March 31st, 2012
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.
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:
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.
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