When a brand needs to regain relevance, they often “rebrand” to update their story. The rebrand typically involves developing a contemporary, compelling story that engages and resonates with a target audience that has shifted its perspective. Rebrands are also a way to address changes in external factors such as the current digital transformation, or to differentiate the brand when new competitors emerge. Yet, even with the best intentions, many companies fail at their rebranding efforts. The main reason for these rebrand failures is the tendency to focus on taking the rebrand to the customer. Instead, the more effective, strategic, and tactical approach is to first launch the rebrand internally.
Starting the Rebrand Internally
By starting the rebrand internally, a company will gain multiple benefits. First, they can achieve internal unification around the brand story and the core values of the company. This helps to ensure consistency in messaging across all channels prior to communicating the rebrand to customers. It also fires up the internal team around what the new brand means and the roles they play in making it come to life. An internal launch can empower them to become personally engaged in the process. They are able to understand the factors that influenced the decision to rebrand and believe it was the right approach.
This internal alignment is especially important for the sales and marketing teams. The sales team needs compelling reasons and benefits to share in order to get more leads in the pipeline, and the marketing team must understand the benefits to craft personalized, meaningful messages for customers. It’s important to have a tangible list of reasons that explain how the rebrand will specifically benefit audience members. As a result, the internal team’s enthusiasm will spill over into the external launch to influence prospects and enthuse customers.
Best Practices for an Internal Rebrand
To launch an internal rebrand, there are some best practices that will improve how it is received by your team:
First, create an internal communication plan that introduces as well as educates the team. The plan should include key messages and specific benefits for the internal team. Share the reasons why the rebrand will help achieve specific company objectives. Additionally, communications should explain the rebranding elements. This includes roles and responsibilities, the timeline for the rebrand launch, and tactics that will be used to disseminate the rebrand.
Second, select internal evangelists who are charged with championing the rebranding message. Look for members of the team who are passionate about what the company represents – people who always show initiative in touting the company’s values. In return, these company evangelists will motivate the rest of the team as well as influence their social followings outside of the company.
Third, identify and recognize internal team members who personify the spirit of the rebrand. Like the evangelists, they can educate others about what the rebrand means and how it will benefit them. Also, they can inspire internal and external audience members to embrace the rebrand in order to achieve these benefits.
The Overall Impact
Rolling out the rebrand internally will have an exponential impact when the external rebrand begins. Effectively, this can raise the company’s level of success with the rebrand so that they can fully realize the initial reasons that they decided to make this dramatic change.