Stayawake, User Experience Branding by Sarah Welstead
Rebranding: Engaging Employees

March 31st, 2012

If you want a rebrand to work, you have to engage the whole team.
Here's how to get started.

engaging staff in a rebranding exercise

I'm often brought in to help companies transition from their very first branding efforts to one that's more suitable for the ways in which they're growing:  They may have set up a basic website when they first started, but now they have a few employees, a few big clients, and they need a brand that is a little more polished and sophisticated.

As I've said before, I think that great brands are built from the inside out. The best brands seem organic and almost inevitable, because they're an accurate reflection of the business and of the people who work there.  Which means that when you undertake a 'rebranding' exercise, it's important to engage employees in the process.  

In my experience, the best way to do this is to gather everyone (or key stakeholders, depending on the size of the organization) together for a workshop session (with pizza is best) in which we discuss the functional and emotional benefits of the company and the current brand identity. Employees become invested in the new brand; more importantly, the session can help identify key insights which form the basis of the new brand identity.

Ask for answers to these key questions

It's important that these workshops are productive and don't deteriorate into free-for-all 'brainstorming' sessions which can drone on for ages and don't really go anywhere.  

So we stick to gathering answers to - and controlled discussion about - these questions:

  1. What made you choose to work at this company?  What made you apply here in the first place?
  2. What's the best thing about working here?
  3. Was there a 'deciding factor' in your decision to work here?
  4. When you're talking to friends/family, what do you say about the company?
  5. When you're talking to colleagues/former co-workers, what do you say about the company?
  6. When you're talking to potential clients, how do you describe the company?
  7. In your opinion, why is this company better than others in the market?
  8. What do you think this company does really, really well?
  9. What do you think this company could do better?
  10. If you had to come up with 3 words to describe this company, what would they be?
  11. If this company was a retail store, what would it be?
  12. If it were a product brand, what would it be?  

Depending on the size of the group, this exercise will take 2-3 hours - but will generate a huge amount of internal brand loyalty and investment as you move forward.


Tagged under : branding rebranding small business

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