Rebranding Requires Change Management


Rebranding your organization is a clear signal of change, that you have new future-facing plans for bringing your products or services to the market.

Based on years of experience helping organizations to use rebranding to accelerate their growth, we’ve learned that companies often underestimate the change that will be needed to deliver that new brand proposition. It’s why the change management discipline plays an important part in rebranding success.

Noted change management expert Prosci, defines change management "as the discipline that guides how we prepare, equip and support individuals to successfully adopt change in order to drive organizational success and outcomes." Rebranding your organization can only be achieved by ensuring that each individual within your organization understands the new brand promises, shares your desire to change, knows how the deliver the new brand positioning and then adopts it. Organizations don’t change, people do, and that is evident in successful rebrands as you expect employees to demonstrate new “on-brand behaviors.”

Internal Alignment The Greatest Obstacle to Rebranding Success

Rebranding efforts can face many obstacles to their success but according to a 2015 research study we conducted among recently rebranded organizations, gaining internal alignment is the biggest challenge. According to survey respondents, three of the four most common obstacles encountered when rebranding were people related:

  1. Engaging the necessary departments internally

  2. Creating culture change to fulfill new brand promise

  3. Cost

  4. Engaging employees behind new brand

These three challenges are what change management can address.

Rebranding Requires Change Management at the Individual, Initiative and Enterprise Levels

Rebranding is more than a simple name change, logo and new external positioning. It is the realignment of your organization behind a new promise to customers and how they experience you along their customer journey. When your organization undertakes such an effort to improve performance or seize future opportunities, it requires internal change. This includes changes to organizational structures, processes, job roles, the types and uses of technology. It’s actually the employees of your organization who ultimately change how they do their jobs which is why change management is important in rebranding. When individuals don’t successfully embrace the rebranding, learn how to deliver a new customer experience, the entire effort is at risk.

Change management, working as a key component of the overall rebranding project management effort, uses these key tools and discipline to ensure requirements are identified from the start and addressed in your implementation:

  • Stakeholder Assessments

  • Change Impact Assessments with Current and Desired State Models

  • Leadership Engagement Plans

  • Detailed Communications Strategies and Plans

Without change management, your rebranding might not bring about its desired changes.

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