How to convince your boss it’s time for a rebrand
It’s an age-old dilemma.
You’ve been working for a company for a few years, moving up the ranks and successfully making an impact. You love improving internal processes and are always asking the right questions to promote positive change.
Working in the areas of business development, marketing or recruitment, you’re the one off at networking events talking up the company to everyone you meet. But the shmoozing is hard when you cringe a little every time you hand over your business card to a potential lead, not to mention how much it hurts everytime you need to re-iterate in a pitch that you’re ‘ahead of the curve’ and the ‘best in the game’. How can this be true with a logo that looks like WordArt (and not even in a hipster, early-90s throwback kinda way)?
You know your company needs a rebrand, and so do all of your co-workers. But your boss/CEO doesn’t see the value in anything that doesn’t have a clear ROI and thinks ‘design’ just means making things look pretty. If it makes you feel better, we’ve all been there! Even the Google logo had humble beginnings.
It may be a cliche but it’s true – upper-level management can often be traditionalists and resistant to change. Despite your alluding to the fact that the brand could use a facelift once or twice in internal meetings, your plea is being constantly ignored and overlooked for more ‘important’ goals.
Whether you’re working in a small start-up with a boss who designed the logo himself or you’re part of a huge organisation that avoids unnecessary change like the plague, it greatly helps to have a ‘game plan’ to help you convince your boss it’s time to rebrand.
prepare your case
Anticipate questions that will be thrown at you and make sure you have the answers. Figure out the overarching reason for a rebrand and write this down, making sure that it is well articulated and clear. Identify the problem you are trying to solve in a specific and measurable way.
E.g. Because our brand image and company processes are outdated/too formal/too casual/to cheap-seeming/too premium and out of reach, we are unable to find clients/employees/followers of X demographic, which is a fundamental goal of the company.
Conduct an internal survey
There is a wide range of reasons why you would want a company rebrand. Conducting an internal survey about how your company brand is perceived by your co-workers will arm you with additional ammunition that you can take to your employer.
E.g. After a brief survey with our team, 80% of team members said they would be more likely to promote the company on their social media if it had a better brand perception.
Timing is everything
Knowing when to strike the match could be key to helping your case. Have you just lost a client due to bad brand perception? Are you looking to hire several new employees or change office locations? Look for reasons the company might be open to a fresh change. More than that… what time of day is it? Has your boss had their coffee? Are they well fed? Timing is everything.
Offer a list of providers
Prepare by researching a number of studios and agencies who specialise in your industry and/or have come highly recommended from people you know. Refer to a case study of a rebrand of a similar company and the measurable results that followed. Find out the rough cost to make a rebrand happen. Providing viable and trustworthy options right off the bat will present a lower perceived risk to the decision maker.
Depending on the size of your organisation, you may have to map out proposed timelines for completing the rebrand. Is there a digital component involved? What other collateral will you need, in order of priority? Most rebrands start from a concept, then roll out into various applications. Mapping this out will help you bring a more tangible plan to your employer, allowing them to envisage when they will see the project deliverables fulfilled. Doing most of the work will mean all they need to do is sign on the dotted line!
but above all, Remember:
Rebranding is about repositioning your company and revising its purpose. It’s not just about a new logo, a new website or even a set of brand guidelines and a tone of voice document. It’s not something that you enlist professionals to complete for you, leaving you to your own devices.
Your company and everything that it touches – that’s the brand. A rebrand should be guided by a desire to do business better, and no two company rebranding exercises will ever be the same.
A refreshed look, a renewed brand document, a brand new website are all simply reflections what a company wants to communicate. If all of these aren’t consistent, you don’t have a strong brand. Without a strong brand you’ll lack the ability to go out and be a brand ambassador for your company – which could end up costing much more than a dollar amount.