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The Art Of Celebrating Your Rebrand

Launching a new look is the perfect time to rally the troops and get your team behind your brand. Here, we focus on how to mark the milestone and the companies who go the extra mile…

Brand celebration

Nailing a new image can be absorbing stuff. Swathes of time are devoted to selecting the perfect colour palette, the just-right font, and the logo that fits your business like a well-cut suit.

But then it’s time for a different to-do list, one that tells you to put the Champagne on ice and goodie bags on desks.  Because the first part of a successful rebrand rollout is celebrating it with the people that matter most – your staff.

Why An Email Won’t Cut It

The list of reasons for breaking out the bubbly before a public launch is long. Essentially, staff are the people who live and breathe your brand, bringing it to life for your customers. So if anyone needs to understand the story behind the new look, it’s them.

Equally, whether you’ve gone for a nip and tuck on your brand or a full-on facelift, it marks a change – and change is a big deal. It needs to be handled with the respect it deserves. Make staff a key part in this new era and you’ll foster a team of people who believe in and care for your company – the kind of motivated, loyal army every business owner dreams of. Leave them out of the loop, however, and they can end up feeling disengaged or, worse still, resentful.

TUI’s Titan Effort

Lots of companies have cottoned on to the fact a speech from the boss and a round robin email no longer cut the mustard. When Thomson and Falcon rebranded to TUI, the company certainly had its work cut out, with 12,000 colleagues spread across the UK and Ireland. A massive internal campaign was launched under the banner Hello TUI to make sure colleagues felt part of the change. The sliding scale of seriousness ranged from the recruitment of 120 brand champions to an online gaming competition teaching staff to pronounce it ‘Toooooiiii’ not ‘chewy’. The person who held that tuneful ‘Tooooiiii’ note the longest (1 minute 39 seconds by the way) beat off hundreds of fellow hopefuls to bag a free holiday. Video content played a massive part, too. One such video challenged marketing bosses to explain all the marketing activity in two minutes. But there was a catch – there could be no corporate language, no marketing jargon and they had to weave in as many down-with-the-kid phrases as possible. It was one of the most watched videos of the campaign.

In It Together At SurveyMonkey

Over at SurveyMonkey, the powers-that-be decided to get their people involved early on. The idea was that if they were a part of it from the start, it would stop the all-important ta-dah moment falling flat. Sun Lee, Vice President of Brand Experience, said: “We wanted to avoid seeming like an ‘elite’ brand team working our magic behind velvet green curtains. Employees care about what the logo on their company T-shirt stands for, and a little extra effort can go a long way in making them feel a part of the process.”

They did a staff launch a full six months before going public. On the day, employees arrived to find a stack of branded goodies on their desks, including a Rubik’s cube-like code game, which tied in with the new mission ‘To Power The Curious’. Staff were shown branding videos that had been created just for them. And huge calendars counting down to the public launch were dotted around the office, instilling all the excitement of a kid at Christmas. Sun Lee added: “By the end, it felt like we were planning a surprise party for a close friend. People around the office couldn’t wait to tell our customers all about the cool things that were coming.”

People Power At Alzheimer’s Society

When Alzheimer’s Society introduced some big changes, including a new brand, the charity knew its 2,500 employees and 9,000 volunteers were key to its success. It launched an internal TV channel and loads of activities including a special Forget Me Not Day and public speaking coaching to build employees’ confidence when it came to talking about the brand externally. It paid off, too, with 92% of staff and volunteers seeing themselves as ambassadors for the charity.  

Thinking Outside The Box

Smaller companies are pulling off the big reveal just as well. Contracting company, Key, unveiled its new look to staff with a night at Glasgow’s Grosvenor Cinema, complete with drinks, popcorn and doughnuts. Meanwhile, when bpm’online changed its name to Creatio, 160 employees – including the CEO – marked the occasion with a team skydive.

Ten Tips For Success

Whatever your budget, the key is to bring your people onboard and get them excited about the change.  Here are a few hints and tips to help you hit the mark…

1. Staff first, always Four to six weeks before going public is a good rule of thumb, but consider longer if it’s a bigger change like a new company name – especially if there’s a lot of emotion attached to the old one.

2. Think about time and budget A good internal launch takes time – give it the same attention as a public one. Equally, if you’re on a tight budget, don’t underestimate the power of a team brekkie and a glass of fizz.

3. Give a speech This is a great opportunity to raise a glass to the past and set out an inspiring vision for the future. Keep it short, sweet and free of jargon.

4. Make a video A 1 to 2-minute video is a great way to communicate the story behind your new look in an easy to understand way. Plus you can then put it on your website or send it out to business partners, press or customers. 

5. Share the creative process Get your creatives to talk people through the redesign from initial ideas to final execution. Only by fully understanding the thought process can staff tell a compelling story on the frontline.

6. Let them eat cake! Fizz, cupcakes, canapés… make a party of it and feature your new logo on the food, drink and decorations wherever you can.

7. A little prezzie goes a long way Everyone loves a surprise present. T-shirts, notebooks, lanyards, stickers – get your branding seen and give your team a treat at the same time.

8. Kit them out Give every employee a brand book and all the core materials, so they know how and when to use your new logo. Make sure your brand assets are easily available so they can start using them when the time comes.

9. Be clear on your timeline Remember to tell them when you’re launching your new look to the public, so it doesn’t end up on social media before you’re ready.

10. Take questions Encourage feedback and questions, and tell people where to go for help as the rollout gathers speed.

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