Jan 27, 2012

Why Are You Rebranding? You Better Have a Good Story

Why? This is the most important question to answer in any rebranding or renaming project. Why? Why are you doing it?

If you can’t give a succinct, authentic and sharable message, stop. Don’t pass go. Don’t collect $200. You’ve got to get your story right before you do anything else.

It’s easy to get caught up in the creative work and implementation work of a rebranding project. It’s fun creating a new identity. It’s fun coming up with ways to announce and share the new brand. It’s fun thinking about what the new brand could be. But all that is secondary.

Why did you start the rebranding project in the first place?

Any major change to the façade of a business creates uncertainty. People generally don’t like change. It’s unsettling. And rebranding is a very visible change to the business. The most effective way to dispel the uncertainty and rumors is to be frank and blunt about why you’re changing the brand.

As you build the story of why you are rebranding, consider:

  1. Why the brand change, and what is it all about?
  2. Why is the change important for the firm?
  3. Why is the new brand better than the old one?
  4. Why do your staff, management and executives want to support the brand change?
  5. Why is it important for your customers?
  6. Why is it important for your suppliers, vendors and partners?

These are the questions you’ll be answering both internally and externally when you roll out the new brand. And if you don’t overtly answer these questions, people will make their own assumptions.

Once you’ve polished your story, launch the new brand inside your organization. Get your team’s feedback. Get their buy in. If they have doubts or questions, it’s better to hear it from them than your customers. Use your team to perfect the story, perfect the reasons behind the rebranding, and get them on board and excited about the change.

It’s essential to get your organization behind the rebranding, because your team will be your frontline storytellers. If they don’t get it, no one will. If they’re not excited about it, your customers won’t be either. If they have doubts, your competitors will hear about them and spread those doubts for all to hear.

Once it’s time to launch the new brand and announce it to the world, you’ll be ready to run. Not only will you be able to answer clearly and authentically why your company changed its brand, but you’ll also have the support and encouragement of your entire organization. Everyone will sing from the same song sheet, and you’ll be able to get your customers, suppliers and even competitors interested in your new brand.

(Image by Horia Varlan)

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