1. FAIL TO PLAN = PLAN TO FAIL: For those companies embracing a rebranding effort, there’s no room for mistakes. On average, organizations refresh their corporate brands once every seven to ten years. Not only does rebranding require a lot of time, money and resources, but the company’s reputation is also at stake. Brand implementation is all about building one over-arching strategy-based plan, setting clear objectives, developing a realistic schedule and getting the right people involved at the right time – all heading in the same direction. Many steps are involved in a rebranding initiative ranging from determining brand rollout strategy to launching a brand identity audit to measuring the overall program. Without a single, comprehensive plan in place, a rebranding effort can easily derail and fall off its tracks.
2. FOLLOW THE LEADER: On its own, a rebranding initiative can be extremely complex – and a retailer needs to designate a “brand champion.” With one set of experts working on the design aspects of the brand and another managing the construction and implementation, it’s critical that a single point of contact owns the overall initiative to ensure there’s open and ongoing communication and that the project is implemented consistently across every market and country. Most brand champions come out of a company’s Marketing, Real Estate or Facilities groups.
3. CENTRALIZE THIS: An effective rebranding effort needs to be managed centrally to ensure consistencies and efficiencies are achieved across the board. When decentralized, there are too many variables that can’t be controlled. For instance, if different vendors are being used in different countries to produce new signage without a centralized process in place, the signage in one country may appear different from the signage in another country, which can dilute the brand.
4. C-SUITE STAMP OF APPROVAL: Securing buy-in from key executives is critical to a successful rebranding initiative. Without it, it’s not only more difficult to get cooperation from the various business units, but it’s also harder to rally and engage employees around the new brand. A strong rebranding initiative must be embraced by everyone in the company – from the CEO to the interns – in order for it to succeed.
5. LEAVE IT TO THE EXPERTS: Yes, even simple mistakes happen. If not executed flawlessly, a rebranding effort can backfire, and even damage rather than enhance a company’s image. Since branding isn’t a core competency for most companies, bringing in a team of rebranding experts who focus on this type of work can help a company ensure the rebranding goes off without a hitch and make sure the logo on their letterhead matches the one on their outdoor signs. Companies don’t
always know what they don’t know, so managing the entire process the right way, with the right people, is key for any brand.
By: Steve Pollard, Managing Director, JLL and Steve Yenser, EVP of JLL Retail.