Rebranding? How to get team buy-in

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23 May 16.

#B2B#B2C#Branding#Business#Design

Team buy-in will contribute to the success of your rebranding project, here’s why and how to achieve that.

Building a strong brand is something most, if not every business strives for. A strong brand is the holy grail and there are super-hero sized advantages to having one. As companies mature, grow, change direction, merge or just need to update their image they’ll find themselves rebranding.

Rebranding a company can be exciting, generate fresh enthusiasm and bring about new opportunities but it’s often outward focussed. Branding efforts are focussed on packaging, advertising and marketing and basically everything the customer sees. Yet, the most compelling asset in your brand arsenal are the people in your company. Everything staff do in a company will either build your brand or work against it. So really, we should start from the inside and work our way outwards, no?

Rebranding is change. It’s natural that people don’t like change but especially when they’ve not had the opportunity to provide their input, views, thoughts and ideas. Not feeling included can lead to resistance down the line. There can be a challenge with staff buy-in when rebranding, but not if you bring everyone in early on and take steps to get everyone involved.

Engage your employees to build a stronger brand

It’s vital to explain to the company what the vision* is for the future, explain the brand and the purpose of the rebrand and sometimes, what a brand is. (There’s a reason why multi-billion pound companies spend a fortune on internal comms).

*If the team don’t know the company’s vision by now you’re on an uphill, treacle covered road and a new logo probably isn’t going to be the silver bullet you’re looking for.

Steps to achieving team buy-in when rebranding

1. Communicate the rebrand

The first step is to communicate with the company that a rebrand is imminent. How do you normally communicate with your team? Whether it’s via email, meetings or other means let the team know that we’re going to be rebranding, what the reason is and that you’re going to be asking for everyones’ involvement. That maybe a challenge in itself as people will think, “oh great more work to do” but you’ll know your team better than anyone else so you could sweeten the deal.

Sell the benefits of the rebrand, you could show examples of successful rebrands whether those are related to your industry or not. Better yet, ask your team to share examples of brands that they like (or dislike) for any particular reason… You are teeing up for getting them involved and everyone loves to share their opinions!

2. Provide people with the opportunity to have their say

Provide your team with the opportunity to provide their input, views and ideas about the rebrand. Depending on how people like to communicate, a questionnaire to capture what they think the strengths/weaknesses of the current brand are, what brand values they feel are important and should be portrayed, if they could change anything what would that be etc.

If you use Google docs or Survey Monkey you can quite quickly develop a brand questionnaire to distribute to the team. Their feedback can then be fed into a creative brief before the rebranding even begins.

Sure, this can add time to a project but it would be a win-win situation. You are engaging your team and you never know what golden nuggets will come back. We believe that ideas come from anywhere and if it’s coming from the front-line it can result in a stronger and more authentic concept that you had ever envisaged.

3. Ask for feedback, not for opinions

There is a big difference. Once your rebrand is underway, there will be a largely creative process which is never a straight line. As part of the rebranding you’ll be redesigning the company image, logo and identity and now it’s ok to reference your customers and the external perceptions.

Opening up the designs and asking for opinions, feedback or a vote can be a slippery slope. Has a friend ever put an outfit on and asked ‘what do you think’, you immediately feel a little tension rising up. It’s human nature when we are asked for an opinion that we feel pressured to give one and it’s almost always negative first. Believe it or not, we’re still wired somewhat like cavemen and instinctually we’re designed to avoid risk. Change is risk.

There are ways and means of getting feedback which will be constructive and put personal preferences aside. We tend to put all logo or concept options up on a wall and give team members three stickers or posit notes and ask them to be placed on the favourite options. You can then get a feel for the majority direction and start meaningful conversations about what fits closest with the creative brief.

4. Keep everyone updated

It’s vital throughout your rebranding project that you keep everyone up to speed. What’s happening, when the new brand will be rolled out, how, what will be available, where and so on.

You’ve invested a lot of time and probably money in rebranding, once it’s launched you must make the most of it and consistency is key. You want everyone on the same page and ensure that the whole team is equipped and confident to make the best of the new brand.

Most of all, make it fun. It’s a creative process, enjoy it. You have an incredible opportunity to engage with your team and redefine your brand promises together.

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