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Navigating your way through a rebranding the right way.

Once you’ve made the decision to navigate through a rebranding initiative for your business, you must be absolutely clear on why you’re doing it. Like anything, there’s a right way and a wrong way to go about it.

Forward thinking entrepreneurs and business leaders know that building a brand is an essential business strategy and practice. This “practice” of building your brand goes on indefinitely against a backdrop of change. Everything is changing, nothing is constant and so it is with building your brand. As a result, there will come a time when you’ll consider the implications of rebranding.

Many business leaders and their marketing teams  think rebranding is centered in the logofication of their visual identity and is the first and easiest place to start tinkering. Trust me, tweaking logos, colors and taglines, has absolutely nothing to do with building a brand people love and admire over time.

Visual elements in a rebrand are veneer, not substance. If you are thinking about addressing the issues surrounding building a more relevant brand, like anything, there’s a right way to go about it and a wrong way. Starting at the veneer level is the wrong way.

You must know why.

Once you’ve made the decision to embark on a rebranding initiative for your business, you must be absolutely clear on why you doing it. What is driving your decision? Are you rebranding as a response to competitive threats to your business, or is it out of a purpose-driven desire to constantly bring more value to customers and the world?

In my opinion, an affirmative to the latter question is the only reason to embark on a rebranding initiative.

Leading brands do not respond to the actions or behaviors of competitors in the category–they lead the marketplace because they are value driven. They remain relevant by constantly innovating new value rather than compete for the value created by others.

If you’re not really ready don’t do it.

Rebranding your business the right way is a commitment to bring more value to the world; it’s not a decorative act. Changing your marketing campaigns, logos and tag lines alone will bring no lasting value to anyone. And frankly, it’s a waste of time and money.

Bringing more value to the world requires every aspect of the business be in harmony with its purpose. Your internal culture, talent and capabilities, product development, sales and customer service, supply chain, partners, vendors and all stakeholders must be aligned to the brand’s purpose and commit to the investment necessary to build a leading brand that’s always relevant to the people it serves. Don’t embark on a rebranding initiative until you can determine with confidence all these foundational elements are aligned:

  • The CEO and leadership team are fully committed to financially investing in the process and have a clear vision on what success looks like at the end.

  • The CEO and leadership team are committed to lead the entire process at every stage– assessment, strategic planning, internal activation and education and external communications.

  • The rebranding initiative involves the active participation of customers.

  • The entire organization is committed to fulfilling (day-to-day) the brand’s refocused promise to the customer.

  • The rebranding initiative is not a marketing or campaign driven exercise, rather it is a catalyst for change, driving broader transformation throughout the organization and elevating the quality of the brand’s presence and behavior in the marketplace.

  • The rebranding imitative is seen as an essential financial investment in creating a bigger future for the entire enterprise rather than a transactional marketing expense.

With these elements in place, your organization is really ready to undertake a rebranding program, and the probability of its success in the marketplace will be greatly enhanced.


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