re done? Test again.
Remember when I said this was a rebrand process? After working up initial messaging for our revamped company, we took it back to the employees. Trust me, they let us know that we weren’t quite there.
I learned that while a small, nimble team may be well-equipped to keep a process moving efficiently, you can’t skip the imperative (and sometimes time consuming) steps that prove to an entire company they matter- that their opinions, ideas and questions matter.
5. People want to make decisions and band together.
I can’t tell you how many times we heard that employees truly appreciated our rebrand process. All employees were eager to help us develop and approve messaging. They were excited to come together as a cohesive team and company to best serve our clients.
6. A beautiful, new logo is cool.
As mentioned, a rebrand may simply be a logo in the minds of some. For us, that wasn’t the case, but it was a really cool part of the process. And the logo is important. People want to belong to something they believe in and are passionate about. They want to be on that team that proudly touts their place of work.
Immediately after announcing the rebrand to the company, members of the rebrand team handed out stunning shirts with the new logo, and all employees went out for a happy hour. The energy was electrifying. Employees were full of pride.
7. Unifying language is key.
Yes, the t-shirts rock. But a lot of rebrand work went into the language. How do we talk about ourselves? How do we talk about our company culture? What are the kinds of clients we seek and why? Answering these questions – as a team – has allowed us to unite as a cohesive, effective and proud company.
8. The work isn’t over.
One of the biggest lessons we learned during our rebrand was the importance of communication- internally and externally. It has been just one month since we launched our rebrand, and the work isn’t over. Now is the time that we ensure that we are meeting our new standards of company culture and that we continue to solicit the critical feedback that allowed us to rebrand so successfully in the first place.
My company, Achieve, is a full-service marketing and research agency for causes. Send me a note using the contact form below if you’d to talk about how we can help you successfully rebrand your cause.