You’ve invested time and money into creating a striking brand, one that will make an impact and communicate your values in a unique and memorable way. However, if you don’t implement that brand thoughtfully and consistently, you’re undermining all that effort. A successful brand is one that has a life extending far beyond the ideation phase. It’s also one that’s mapped out far in advance of the actual launch.
Consistency is key. Typically, it requires 18 months to 3 years of steady, regular work for independent recall of your brand to grow. Your brand rollout should not consist of updating everything at the same time, sending out a broad swath of messages, then getting back to life as normal. Instead, a detailed roadmap allows you to maintain a level of consistency, but also allows room for evolution as new opportunities emerge.
Marketers like to talk about “winning hearts and minds” when they discuss making important emotional and intellectual connections. That’s exactly what you’re trying to accomplish as you determine how best to introduce your new brand. After all, you’re not simply giving people a heads up—you’re convincing them to invest wholeheartedly in your vision.
Begin with an Internal Launch
Start by rolling out your brand internally, in order to help your staff and team understand the essence of your brand. During this stage, your goal is to create a sense of excitement and hype, because your brand will not be successful without buy-in from your team.
Training is core to this process. I recommend holding hour-long sessions with every team in your organization. These sessions should give teams an opportunity to consider branded behaviors, meaning the ways employees can incorporate the brand essence into their daily life, actions, and interactions. As you facilitate training discussions, ask the following questions:
- How might living out the brand compellingly change the method in which you do your day-to-day work?
- If someone at the organization is living out the brand, what are they doing?
- What is one thing you can do differently to live out the brand?
By the time training is completed, team members should be able to express a clear understanding, not only of the unique essence at the center of the brand but also how it applies to their daily work.
Consider whether there are campaigns, competitions, or rewards you can utilize to truly cement the brand values within your organization. Additional tools to build excitement and buzz might include:
- An internal brand launch event
- Fun swag
Identify Brand Ambassadors
One of the most important things you can do to encourage your team to embrace the new brand is to empower brand ambassadors. Brand ambassadors are the people who help share and embody the new brand. They infuse its essence throughout every aspect of your organization, including marketing, service delivery, and even simple, daily interactions. They’ll be the people that represent the brand to their teammates when your core branding team cannot be in the room.
Brand ambassadors should be deeply involved in training sessions, focused on helping you sell the brand in ways that are particularly meaningful to your team.
Then, It’s Time to Share It with the World
People often think creating the brand is the most exciting part, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Rolling your brand out is a chance to make a big splash and show off all your hard work.
In a perfect world, all instances of your previous branding would be replaced by the new branding upon launch. But, this isn’t imperative. When it comes to brand rollouts, speed is preferable to perfection. Identify your core brand assets up front (often a website and/or storefronts) and ensure those are updated right away.
Then, begin the process of brand migration. This process consists of ensuring your supporting assets and communication channels are updated over time. For a successful brand migration, you need to have documentation of all the locations in which your brand is expressed. Organize them via priority and visibility, then continue updating until the old brand is no longer present.
Aligning the Messaging
Throughout early stages, your focus needs to be on building an organizational content strategy that will ensure you consistently communicate the brand over time. Pinpoint exactly who your audience is—including specific personas and segments—and what your goals are for communicating with them. First impressions tend to stick, so you need to be able to articulate the core ideas behind the brand clearly and in a relevant way to each audience. If the rebranding seems too confusing or pointless, you lose the opportunity to get people excited.
Next, create a schedule and set of guidelines for future messages. These guidelines ensure all outgoing communications are aligned and accurately represent the values inherent in your new brand.
Common messaging and tools might include:
- Press releases
- Blog posts
Ensuring these and any following communications follow guidelines ensures your message remains consistent over the long term, enhancing and encapsulating your brand.
The Intersection Between Brand and Culture
A truly successful brand is about more than appearances, which means your rollout has to go deeper than marketing. Your goal is to create a unique memory and encourage your organization to live out the brand through each experience.
Your team members are at the core of your brand, so, just as you continue to communicate your brand outwardly, you must reinforce it internally. Doing so means that, with time, employees will experience your brand in significant ways that intertwine with culture, allowing those brand values to flow outward into their interactions with others.
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