3 Surprising Findings From a Rebranding Effort

So, you need a new logo, do ya?

And maybe a new website, too?

Good. We can help with that! We are skilled at making you look great.

But branding is so much more than a logo. I’m sure you already know that, but do you?

Most people will tell me now that they understand that branding is the visual identity, the essence of the brand should convey the mood, feelings, sentiment, aspirations, and promise of what your brand is offering to employees, customers, donors, recipients of your programs, and other stakeholders.

Often, organizations engage in the rebranding process by engaging with a designer. There’s a questionnaire involved. It has to do with colors and peers and logo samples. That’s awesome.

But when I lead a rebranding effort, I like my clients to have confidence that their new brand will, in fact, deliver on the brand promise.

So, we need to understand what the hell the brand promise is. How do we do that? Research. Lots of talking, surveying, and interviewing. What we uncover tells you how close you are to delivering on your brand promise, and where you need to improve to make sure it doesn’t go off the rails.

A rebranding exercise for a successful small firm delivered surprising findings.

The non-surprises:

  • Energetic, bold and respected leaders draw in long-lasting client relationships

  • Focus on family and respect makes employees excited to join the team.

  • Niche skills in high-demand service areas are helping the business grow

The big surprises:

  • Customers are afraid of what would happen if our energetic, bold leaders disappeared suddenly (they are approaching retirement age and love extreme sports, after all) and feel their own work is at risk by investing in a firm without a succession plan.

  • Employees love the day-to-day, but are actually continually frustrated by the “flat” organizational chart that offers no path for growth, promotion, or increase in pay/title and feel they might be stuck in a dead-end job.

  • Company partners are unaware that what they think are assets - relationships and lack of strict managerial/HR structures - are actually potential liabilities.

The remediation:

  • Begin succession planning ASAP and communicate the plans to all stakeholders.

  • Create an HR department, review and promotion schedule, and provide clear communication about opportunities for growth and development.

You never know what you might find when you dig deep into connecting something as simple as a new, modern logo to something as important as your core strategic plan. Don’t delay in doing stakeholder assessment, new logo or not.