Smooth brand transition: how to successfully and smoothly go through a re-brand embraces more than just a company’s products or services. Re-creating a company’s brand to become more relevant, to target a new audience or even to change their name or vision often ignores one key factor: employees. Left in a lurch of uncertainty about the coming change, employees result to rumour and innuendo about the change’s impact on their careers and lives. It’s a recipe for trouble, but one that can promise a smooth resolve by following several proven procedures.
Every business strives for a Smooth Re-Branding Process
Something Old, Something New:
Though re-branding is not a wedding, it does possess inherent similarities. Employees become married to the old ways of doing things. Educated to perform tasks, or deploy methods in prescribe steps, employees become accustomed to doing a job a certain, specified way. Change to them is like going through a divorce without a prospect for a new mate.
Though the task may appear daunting, management should not freeze — but act. Think of a high school graduation. Throw a party that employs a psychological strategy. Honour the past while showcasing the new, promoting the future while honouring the past and the contributions employees, even key employees, that helped make the company great.
Create a company video starring employees and their contribution and continued involvement in the company. Last of all, underscoring a key component of the company’s success, gift to each employee a souvenir that frames the reason the company became great. It is a reminder of then and promise of a commitment to their future and the company’s.
In the Lurch:
As the company changes, the old slowly leaves while the new crawls in to take its place. Employees suffer particular high levels of stress during these periods. They sometimes act in ways that don’t comport with their character or typical behaviour.
The answer is education.
Sustainable Brands puts it best:”During the re-brand and/or launch, employees will also need what we call “branducation”— organisation-wide education on what a brand is and how each employee is responsible for delivering on the brand promise.”
That’s only one side of the equation. Employee engagement has a strong voice. Employees need to feel that belong to something larger — something that aids them to enhance personal growth. Attached to this concept is common purpose. Working together toward a common goal that will benefit them turns employees to ambassadors of their company and their company’s brand.
Not only retaining talent, the objective is part of a campaign that strives for success. Forbes published an article that provided insight into this issue. ” 41% of us believe that employees are the most credible source of information regarding their business.” With that statistic magnifying the employee’s importance, involvement in the re-branding process should occur before, during and after a transition as it may prove pivotal to a company’s continued viability.
Brand Adoption and Loyalty:
By now, it is likely clear that the above methods and procedures need to run parallel to management’s plan to roll in a new brand. What isn’t clear is that the strategic plans of management become part of developing brand loyalty. It’s summed up in one word: commitment.
Engaging employees and holding parties is nice, and recommended, but they fail to provide a more complete resolve.
It is not to say that conducting an internal campaign to win over employees by holding contest and having give-aways of products etc doesn’t help, but seeing management’s plans come to fruition serves to sooth many employee concerns.
Management needs to put together a budget, a plan with a goal and a timeline so that employees feel like the process belongs to them – not the other way around. Keeping employees updated on budgets and time-lines accelerates their decisions and calls for their actions to help the organisation as a whole.
Lessening employee stress through involvement proves to the best resolve to a company’s decision to re-brand. Running an education program that parallels the change, while conducting internal campaigns that seek to engage employees and re-focus their loyalties to a new brand aid management’s efforts. Ultimately, providing a progress report that shows management has an equal commitment fills out the complete campaign from product to employee.
Contact Red Lounge Agency, about the proven strategies of re-branding and the re-branding of employees, their loyalties and continued commitment to the company.
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