Insight

How to Get Buy-in for Your Rebrand

So, your organization has made the decision to rebrand. While it may seem that getting consensus on this decision was a challenge in and of itself, your work to gain buy-in is just getting started. Now, we’re not saying this to scare you, but rather to help you face this challenge head-on. It’s best to prepare as much as possible before the rebrand starts to help identify potential roadblocks, establish a process for decision-making, and alleviate any unnecessary stress from this exciting venture.

A rebrand is often one of the most challenging projects an organization will go through––but it can also be the most rewarding. We want to help you enjoy leading this process as much as possible.

Sometimes getting buy-in throughout a rebranding process is just a box to check, ensuring you’re getting approvals as needed along the way. But the value of getting buy-in is something that shouldn’t be overlooked. Internal alignment won’t just help you streamline the process, it’ll also strengthen the success of the new brand rollout when it’s time to go public. Having brand advocates from the inside out is a true advantage, and there’s no better time than when undergoing a rebrand to help champion it among your internal stakeholders.

What does buy-in look like for your organization?

It’s important to note, getting buy-in doesn’t always mean the same thing as getting approvals. Sure, sometimes it does, but we make this distinction because it can help you identify particular milestones throughout the rebrand journey to secure buy-in versus milestones where internal approvals are necessary. For example, it can help to invite particular stakeholders to a presentation on research and discovery findings to allow them the opportunity to absorb relevant information that will be used to guide future decisions.

We often like to think of buy-in as a way toward necessary approvals — bringing stakeholders into the fold throughout the process will help them feel like they literally have a stake in influencing the outcomes. Then, when it comes time to get the green light on a particular decision, there hopefully won’t be any surprises or misunderstandings because you’ve done the due diligence upfront to keep decision-makers in the loop.

But, who should you bring into the rebranding process? Here’s a quick list of audiences to consider depending on your organizational structure:

  • C-Suite
  • Board of Directors
  • Employees
  • Members
  • Chapters/Affiliates

Remember, there may be a key distinction between looping certain groups in for buy-in rather than approvals, which may change depending on the stage of the process.

Tips to Help Gain Buy-in throughout the Rebrand Process

Now that we’ve covered why it’s so valuable to place an emphasis on getting buy-in for your rebrand, here are a few tips to help you achieve it:

  • Start with Structure – before the rebrand is underway, it’s important to outline the structure of your decision-making process, and then identify the moments along the way where gaining buy-in will be most valuable. All of the little wins will add up to a bigger win in the end. If you’re working with an external partner on your rebrand, they should be able to help you with this critical step. Outlining this ahead of time will make for a more prepared and proactive project journey.
  • Identify Decision Makers – determine who the key decision-makers will be and provide clarity on roles to all who will be involved before the process begins. This will help set clear expectations of what is needed, who it is needed from, and when.
  • Gather Opinions – include key stakeholders as participants in your research. This could mean inviting them to participate in surveys, interviews, focus groups, or workshops, depending on their role. By gathering their input through your research tactics, they will feel heard and may be more inclined to be confident in future decisions knowing their opinions were assessed. This can also help them feel more comfortable with the process by being more involved in it.
  • Rely on Research – once the research process has wrapped up, use this milestone as an opportunity to share the findings with appropriate stakeholders. Bringing them into the fold at this stage will give them a preview of the direction the rebrand may take. You should also be prepared to turn to this research again, and again, throughout the process. It’s important you help others keep this top of mind as future decisions are made.
  • Subjective vs Objective Decision Making – we’ve seen it happen again and again — “I don’t like the color orange.” I think that looks like XYZ.” “I don’t like that word.” It can be easy to fall back on subjective decision making, especially when there are strong opinions involved in the process. While your research can help guide your team to make objective decisions, you should also be open to feedback. They may have a perspective to share that hasn’t been considered yet. But at the end of the day, remind your team that your target audiences should be top of mind — what will resonate most with them? It can also be helpful to leverage external support for some of these tough conversations — tap into the expertise of the firm you’re working with to help facilitate meetings, share presentations, and discuss feedback.

When it comes time to unveil the rebrand, there are a few things you can do to equip your internal audiences with tools to embrace this change. Developing a brand toolkit complete with messaging, visuals, and even branded swag can help motivate your team. If you have chapters or affiliate groups as a part of your organization, these toolkits can be an extremely valuable asset to provide guidance on how they can adopt the refreshed brand. Another option is to host an open forum or training opportunities for your internal teams. Use these touchpoints to share key messages on the value and intention of the rebrand and how it will be communicated to external audiences. Your internal audiences should be stewards of this message, so getting everyone on the same page is important.

For those that have already started on the rebranding process, and buy-in wasn’t secured or thought about, or maybe new people have entered into the process, don’t abandon the work you’ve already done. Believe in what you’ve started and map out a plan for getting key stakeholders up to speed. Some slight changes may be warranted, but remember: data and research can be your best friend.

Every organization is unique and you’ll need to tailor an approach that works best for your internal structure. We hope these tips will help you navigate the intricacies and embrace the value of getting buy-in for your rebrand.

Amanda McCarthy's headshot

Amanda McCarthy

As Director of Marketing, Amanda motivates brands to explore new tactics and methods of connecting with audiences. She gets to the heart of the matter by using art, data, and science to create customer-first experiences that serve a purpose.

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