How to launch a rebrand internally the right way.

17th June 2021

Technology, trends, & priorities change over time and it’s important that brands adapt with them. There are many examples of big brands that have famously fallen from grace as they failed to keep up. Nokia & Kodak were market leaders in their respective fields, the market changed, however, they were too slow and progressive brands took their place.

As an organisation, your brand is vital and it needs to adapt just as much as your product and/or service does. Rebranding is tough so a successful strategy is key to ensure it doesn’t waste time, money or new opportunities for your organisation.

So what is the most effective way to approach a rebrand? At BrandStencil we’ve been through numerous rebrands with our clients in the last few months. Due to this, we’ve decided to share with you key pillars for your rebrand strategy in part one of this 3 part series. In part 2 we’ll hear tips from our clients who have recently been through one of their own.

Your internal audience are key

Customers tend to be the focus of a rebrand, however, directly involving your work/volunteer force is essential. Don’t forget, they are your biggest brand advocates. Nobody likes a surprise unless it’s a party or a present so it’s a good idea to get their buy-in early.

Key internal audiences should be represented in the rebranding process, not just members of marketing, creative, HR, brand and senior management. People from other teams such as sales, customer services, volunteer team etc, will also have essential experience/insight which would be beneficial to the success of the project. This doesn’t mean that you need to give them a say in everything, however, they could provide vital insight for the larger decisions.

Including select people across the organisation will help with buy-in, making the internal launch and onboarding easier. This creates brand advocates for the others in their team to look to. They’ll help galvanise your efforts and employee support.

Benefits

There are many benefits of involving your internal audiences. These are a few of them;

  • Engages and empowers employees
  • Strengthens teams
  • Reinforces their knowledge, and consequently, messaging and tone of voice
  • Helps create maximum impact
  • Lessens your workload
  • Helps you shout louder and with more passion
  • Makes it easier for you to get the project successfully over the line

Onboarding and empowering people

When launching your rebrand internally you’ll want to pull together more than a quick pdf, memo or email. Remember the brand advocates you involved? They’re your most potent resource so it would be wise to empower them.

Identify all your audiences and personalise the approach depending on their needs, this ensures that no one slips through the gaps. As with any marketing activity, personalisation makes a positive impact on KPI’s and it’s no different here. It’s important not to underestimate the power of an effective internal rollout. If you can create a strong emotional connection between your rebrand and your employees then they can help make the brand come alive for your customers. Therefore empower them with knowledge and understanding.

Before you launch your rebrand ensure that the resources are available for your advocates to promote the new brand. They should be equipped to field questions and act as early adopters using it in internal comms. They’ll help generate excitement and buzz around the new brand before you launch it externally. Treat it like you’re launching a product/service and build energy around it.

5 tactics for identifying assets you’ll need for your rebrand

It can be difficult to identify the comms material and brand assets needed as requirements and priorities vary across departments, teams and may have changed over time. A few tactics that you can use are;

  1. A list of who is represented and catered for in your comms material
    • Are there departments, teams, local areas that need to be added/removed?

  2. An internal audit of existing comms material
    • Survey of all department heads/team leaders of what they use and what they feel is missing

  3. Create a list of assets used
    • Do you need to make any amendments or have there been updates that you don't know about?

  4. What content is currently in existing comms
    • Does anything need to be updated or added?

  5. Discover the information needs and key questions that may arise surrounding the rebrand
    • Talk to your advocates, listen to their questions and build from there

Tip - How to deliver your rebrand effortlessly

This is where a brand management platform shines. It’ll help you to;

  • Deliver a staged internal launch, if required

If you already have a brand management platform, in addition to the above it’ll help you to;

  • Get an understanding of the current comms usage and the users/teams that use them the most
  • Audit the customisable template/assets that need to be updated
    • What logos, illustrations, data etc needs to up updated
  • Discover information about departments, teams, local offices which are represented in your current comms
  • Have more control when you launch the new and retire the old brand

Let's look at this in a little more detail...

Create a single source of truth for all stakeholders

Every stakeholder that produces comms material in your brand, needs access to the relevant tools to help them adhere to the rebrand and its rules. A brand management platform is an effective way of delivering this and it puts you in control.

With a single link you could provide them with;

  • New brand guidelines
  • Customisable digital templates, e.g. posters, social media tiles, flyers, newsletters etc
  • Ready-made assets, e.g. for social, for posters, videos, PowerPoint presentations
  • New logos
  • On brand images
  • The ease of teams working together on artwork, generating energy around the rebrand

By providing stakeholders with the tools you empower them and give them the confidence to communicate in the new brand, eliminating the old.

Staged internal launch

The use of ‘Teams’ in our brand management platform gives you the power to launch the rebrand to different groups of people by restricting the templates, assets etc to a certain team/s. At the click of a mouse, you can add to the team or add more teams. This helps you to equip your advocates and any other necessary groups before everybody else.

It also helps you to identify any information or communication gaps before rolling it out to a wider audience.

Reporting

The reporting in the Brandstencil brand management tool can help you in a couple of ways.

Pre-launch

If you already have our brand management tool, you know those tactics that I spoke about earlier? Through reporting you can see;

  • What comms and marketing material you have in the platform
  • Which is most popular across different teams
  • Which members are most active in the platform (this can help when choosing advocates)
  • And much more…

Post-launch

The reporting function will help you to;

  • See how the rebrand is being used
  • Discover additional material that may be needed
  • Help you to identify areas/teams that may need more support
  • Recognise the teams/members who are embracing the change
  • Understand if the rebrand has been understood

Internal brand portals

Some organisations create an internal brand website that gives more detailed information about the reasons why, its goals, FAQ’s, transitioning information and a timeline. This helps your advocates and internal audiences feel empowered, valid and engaged with the rebrand. They feel confident and equipped to carry out their role with the knowledge that they can use the new comms and other relevant information/material when the time comes.

These internal brand websites can be integrated into the BrandStencil brand management platform creating a single source of truth for your brand.

As well as giving people access to the relevant information you should ensure that all internal audiences have access to updated brand-relevant information and material.

Taking time to consider this will save you time and create an effective, engaging launch.

Launching the rebrand

Here are some of the things that you may need to think about when planning how to launch;

  • Do you have external area teams that will need time to update all their public-facing identity?
    • Do they have or when will they have the budgets to do this?
  • Do you have partnerships that will be affected by the rebrand?
  • The size of the organisation and the length of time it will take to adopt into all departments?
    • Are there any departmental or team considerations that would mean a delay in adopting the rebrand? For example prior trade show/sponsorship agreements
  • Are there any external pressures that would mean you’d need to choose one launch type over the other?

Knowing the answers to the above will help to decide the type of launch;

  • Phased rebrand rollout
  • Soft launch
  • Big bang launch

Conclusion

Your organisation is a living, breathing organism created and operated by people. We’re social creatures who thrive when we’re included and feel a part of the team. Integrate this into your strategy and reap the rewards. The more involved we feel the more we’re invested in its success, therefore the more successful your rebrand will be.