Companies rebrand for all sorts of reasons, some positive, like an expansion of your business’s scope, and some negative. But no matter the reason behind it, and no matter how necessary it may be, the actual process of rebranding is often a daunting one.
For one, the stakes are high, since it can be a pivotal moment–even a make-or-break moment. It affects how the world sees your company. When done well, it can cast a fresh light on you and help the public better understand what it is that you do. When done wrong, it can throw you into obscurity.
What is often overlooked, however, is the positive impact a rebrand can have inside the walls of your company. It can be an opportunity to open the channels of communication and take a proactive approach that gets everyone excited about what’s ahead. While it’s easy to focus on the challenges, there’s no shortage of company benefits that come with a rebrand.
Here are some of the advantages we discovered during our recent rebrand process:
A name change is a great opportunity to get your employees to rally around the mission and goals of your company. It’s an opportunity to build excitement about the future (and a bit of mystery leading up to a big rebrand announcement, too). Rebranding tells your employees that you’re open to change and want to embrace the future, and that’s something they should feel good about.
But before you wholeheartedly embrace an “out with the old, in with the new” mentality, there’s one thing to note: amidst the changes, be sure to not discredit the work that’s already been done by longtime employees. Make it clear that your company’s future wouldn’t be possible without the work they did to lay the foundation five, 10, or even 15 years ago. That will help both veteran and newer team members feel good about the rebrand.
Rebranding is also a perfect opportunity to encourage employees to break old habits. The fresh start is a great way to engage team members and solicit opinions and ideas from a cross-section of the organization.
One way to get the juices flowing is to invite them to submit their feedback on anything from aesthetic changes to blog post topics. You can even stage contests encouraging employees to rename office tools. For example, we needed a new name for our internal newsletter, so we reached out to our team for ideas, with the winner receiving a fabulous prize. We received more than 75 submissions and found our newsletter name.
If your satellite offices have a significantly different culture from your headquarters, a rebrand can help bring them together and create a more continuous culture. Going through the process means that all offices–no matter how new or old they may be–will adapt to the fresh identity and work together to bring it to life.
Other ways to promote cross-office collaboration and community-building include coordinating décor across each location so the home base isn’t the only space getting a makeover. Consider altering signage, replacing carpeting, setting up a game room or giving some new life to your lobby.
During our rebrand, we also overnighted new swag like t-shirts, water bottles, and notebooks to employees working outside of Boston so that everyone would receive it on the same day, giving them a common experience and heightening excitement around the rebrand. Bringing teams together is all about the details, so don’t overlook them.
It might seem that new employees and more tenured ones would be tough to get on the same page, but, if handled correctly, a rebrand has the power to blur those lines. Rebranding, at its best, focuses on a positive future outlook while staying true to a company’s foundation and core values. It gives everyone a fresh identity to be proud of, too.
Making it clear that both of these perspectives are important to company identity now and in the future–and encouraging everyone to have a say in what’s next—is a crucial step toward successful change.
Sometimes your company will outgrow its name or its image. For example, we’ve received job applications from forklift operators because our previous name contained the word “Warehouse”. But we’re in the payments industry, meaning we don’t actually hire for warehouse jobs. We needed our rebrand to better articulate what we do–both internally and externally–to help us attract not only more candidates, but the right ones, too.
While starting from scratch with a new name can be a challenge, and will sometimes take time to regain momentum, it’s also a chance to paint a new picture that’s better aligned with what you do and who you’re looking to hire.
Rebrands don’t happen every day. But when they do, it’s important to get everyone involved in the process early and inspired about the future of your company. That way, all employees can take comfort in knowing they’re an integral part of the journey.
Your work isn’t done once things officially go live, either. Remaining transparent with employees about what’s in store next with your rebrand will ensure they continue to embrace the new identity.
Most importantly, keep the dialogue open. Encourage employees to exchange ideas and be sure to collect feedback as everyone settles into your company’s new approach. If your rebrand is a success internally, you’ll be well on your way to succeeding with it outside your company, too.
—Dan Lyons is vice president of human resources at Cayan. With over 18 years of experience in the field, he’s responsible for setting the company’s strategic direction, focusing on employee engagement, corporate culture and hiring practices.