Rebranding is by no means easy. Several companies spend millions of dollars and hire the best experts and may still not succeed. While the reasons for failure can be many, here are three principles to follow if you want to get your rebranding efforts right:
Principle #1: Focus on driving stakeholder preference for your brand, not just consideration.
Consider the following brand messages:
- “We are committed to quality customer service…”
- “Our goal is to be recognized as an industry leader with a strong focus on sustaining the environment…”
- “We are committed to the safety and health of our employees, the protection of the environment…”
Now, identify the organizations that each of these messages relates to. Yes, you got the point I’m trying to make. The fundamental purpose of branding is to stand out from the rest of the crowd . Yet, many companies pursue identical brand attributes, leaving audiences with little difference to see. While such similar-sounding, desirable messages can help the company to build a strong reputation and drive stakeholders to consider the company, they’re not enough to create preference for the company over its competitors.
So, how can you differentiate your brand?
CEC Members: Learn how Diageo uses a “brand wheel” exercise to articulate the current and desired impact of the corporate image on stakeholders. Also, see how RBC conducts extensive stakeholder research and attribute screening to identify brand attributes that meet requirements for driving competitive advantage.
Principle #2: Co-opt stakeholders in brand development to create and sustain meaningful brand differentiation.
Who would want their branding efforts to turn into branding disasters? Work in isolation and the result could be something similar. A company brand is not just the messages sent out from the center, but rather a sum of the actions of leaders, employees, and stakeholders. In fact, as you cede more control to target audiences, the likelihood that the brand will drive company preference increases.
CEC Members: Learn how Alpha Company enables employees to translate corporate brand attributes into business-relevant actions and thus instills a brand ownership ethic. Also, see how International Truck and Engine orchestrated highly focused team dialogues to help employees relate to the brand .
Principle #3: Create active support of the brand.
Engaging passionate and influential employees as “brand ambassadors” and equipping them with facilitation tools can help quickly bring corporate brand to life.
CEC Members: Learn how Standard Chartered selects a group of influential managers to advocate for the change and equips them with tools to educate employees and respond to resistance. Also, see how Philips empowers all employees to trouble-shoot brand issues through social media .
Additionally, you can take the Corporate Brand Differentiation Audit to understand stakeholder perceptions of your brand and compare yourself to the attributes of your competitors.
CEC Related Resources:
- Differentiate Your Corporate Brand
- CEC’s Corporate Brand Differentiation Audit
- Align Employee Actions to Company Values through Brand Action Workshops
- How Influential Managers Can Drive Brand Value Change
CEC Related Blogs:
- The Real Connection between Corporate Brand and Company Success
- Driving Employee Behavior Change through Key Influencers
- Reputation is Required, but Brand is the Blockbuster