As a B2B marketing professional, a company rebrand is one of the most impactful initiatives you can lead during your career. A B2B rebrand or refresh often requires the investment of a considerable amount of money, time, and resources, so all eyes (especially executive leadership) are on you.
The following are simple tips to ensure your company rebrand is successful.
Preparation may be the most critical stage of the rebrand. Adequate preparation ensures you have buy-in from the C-level suite and alignment on goals, paving the way for success. To help prepare, you’ll need to be able to answer these critical questions:
- What is the goal of the rebrand? Is it to reposition the company in the marketplace, go public, or revive an aging brand? Gain consensus from the executive leadership team on the ultimate goals before you do anything else.
- What is the vision 5 to 10 years out? A clear vision for the business is key to a successful B2B branding initiative. The vision (typically defined by the CEO) drives all the marketing and branding decisions made throughout the process.
- Have your product or service offerings changed? Get your product marketing and service teams together to gather this critical information if they have changed. You don’t want to do this legwork after hiring a B2B branding agency because it will add time and cost to the scope.
- What will be the scope for the rebrand? Depending on a company’s size, age, and marketing sophistication, a branding project can be as limited as a logo and a new B2B website design or as full-blown as a name change, logo, trademark, messaging, website, and updating every single piece of marketing-communication materials. Put together a thorough list of everything you need. This list will help you plan an appropriate budget and timeline and find the right partners.
Now that you’ve prepared for the B2B branding initiative, the next step is the most time-intensive portion – creating the new brand. The following are tips for ensuring the company’s B2B brand creation is a success.
- Find the right partners – Outside of preparation, finding the right partners to implement your rebrand is the next most critical element of a rebrand. Depending on your scope, you could rely on a single B2B branding agency, or you may need additional partners, such as trademark attorneys, marketing or PR strategists, digital marketing specialists, etc. The most important thing in finding the right partners is ensuring they have experience in your industry, have proven results delivering precisely the type of work you need, and have an educational and responsive sales process. After all, companies serve as they sell.
- Pull together your internal team – Ask yourself, who from your company should be involved in the project? Then determine which of these people has decision-making power and which ones you need for information gathering. When it comes to decision-making power, the less, the better. The more cooks in the kitchen, the longer and messier the rebranding project will be.
- Collect and deliver effective feedback – Gaining consensus internally and providing clear, thoughtful feedback to your partners is key to ensuring your B2B brand creation is in line with your goals. The better the communication, the better the outcome. Every aspect of a rebrand is a creative and iterative process, so the more productive the feedback, the quicker you’ll get the desired results. Learn more on how to delegate and deliver effective feedback.
- Keep track of timelines, scope, and budget – Your partners should be keeping track of the timelines and scope you’ve hired them for, but chances are you have multiple partners or even things you are implementing internally. The more organized you are, the better odds you’ll stay on track, and the easier it is to report progress to the executive teams. For additional tips, read The Secret to Successful Project Management (Pssst…Organization)
Now that you’ve created all the elements for a new brand, it’s time to roll it out. The rollout may be the least time-intensive portion of the project, but doing it well will bring excitement and increased exposure to the company (and make you look like the B2B marketing rockstar you are).
- Internal rollout – Before you make the new brand public, you need a plan to communicate and build excitement internally. Having an internal brand launch party, sharing new branded marketing materials, and giving EVERYONE in the company the new brand guide are great ways to get buy-in, build company culture, and ensure consistent usage of the new brand. There may be an additional layer working with the sales team to ensure their messaging is consistent with the refreshed brand and other internal departments that communicate directly with your customers.
- External rollout + promotion – Working with your partners and internal team, you want to build and implement a plan for the public rollout and promotion of the new B2B brand. The public rollout involves a timeline/plan for launching the new website, branded materials, PR announcement, digital advertising, communications to key customers and vendors, etc. Announcing the new brand is a marketing and sales opportunity you don’t want to squander.
- Measuring success – Once you roll out the brand internally and externally, the work doesn’t stop. You want to keep an eye on how the rebrand has impacted all B2B marketing activity, lead generation, and sales. You also may want a mechanism for collecting feedback from your customers and prospects to see if there are opportunities for improvement and generally how the rebrand has been received. Reporting back successes to the executive team proves what an amazing marketing leader you are and helps them realize the investment of time, money, and resources was well worth it.
For additional resources to prep for your next big branding project, check out these resources: