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Beware of bad rebranding efforts

Stop. Not so fast on that rebranding effort. Have you put as much thought into what could go wrong as you’ve dreamed up what should go right? An inclusive rebranding plan is a good way to avoid business problems like reputational risk, wasted resources, negative employee morale and more.

Here are five critical things to explore.

  1. Be clear about your intent. Rebranding is a strategic decision. It’s a considerable effort that needs crystal clear reasons for heading down this path in the first place. Articulating the “why” will go a long way toward buy-in with stakeholders, employees, customers and in some cases, the community. In addition to making them feel included, you’ll find you’ve garnered passionate brand champions. This is the beginning of an inclusive brand development process.
  2. Realize that a brand is more than a logo. It’s more than a set of shiny new colors. It’s the organization’s reputation at every single touch point. Not realizing the full breath and depth of what makes up a brand is a common mistake. Take stock of everything that can and does surround your brand. Look at your current brand promise. Think about how that promise translates to audience alignment and action. Map out a comprehensive plan that extends to customers, vendors and employees.
  3. Watch out for brand equity fallout. There are so many reasons to rebrand—mergers and acquisitions, outdated image, change in focus, competitive threats, demographic shifts, to name a few. While rebranding may seem like the way to go, you should tread carefully before you make any big decisions. Understand what moves and shakes your audiences. Make sure to delve into their perceptions, motivations and barriers. Do everything you can to mitigate negative fallout from a brand change.
  4. Get cross-functional, for goodness sake. A successful rebranding effort is a supported rebranding effort involving key stakeholders, employees, vendors and customers. To maintain relevance and multi-functional buy-in throughout the entire process, it’s important to identify key stakeholders at all levels, including those influential water cooler talkers. Then, create an engagement and communication plan that gets your organization ready for the right change.
  5. You have the desire, now make the time. We won’t lie. Inclusive rebranding takes patience. It takes time to listen…plan…engage…adjust…apply…implement…measure. But without a doubt, it’s time extremely well spent. Drafting comprehensive communication, engagement and project plans will not only give you a good idea of how long your inclusive rebranding effort will take, it will help ensure a successful outcome.

Okay, you’ve been warned. Now all that’s left is to get on, stay on and thrive on the road to inclusive brand success.

Contact us to learn more about how inclusive brand culture can set your organization on the right road to success. Neka Creative is a full-service brand development agency in Minneapolis, anchored on the promise of inclusion.

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