Should I Rebrand? Build The Rebrand Business Case
Rebranding has become an increasingly popular strategy to put a jetpack on a business or an organization to revive its growth trajectory.
On a daily basis now, businesses, charities, college and professional sports teams, and even communities, announce that they are changing their names or at least their visual identities in an attempt to be more relevant to stakeholders.
But rebranding can be a time- and resource-intensive effort. Gaining leadership support and financial investment for a rebrand requires careful preparation of a rebranding business case that clearly outlines the need, the opportunity, the risks, and the cost of not rebranding.
Rebranding must be viewed as a strategic growth accelerator. It is an investment in your future, much like the commitment to building new facilities or branching into a new business line. It should result in enterprise-wide benefits from a clear understanding of your business proposition, support for growth into new business categories, and employee alignment behind a common service promise. Big changes should deliver big outcomes, and it's important to present the investment within the potential ROI.
The Key Essential Elements of a Rebranding Business Case
Our experience working to rebrand organizations suggests that to gain leadership buy-in and support for the effort and investment, you need to outline a solid business case that pre-emptively answers the nine critical questions outlined below. Compile the necessary quantitative and financial data, brought to life with anecdotes from qualitative research, to illustrate the advantages of rebranding along with the cost of not doing so.
1. What problem are you trying to solve?
A clearly stated objective is necessary to start the dialogue and gain consensus that rebranding is the answer.
2. What has changed that requires you to rebrand?
Within the market
With the new "speed of business"
Among our competitors
In the way our customers purchase, the way our products and services will be delivered in the future
Within our organization
Consider SWOT analysis for each segment.
3. What goals does your strategic growth plan identify that your current brand will not support in your customers' minds?
4. How does your current brand limit business growth?
A. How successfully do we deliver our current brand?
Review the promise and evaluate on a scale of 1-10 how aligned the company, its communications, and its actions are behind the proposition.
Evaluate customer brand awareness and loyalty levels.
Talk to current customers about whether your current positioning matches your current service delivery and aligns with their growth needs.
Figure out how adequately your is brand grounded in your corporate values, HR policies, and customer service differentiation.
Assess which business segments have reached their capacity or cannot adequately compete with their current positioning. (Pull three years of financial performance numbers and two years of projections.)
B. What growth is at risk without untethering from your current brand?
Conduct qualitative and quantitative research among employees, especially your sales force and customer-service team, to identify what disconnects exist with your current brand.
Compile quantitative analysis and pepper it with anecdotal comments from customers, industry leaders, and employees.
5. What do you expect from the rebranding?
Describe the future state. Project new revenue growth opportunities that can result from more competitive positioning, higher visibility, and a rallied employee base.
6. What resources, both talent and financial, are required for rebranding?
7. What timeline should the rebranding follow?
Well-orchestrated campaigns can take 12-18 months from initial discussion to launch. Rebranding is not a short-term solution; it is a long-term game-changer.
8. Are you "ready" for this resource- and time-heavy commitment?
Gain the perspective of your Organizational Development or HR teams on the "readiness" of the organization and employees to support the business transformation. Look at employee engagement survey results over a couple of years to determine how a rebranding could provide better linkage to their roles and the overall business success.
9. What will happen if we don't rebrand?
Outline a risk assessment and the anticipated impact of retaining the status quo.
Addressing these questions with a high level of rigor, and you'll have increased your probability of winning committed management support. You'll soon be on your way to creating a forward-facing organization ready for growth and expansion.