Rebranding isn’t easy. Don’t believe me? Just Google “failed rebranding attempts” and take a look at the results on the first page. You’ll find example after example of companies that have tried to rebrand only to see their efforts fail. And not no-name companies either. We’re talking household names like JC Penney and Tropicana.
Why do most rebrands fail? Where, there are plenty of reasons. But what they all boil down to is that they just can’t get customers behind the rebranding efforts. Maybe they were too connected to the original version. Or maybe the rebrand attempt is just plain stupid. Whatever the case, it’s crucial that you get the customer to bite.
However, before you ever even consider getting the customers behind you, you need to start within the walls of your own company. Your employees are the front line when it comes to pushing your brand. If you fail to sell them on the rebrand, if you overlook them in the process, don’t count on those outside your walls falling in line.
So how can you make sure you get your employees on board? Here are a few steps to get them behind your new marketing efforts.
Start at the Top, Then Trickle Down
Company climate always starts at the top and works its way down the ladder. So if you want employees to get behind your rebrand, you need to start at the top. If your CEO or board of directors aren’t excited about your rebranding efforts, what makes you think your employees are going to take it seriously? However, if the people at the top are genuinely sold on the rebrand, employees will take note. This won’t be “another stupid idea.” Instead, this will be a noticeable, believable transformation.
Make sure the people at the top experience what the new brand looks like, sounds like, and feels like. Doing so will breed excitement. This excitement will be infectious companywide.
Some people associate rebranding with trouble. Think about it, if you’re an employee and you hear that the higher ups are taking things in a new direction, what’s your first thought? Layoffs. That said, you need to make sure you present the changes in a positive light. This is the way you’re going to take your company into the future. This is the way you are going to help your staff build a long lasting career.
Have projected numbers? Show them. Compare how things are now to how things will be should things go according to plan. Emphasize all the ways employees stand to benefit.
Don’t Lose the Momentum
That trickledown effect you create works great at first. However, if you aren’t careful, you’ll lose steam. You’ve got to remember that a successful rebranding attempt doesn’t happen overnight. So how can you keep that momentum going? How can you keep those employees excited when the initial wow-factor wears off?
Well, it starts with a plan. See, from the get-go you have to have to think long term. After all, the whole point of rebranding is to rebuild who you are—to create a perception and a connection that will last well into the future. So in other words, not only do you need to think about what it will look like 6 months from now, but what will your rebranding efforts look like a few years from now?
They’re on the Frontlines
Your staff is the first line of defense, or offense, as it may. If you fail to get them behind your rebrand, you’ve lost the first battle and you’re setting yourself up for failure. Make sure you do all you can to sell them first.
Any ideas on how to sell your staff on a rebrand? Tell us in the comments.
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Grab three ebooks, including My Facebook Formula, a free report on Facebook and why you should be using the largest social network for your business, here: http://www.ereleases.com/insider/freebooks.html