A rebrand is not just about a new logo or redesigned collateral.
It’s about the promise that you make to your customers and clients. And the people who work at your organization are the ones who ensure that promise is kept. An internal rollout is an opportunity for everyone to learn the organization’s rallying cry and be able to tell a consistent, authentic story.
Unfortunately, many internal rollouts fall flat and fail to generate enthusiasm. Why are internal rollouts met with a yawn? Often, they are hastily put together at the end of a lengthy rebranding process and allocated a limited budget. Additionally, if employees don’t believe in the brand promise or can’t even explain it, then the entire rebrand has a good chance of failing. Internal rollouts require investment, and many organizations fail to give enough attention to this step in the rebranding process.
So, what are some of the tips to keep in mind when internally rolling out a new brand?
1. Educate your internal audiences, and pick the right person to deliver the message
Change can be scary. That’s why a rebrand requires courage, but not all internal audiences will be sold on it right away. Skeptics are lurking around every corner, so it’s critical to overwhelm them with reasons to believe the rebrand is a smart step. Get your skeptics involved in the rebranding process early on, well ahead of the rollout; create buy-in by selling your internal audiences on the new brand, rather than just telling them about it.
2. Align rebrand messages with internal realities
Clients and employees need to hear the same messages. For example, you can’t go to market with a message that your organization is all about “innovation” when you have no internal R&D budget and your compensation systems only reward sales or the billable hour. Invest the time to make sure key stakeholders have really thought through how the rebrand trickles down to every corner of your operations. The devil is in the details, not just in the obvious brand tools like a website.
3. Empower employees to deliver what marketing campaigns promise
Once you’ve aligned your messages so that the internal and external mantras are the same, make sure your employees can deliver on the new brand promise.
What actually needs to change in the way you do business to ensure that the brand promise happens? Do you need new tools? Are new motivational approaches in order? Is there a game plan to deal with naysayers and disrupters?
4. Celebrate. Give the brand rollout energy
Don’t just make the rollout a step on a checklist. Rather, carve out a time and a place to celebrate the strengths of your organization and thank your employees. Make it fun. Incentivize your internal audience to adopt the new brand. Give brand ambassador awards that are fun and meaningful. Everybody likes to win something, and your rebrand can be a catalyst for employees to see the organization differently. Your employees are essential in making the brand come alive, so they must be on board.
Your employees are essential in making the brand come alive, so they must be on board.
Make it clear that the rebrand will help build a stronger and better organization. That this new, unifying vision serves as a rallying cry, uniting your internal groups across the board and demonstrating where your organization is headed.
5. Gather your toolkit
Your employees may have some important questions during the internal rollout, like, “What do I do with materials that have the old logo?” or “What should I share about the new brand on social media?” or “How do I talk to my clients about the new brand?” There are a variety of ways you can address these questions, including creating a presentation with a Q&A, an internal email campaign with FAQs, or even a video series containing instructions and reinforcing the brand message. Additionally, create a branding checklist for your organization to ensure that all marketing materials are rebranded in time for launch. Make sure that you also have strategies in place for recycling or disposing of materials with the old brand. All these tools aim to equip your employees to be more comfortable with and excited about the new brand.
6. Ensure the brand lives large
The hardest work on a rebrand starts the minute you roll it out. You’ve got to keep reinforcing it to your internal audiences. And as you hire new employees, you’ve got to make sure they are a good fit. Carve out space on your employee hub or intranet devoted to brand values and real stories about how the brand is working. And update it often.
A rebrand without a thoughtful internal rollout and buy-in is like building a house that looks great on the outside but when you open the door, there is nothing there.
A rebrand is too important to be handled casually. It’s a strategic business decision that requires buy-in from your whole organization, top to bottom. Selling it to your own people is every bit as important as selling it to your customers.