Rolling Out Your New Brand
Ideally there should be an internal and an external phase to your roll-out strategy. In both cases, your strategy needs to address the reasons behind the brand refresh, as well as showcase the new ways in which the brand will be used. It should also address the best avenues for introducing the new brand to the public whether it be advertising, social media, a publicity event etc.
Get Your Team On Board
It’s important that a brand refresh is introduced and adopted internally before it is released to the public. If your employees don’t buy into your new brand identity, why should customers? You must educate your employees about your brand first.
The first step should be to explain the motivation and process behind the brand re-fresh. Some questions to consider may include:
- Why did you change the brand?
- What steps did you follow in the re-branding process?
- What questions or objections came up in this process and how did you respond?
Change is usually hard for people to accept, but once you’ve highlighted the thinking behind the refresh, people are often much more willing to embrace the new direction.
Once you’ve explained the changes, the second step would be to educate them on how to properly apply the new brand. This may include:
- Distributing a brand identity document
- Creating new business templates
- Implementing new communication standards or a communications plan
When your employees have the training and tools they need, they will be more willing to get on board. And if you can make them believe in the brand and become emotionally connected to it, they will become excellent brand stewards and continue to promote the new changes moving forward.
Once you have buy-in from your internal team, you can prepare to take the brand public. There are several ways you can reach out, depending on your most effective communication channels and your budget. A large business with more resources, may wish to use a coordinated media campaign, where as a smaller business, may choose a more targeted approach. Your strategy may include:
- Publicity events for the media or the public
- Social media campaigns, contests
- Newsletters and blog posts
- New marketing collateral, cards, uniforms, signage etc.
Regardless of the size of your release, it needs to happen as simultaneously as possible. It would be confusing and sloppy for the new logo or tagline to appear in one location and not in another, so your strategy should include a plan to capture all of the areas where your new brand appears to the public.
Your public release should include not only the new brand visuals, but also the highlights of your motivation and process (similar to your internal strategy, however you likely won’t need to go into as much detail). If you can construct a story around the refresh, it can be a much more engaging way to introduce the changes. Don’t be afraid to get creative in an effort to spread the word about your re-branding and to raise awareness, recognition, and acceptance of your new brand identity.
Once you’ve reached out to the public be prepared to engage with them when appropriate. Remember that taste is subjective and you may not win everyone over immediately, but you can use this opportunity to make a connection. Keep the tone positive, enthusiastic and open.
Once you have implemented your brand roll-out strategy, your work is not done. You will also need to measure, research and monitor your brand to ensure that it is being implemented correctly and that the outcomes are inline with your expectations. Moving forward, you can make small adjustments and course corrections as you listen to feedback from your customers and monitor your sales growth.
And ideally you can appoint someone on your team to be a “brand ambassador”. This person would be familiar enough to the new brand to spot incorrect applications, or old versions and make corrections as needed.
Branding and brand perception is an ongoing process, and you need to ensure your brand is always meeting consumer expectations and evolving with consumers’ changing needs.