Why Rebrand? Or Higher But, Why Not?


If 20-plus years of brand name consulting have taught me something, it’s that rebranding is (and must be) an enormous ache within the arse. Taken significantly, a rebrand touches each a part of an organisation:

  • It includes cultural change–assume human assets / individuals groups, studying and improvement;
  • It impacts product technique and innovation throughout product groups, gross sales, provide chain, operations, analysis and improvement;
  • It ought to work seamlessly with the broader firm technique together with the C-suite, board of administrators, planning, investor relations, channel administration, company social accountability / environmental, social, and governance.

Even a beauty redesign (rebranding’s superficial cousin) requires the cooperation of promoting, manufacturing, authorized, buyer expertise and IT groups. In different phrases, the funding required (and we’re not simply speaking about cash right here) is staggering. In the meantime, the price concerned in hiring a model consultancy to evolve your organisation’s model technique, positioning, and id system stays modest. Relying on the dimensions and complexity of your corporation, you possibly can count on to pay someplace within the area of £100,000 to £250,000–round $120k-$300k at immediately’s fee and a fraction of a p.c in most massive organisations’ revenue and loss statements.

There’s no disgrace in admitting that your organisation isn’t prepared for a rebrand.

The problem? Rebranding initiatives are low-cost to provoke, however costly to execute.

The outcome? Model consultancies are sometimes commissioned for rebrands by advertising groups whose organisations aren’t absolutely conscious of–or dedicated to–the undertaking’s broader implications. These kinds of collaborations are set as much as underdeliver from the outset. And I might know, I’ve labored on loads of them.

Semi-disposable “rebranding” is on the rise

At finest, these rebrands ship a horny new look, sharper messaging and a extra coherent design language. However that’s so far as they go. The cultural advantages aren’t reaped as a result of the individuals group is concentrated by itself set of initiatives. The product vary stays bloated. The innovation mannequin goes unchallenged and unimproved. The shopper expertise is just superficially reskinned. And, worst of all, the brand new model makes daring guarantees that the broader organisation isn’t ready to fulfill.

That is unhealthy information in case you’re a consumer, however nice information in case you’re a model advisor as a result of the advantages of such a “rebrand” are often short-lived. Three (or so) years later, it turns into clear that the brand new model doesn’t match the organisation–usually prompting one other “rebrand”. If this comes off as excessively cynical, simply take into account how often organisations fee rebranding initiatives. Within the twentieth century, for instance, Burberrys (because it was referred to as) undertook just one main overhaul of its model. We’re solely 23 years into this century and so they’re already on their second. Tellingly, these latest “rebrands” have coincided with the arrival of latest artistic leads quite than any elementary change in organisational path.

It’s now widespread for organisations to reposition and redesign their manufacturers each few years or so, whereas rebranding briefs are additionally cropping up with rising frequency. Up to now yr, round 80% of the rebranding briefs I’ve obtained have come from organisations that already rebranded inside the previous 5 years. Most of those rebrands don’t must occur. There’s loads of worth but to be squeezed from the present model and all it might take is a few cautious tweaking to the present technique and design system.

How will you inform in case your organisation is REALLY prepared for a rebrand?

Surprisingly sufficient, this query is pretty simple to reply. Two issues must be true: Firstly, there have to be sturdy settlement throughout the organisation and its leaders that the model is appearing as a brake on development quite than a springboard for fulfillment. That is the very first thing I search for when discussing a rebranding temporary with a potential consumer: Does the management group really feel that the model they’ve is extra reflective of their previous than consultant of their imaginative and prescient for the longer term? Is the individuals group pissed off that their desired worker expertise isn’t mirrored within the model? Do the product and innovation groups really feel pissed off by the disconnect between the model and the provide? Is there an organisation-wide urge for food for change? In that case, we’re midway there…

Second query I attempt to reply: Is the organisation keen and critical about altering? An urge for food for change counts for little if the means to vary aren’t made obtainable. The very best rebranding briefs point out the workstreams that may observe a rebrand undertaking, however this occurs not often. So, the second factor I attempt to make clear is which components of the enterprise shall be concerned in rolling out the rebrand, and the way the rebrand undertaking matches with their different priorities. Fairly often, there are synergies to be gained from aligning the rebrand with different initiatives within the organisational plan. Is the individuals group about to revamp the appraisal course of? Nice! Let’s use the model positioning to develop an Worker Worth Proposition and agree on a set of desired management behaviours. Is the client expertise group planning a consumer survey? Terrific! Let’s embody a “model” part within the questionnaire and use this to tell the rebrand. The extra crossovers we are able to determine between the model undertaking and different workstreams, the higher the influence it can ship.

