Implementation 101:

Rebranding made easy

At TenTen, we understand that your rebrand represents much more than just a new logo. It’s a moment of great transformation for your organization. But that doesn’t mean you need to break the bank getting there. In this article, we’ll walk you through our Top 5 recommendations for keeping costs in check. Because with the right implementation partner, your rebrand can be both impactful and affordable.

The True Cost of Rebranding:

How to Save Time, Money (And Advil)

You love everything about your new brand. It captures the essence of your organization perfectly. Senior leadership believes in it. Employees buy into it. You can’t wait to share it with the world.

Great stuff, right? But as implementation specialists, we know the question that inevitably comes next, because we hear it all the time:

“So-o-o-o-o, what’s this rebrand going to cost me?”

Up until this moment every dollar’s been in scope—research, strategy, logo, visual and verbal identities. Your brand foundation is set and paid for. But for too many, now comes the great financial unknown: rollout and implementation. Launching your new brand internally and externally. Activating it across an interconnected ecosystem of physical and digital experiences. Creating real stuff—signage, banners, brochures, digital properties—for the real world. The list goes on and on. So too can the price.

Which brings us back to the money question.

Truth is, there just isn’t a simple, off-the-shelf, one-size-fits-all answer. Nor should there be. Why? Because no two rebrands are alike.

For instance, size definitely matters—from your employee headcount to number of locations and geographic reach. So does the WOW factor for unveiling your rebrand. Some high profile launches demand a big splash while others call for more of a soft rollout. How, when and where physical touchpoints are converted to your new brand also influences cost. Smaller companies, and those that exist primarily in the digital space, will have fewer to flip, while larger, multi-location organizations (think regional banks or healthcare systems) may have hundreds of branded experiences to contend with.

Bottom line: we really can’t give you an accurate price until we know more about your brand’s unique situation. Here’s our Top 5 tips for saving you time, money, and yes, headaches throughout your rebranding journey:

1.

Start talking about implementation early on

Don’t think about your rebrand as a relay race: Research hands off to Strategy. Strategy hands off to Design. Design (finally) hands off to Implementation. Include us from the very beginning, and engage us throughout the developmental process. That way we can get a jump on planning, site visits, resource allocation and budgeting.

2.

Prioritize what needs to be done now… and what can wait

Ask the average marketer when they need rebranded materials ready, and they will undoubtedly answer, “Day One!” Sure, that’s possible, but it will cost you plenty. Good news is that you don’t need to have everything in hand by then.

Our strategy for keeping costs down is to focus on having the right tools, templates and guidelines ready by a launch and convert only the most appropriate materials ahead of time. Taking an approach like this can solve for a few things: 1) by prioritizing high-impact branded touchpoints, it will ensure the organization is prepared to go to market by a specific date, 2) it will allow you to show the change is real and 3) it will allow you to keep costs down by potentially leveraging natural inventory lifecycles and budgets.

Yes, there are many exceptions to the rule that might prevent one from waiting to convert materials. But, more often than not, this approach is very plausible and knowing how to prioritize can save you a lot of money. How much? We helped a large healthcare organization save $22 million by defining not just what needed to change, but when it needed to change. 

3. 

Creatively engage your employees at launch

Rebrands are all about engagement. The reason you set out on this journey—and the reason leadership is willing to invest in it—is to engage your customers (current and prospective) in such a way that turns interest into engagement, and engagement into advocacy. No group is more critical to that success than your employees. They absolutely need to be motivated and highly engaged from the get go. How you intend to launch your brand is critical to an employee’s understanding of and adoption to a new brand.

But that doesn’t necessitate flashy events and branded bling. Some of the most successful launches are also among the least expensive to produce. That’s where creativity kicks in. A recent rebrand centered on the idea of relationship building. Rather than scheduling an all-company event in an expensive amphitheater, the company encouraged more intimate “coffee breaks” across campus for employees who didn’t typically interact with one another. With just branded coffee mugs and a free cup of joe, costs were kept low. But employees raved at its success. The simple, yet creative idea reinforced the brand’s long standing belief in doing business face-to-face, person to person.

4.

DIY some of the work in-house… but not all of it

If you’ve planned your implementation properly, and if you have the available resources internally (typically design and production), there’s no reason why you can’t roll up your sleeves to help keep costs down. Just remember to pick your spots. Your qualified employees will have other responsibilities on their plates. Or they may have the best intentions, but realize too late that they’re in over their heads.

Typically, we find that the best approach is a collaboration between internal teams and external subject matter experts. But, more important than having partners is knowing how to divide the work – there are areas where it’s more efficient to have a partner take the work off your plate vs. having internal resources deliver the work. The right implementation plan (and partner) will divide the work in a way that makes sense, allowing your teams to stay involved and have input, while leveraging an expert where it’s more efficient.

5.

Think of rebranding as a long-term investment

Launch and implementation are like an airplane zooming down the runway. We tend to put our blinders on, thinking only of the moment when our rebrand “takes flight.” But the credits don’t roll when we hit a cruising altitude. There’s still so much more to be done. Which is a good thing.

As you expand, new employees will need to be trained, new locations will need to be converted and new experiences will need to be created. New customer segments will need to be engaged in new mediums. So in reality, your rebrand isn’t just about getting to Day One…it’s about everything that happens afterwards.. Having a solid plan and the right tools in place will ensure you’re prepared. And being prepared, both for what’s known and the unexpected, will help put you in the right mindset to spend your resources in the most impactful way possible.

About the author

Darren Horwitz founded TenTen in 2015 because he believes that implementation planning and brand governance are the key to optimizing any brand. With a keen eye for efficiency, Darren has been instrumental in helping clients build their brand activation plans and ongoing management models, no matter where they’re starting from. He finds great satisfaction in creating the strategic, tactical, and practical solutions that lead to client success.

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