Brand investment will always be vital for growth, competitive advantage and shareholder value. A carefully executed rebrand can yield many benefits, such as re-establishing brand relevance, increasing awareness among target markets and even redefining your business model. In fact, an organisation’s brand is its most valuable intangible asset, making up an average 18% of its total market value. However, the process behind a cost-effective rebrand is still misunderstood in many boardrooms.
Underestimating the complex process can result in an ineffective rebrand which alienates loyal customers and employees, wastes resources and diverts time away from core tasks.
Having supported global businesses on brand change projects, Ive seen how the key to savings millions while running a successful rebrand lies in structure, control, and efficiency.
Here are eight key steps to run a cost-effective and impactful rebrand.
1. Define a strong brand proposition
Strong brands promise and prove?: they make an enticing proposition and prove it every day. it’s important to have a brand proposition that is clearly delivered throughout your messaging and culture. This will ensure the brand can be communicated coherently, no matter how much it changes.
Quantitative and qualitative research on brand perception and consistency of the brand promise will help the organisation to perfect its customer journey. Elevating discussion about the brand proposition to the boardroom will also bring brand and business strategy closer together, which has been shown to boost business performance.
2. Create an inventory
it’s easy to underestimate the number of branded elements that will be impacted by the change. This can easily lead to inefficient resourcing in key areas, such as printing of branded assets.
Pre-empt any oversights by creating an inventory of all branded elements according to each area of the business. Consider your digital presence, partner sites, marketing campaigns, vehicles, offices, and stores, plus any other products, printed collateral, contracts, and intellectual properties.
Individual teams should be asked to feed in their own requirements for brand assets, alongside information about their procurement cycles.
This inventory will help you to identify and prioritise cost-saving opportunities by piggybacking on planned renewal cycles, as well as any planned internal improvement programmes that already exist, such as investment in IT or operations.
3. Project Management Office
An internal Project Management Office (PMO) will add organisation, oversight and gravitas to the project. This could be fulfilled in-house, by contractors, a specialist brand management company or a collaboration of all three.
The PMO will ensure that the rebrand is managed on time and on budget. It will update the management team on a regular basis and focus on identifying cost-saving opportunities.
4. Plan for the tidal wave of change
The extra workload of a rebrand for employees can be overwhelming and can strain internal relationships. If poorly managed, this strain can lead to inefficiencies across the business and irreparable damage to important relationships.
To avoid this kind of disruption, the Project Management Office should be responsible for planning, budgeting and allocating any additional resources that may be required.
Make sure to consult directly with each business area to see how much support they will need to implement the brand change and be wary of any teams that underestimate the amount of support they will need!
5. Re-define the brand organisation
A major rebrand is a perfect opportunity to re-define how the brand is organised and managed internally. That means it’s time to say goodbye to the ‘silo? structure, the corporate style police? and even the idea of an internal brand owner.
Teams such as IT, HR and Retail all have a stake in brand management and performance, but they rarely discuss it collaboratively.
To future-proof your brand organisation, brand managers should become more like community or relationship managers, who engage internal stakeholders to influence brand development, rather than implementing a rule book.
As Managing Director of leading brand implementation and strategy specialist VIM Group, Jo Davies helps some of the world's biggest brands save millions through better structure, control and efficiency of their brand organisation. Over the last 25 years, VIM Group has saved its clients more than ?100m.