It’s a foul signal if no such synergies exist. It’s a foul signal if the rebrand undertaking is “owned” completely by the advertising group. It’s a foul signal if no assets have been dedicated to reshaping the product provide or redesigning the client and worker expertise. It’s a foul signal if post-rebrand workstreams haven’t been included within the organisation’s strategic plan. And it’s a really unhealthy signal if the CEO, CFO and COO aren’t intensely and intimately concerned within the rebrand undertaking itself. It’s higher to delay a rebrand undertaking till the enterprise has recognized and dedicated to subsequent workstreams than to fee a rebrand undertaking hoping that the broader organisation is sufficiently impressed by the method to behave upon it themselves. And if the broader organisation is unable to commit on this means, then it’s higher to not fee a rebrand undertaking in any respect.

Should you’re not prepared for a rebrand, what’s the choice?

There’s no disgrace in admitting that your organisation isn’t prepared for a rebrand. Actually, this may be an indication that your organisation doesn’t want one. Should you’ve been by means of a rebranding or repositioning undertaking prior to now five-or-so years, likelihood is you haven’t but exhausted the advantages that your current model has to supply. Essentially the most compelling manufacturers I’ve labored with (assume Durex, Farfetch, Nissan, Twinings, Virgin, and Wimbledon) have a tendency to not reposition or rebrand a lot in any respect. As an alternative, they work to squeeze as a lot worth as they’ll from their current belongings.

Doubling down on the model you may have just isn’t the identical as settling.

A part of the issue is that whereas repositioning, redesigning and rebranding are widespread trade phrases, there’s no equal time period for doubling-down in your model. Maybe the idea would finest be described as “upbranding”? Fairly than altering your model, you select to focus as an alternative on embedding and elevating its position inside the organisation. Permit me to offer you an instance…

Round 15 years in the past, I labored on a undertaking to rejuvenate Barclaycard. The concept behind the model was fairly strong: to face for “easy funds”. The model, nonetheless, was rather more related to credit score than funds and much from easy (its card portfolio was monumental and confused). Repositioning and rebranding would have been a reasonably fast approach to sign change, however the enterprise sensibly determined to decide to the present technique as an alternative. Simplicity was the appropriate very best to work in direction of however hadn’t (but) been delivered.

So, we developed perception into the various kinds of “simplicity” individuals need with regards to paying for issues and the way this is determined by the forms of funds they make. We developed a quantitative segmentation of individuals and their funds. We created a portfolio technique to simplify the product vary and encourage individuals to make use of the model for funds (not simply credit score). And we aligned this with an innovation technique to assist the model anticipate and reply to the advantages of NFC-enabled smartphones. There was no grand model relaunch or shiny new design system; as an alternative, the present model simply obtained easier and made extra sense.

Resist the rebranding temptation

It’s extraordinarily tempting to situation a rebranding temporary, notably when a model doesn’t appear to be delivering sufficient worth to the enterprise that owns it. Resist this temptation! Take into account first whether or not you’ve reached the boundaries of your current model. Organisations that reposition and rebrand each 3-5 years don’t come throughout as nimble or dynamic–they seem rudderless. Colleagues and companies develop cynical with every change of strategic path.

Repositioning and rebranding must be seen because the nuclear possibility: a final resort to be effected provided that the whole organisation recognises its utter necessity. The choice is to not “stick” together with your current model (this isn’t settling), however to double down–to enhance your present path quite than altering course.

When doubtful, fee a model audit earlier than issuing a full undertaking temporary. Ask an skilled skilled to evaluation your current data base, model technique and id system and to offer an unbiased, knowledgeable perspective on what’s working and what might be improved. Within the occasion {that a} full-scale rebrand is required, the audit ought to make a compelling case for change and put together the organisation for what’s concerned. And if a extra modest tweak known as for, you’ll have saved your self from an enormous ache within the arse.

Cowl picture: Fran_kie



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