Brand Rollouts That Stick

In our last article, we detailed the pitfalls that many branding initiatives face and how to avoid them. One of the key elements we detailed was effectively rolling out a revamped brand, successfully instilling it throughout your organization. 

Below, we dig into the components of a brand rollout that actually works. You’ll see that most of the tactics focus on internal communications. Why? Because great brands are built from the inside out – not the other way around.

Tip #1: Effective Brand Rollouts Start Before the Brand Rollout Begins

Success of your rollout is often determined before it ever begins. The reason? Well, here’s the number one thing that causes a brand rollout to fail:

Jimmy (Sales): Did you see the new brand that marketing rolled out today?

Kelly (Sales Manager): <eye roll> Yeah, I saw it. Pretty bad.

Jimmy (Sales): Oh, I liked it, but I guess you’re right. <looks to the sales floor> Hey, guys! The new brand is a joke!

What was the miss here? Kelly wasn’t brought into the fold prior to the launch. And if you had gotten to know our imaginary sales manager, you would’ve learned she’s a rather vocal and highly influential person on the sales team. Despite all your hard work in crafting a strong brand rollout, she just blew up your chances of successfully rolling it out.

A new brand requires a lot of pre-selling. Figuring out a steering committee who receives early previews of work. Determining squeaky wheels who you want to do some “pre-selling” into. By getting people on board before a brand rollout, you ensure that you have cheerleaders and champions who support the brand on launch day, as opposed to throwing it under the bus.

Tip #2: Use Your CEO

Your CEO – especially in the era of social media – is one of your most critical, powerful and effective communication channels. When they speak, people tend to listen. After all, they are in charge. 

It’s up to you to ensure that your CEO is actively talking about the brand to generate excitement ahead of the launch, on launch day, and beyond. Make sure that you’ve thoroughly considered how to help confirm that your CEO is speaking across all channels about the new brand, why it’s important, and why it’s critical that everyone gets on board.

Tip #3: Don’t Just Communicate – Present

We love the written word, as is evidenced by the content we create. But nothing can replace the power of presenting. Any brand rollout plan therefore needs to include room for a livestream or in-person presentation that gives your team (and, per the above, your CEO) the chance to tell the story of your refresh, how you got there and why it’s so important. 

Interestingly, this tactic used to be relegated to internal channels only. But recently, more and more companies have been holding livestreams (also recorded for viewing later) for customers to see and experience a new brand. It’s a nice way to bring customers into the fold and make them feel a part of a new message.

Tip #4: Be Instructional, Not Just Informational

Every rollout comes with questions:

  • What is changing?
  • Why is it changing?
  • How does it matter to our business and my team?
  • How am I supposed to use this brand in my day-to-day?
  • What can I expect in the coming months and years?

When you roll out your brand, you need to not just well up excitement but also give guidance and instruction. Have FAQs, Q&A sessions, a set of brand ambassadors, and a feedback & questions inbox that can help answer key questions like the above. That way, you’re not just communicating, you’re teaching and guiding for how people can actually use the brand in their day-to-day.

Tip #5: Brand Rollouts Should Actually Be Called Brand Roll-ins

You’ve had your big launch day! And then….radio silence. No one ever hears about “that branding thing” again. 

One of the key ways to avoid this is to indeed think about your big launch and rollout but then to also think intentionally about how you’re going to roll the brand in to your organization.

Here’s what we mean: There are key processes and organizational behaviors that happen all the time. Baking your brand into these components ensures it has a longer lifespan and isn’t just seen, felt and heard on launch day, but is on every day that follows. Examples include:

  • Creating a training presentation that becomes part of new employee onboarding
  • Working with your recruitment team to assist with talking about the brand when new recruits ask about what makes your organization unique
  • Ensuring brand values are reflected in employee performance reviews
  • Updating office signage and interior designs
  • Rebranding key content that your sales team uses to best help them reinforce the new initiative 

It’s a Journey, Not a Destination

As you’ll see from these tactics, brands are built through impactful channels and tactics that are delivered over time – not through a single powerful day or week. Plan thoughtfully, plan intentionally, and put in the hard work, and you’ll have a brand that goes beneath the surface and becomes part of who you are. And there’s nothing more powerful than that.

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