Playbook for Introducing Your New Brand
For most startups, an initial and minimalistic brand will get your products and services out there; but as the business changes directions and scales, it might be a good time to consider a rebrand. While a successful rebrand can do wonders for your business, there are several steps to ensure that your audiences respond well to your new brand.
Prepare All Brand Touchpoints
First, identify all brand touchpoints that you need to update. In addition to print and digital collateral, include utilities, services, and legal documents. Once you have a list of all brand touchpoints ready, determine a realistic timeframe for your launch date. To do this, create a spreadsheet and assign a due date, priority level, and point person for each brand touchpoint. Determine how much time you will need to introduce your new brand to your internal team and your high priority clients. Set a launch date that reflects the amount of time you need to do this.
Identify All Audiences and the Brand Story
Next, identify all your audiences. The three main audiences you need to consider are your internal team, your high priority clients, and your lower priority clients or your general audience.
Craft a single cohesive story you want to tell all of your audiences and specific messages you want to tell each audience about the value that the new brand brings to them.
The first audience you need to introduce and familiarize your new brand with is your internal team. Ideally, this happens four to six weeks prior to the launch date. This step should not be overlooked. Getting your internal team on the same page regarding your new brand allows it to develop a relationship with it and practice using it. You definitely would not want to host a launch party where the members of your team confusedly switch between the old and new brand. Nothing sends a message that you are not committed to your new brand than a team that can’t remember its own name.
When announcing the rebrand to your internal team, make sure to convey how the new brand will benefit them specifically, in addition to the business in general and your clients. Seeing how the rebrand is beneficial specifically to them will help each member of the team establish an emotional connection with the new brand.
High Priority Clients
Once your internal team is on the same page, it is time to announce your rebrand to your high priority clients. Importantly, you want to do this a few weeks prior to the launch date for at least two reasons. First, since they are your high priority clients, you do not want to catch them off guard with your new brand and risk losing their business. Secondly, letting them know about the rebrand prior to the launch date gives you the opportunity to approach each high priority client individually and craft a rebrand message that is unique to them and their needs. This is your opportunity to sell them on why the rebrand is specifically beneficial to each one of your high priority clients.
Once the internal team is on the same page and all high priority clients have been contacted, begin to tease your rebrand on social media to target your wider audience. This will generate excitement about your new brand and — importantly — will develop emotional investment in your general audience.
There are many options for teasing your new brand. Consider your audience and what media they are most likely to use and what they are most likely to respond to. Some options can include pre-releasing your logo, releasing a video that tells a story of why you wanted to rebrand or why the old brand was no longer communicating your vision.
Finally, you are now ready to host a launch event. At your launch event, customize the story you tell about your new brand for the general audience and stress why the rebrand will be valuable to it. However, make sure to stay consistent with the narrative you presented to your high priority clients and your internal team.
To finalize your new brand rollout, consider launching a microsite that introduces your new brand to any potential new audiences. A microsite is also an exciting opportunity to go more in-depth about your new brand or include any information about your new brand that you weren’t able to present earlier.
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