Recognizing the Need for a Change
Why build a business case for your rebrand? You know when your business needs one. There are lots of warning signs that indicate the need for a new brand. Whether it’s new, high-performing competition, an outdated look and feel, uninspired employees, dropping engagement and productivity within the workplace, trouble recruiting or retaining top talent, or a brand that’s simply fallen behind its own positioning, you need a change. Often those in HR and marketing are the first to notice the need for a change. The current brand is just no longer doing the work it needs to do to move your business forward, outperform competitors, and attract the best-fit talent to your company. And your business is faltering as a result.
Gathering Support from Leadership
But the fact is, in order to change your brand, you need backing and leadership support. The top of your organization is only going to invest in a rebrand if they are confident it will pay off for their business. And tight budgets and an uncertain economy make it even harder to make the case. That means it’s even more important to build a strong, clear case that persuades decision-makers that the investment in a new brand will, in fact, position the business for success.
Often, people don’t realize the true connections between brand and business – that the way the brand lives and functions changes customer perception, shifts behavior, and impacts the overall financial performance of a business. At Emotive Brand, we understand that a thriving brand = a thriving business. But how do you communicate this value and persuade the decision-makers in the room to get on board?
Building a Strong Business Case For Your Rebrand
Because this is a large decision with large impact, there are a lot of questions surrounding the potential impact of a new brand. Questions like: How can we position the brand for long-term success? Will the brand architecture shift? How much do we need to invest? What’s the value for customers? For employees? How does the brand change impact brand behavior? Revenue? ROI?
Of course, every business is different and therefore demands a different case to answer these questions. So make sure you tailor your case to your business’ specific concerns, visions, goals, and objectives. Internalize where your business is struggling, where it could go, and how it could get there. Here is some general advice for building a strong business case:
1. Identify what’s at stake.
Clearly articulate the need for a new brand. Quantitative and qualitative measurements are not mutually exclusive. Use both to paint a picture of the current state, where the brand is faltering, and where it could go. Often, mapping the current brand to business goals and objectives can demonstrate how off kilter the two really are. Don’t forget to inject an emotional appeal as well. Since the people you are speaking with also work at your company, they will empathize and understand the story you are telling.
2. Do your research.
Identifying competitor companies or other organizations with previously similar problems can help bring the value of a rebrand to life. Show how a change in brand has transformed like-minded businesses to demonstrate how a new brand could do the same for you. Using your potential brand strategy agency’s case studies might be particularly useful here. Point out untapped audiences your brand might help you capture, or draw attention to outdated brand behaviors that are stalling business. Make sure to do internal research as well. Listen to people’s concerns and internalize top leader’s greatest worries. Make sure you focus on these concerns and explain how a new brand might address them.
3. Spell out connections.
Like we said, for many in the room, the connections between brand and business may not be clear. When building a business case, you have to make sure that the brand’s potential impact on business is explicit. Communicate and demonstrate how the two are not mutually exclusive or hardly connected. In fact, they are interconnected, each driving the other, and potentially thriving as a result. Brand strategy is mapped directly to business strategy. Help people understand the ways in which a brand can change things like purchase behavior and customer perception and how these shifts then ladder back to business performance.
4. Look to the future.
Although current obstacles and problems should be addressed, your business case must also look forward. The potential future of your business is what will inspire and motivate. A new brand is a step forward for a company and should be addressed as so – a fresh start, a new opportunity, untapped territory for success. So get people excited about the future.
5. Outline the payoffs.
Even though you are making a business case, it’s not just about hard ROI (although this is most definitely a large part of the story). Focus on every way in which in the brand might add value.
A strong, emotive brand will lead to increased sales and revenues. Marketing and advertising will be better positioned to increase the lifetime value of customers in your target audience. And you will waste less money on marketing to customers who do not connect with your brand. Examining how your brand impacts financial results is important to maximizing your business value, maintaining competitive advantage, and increasing profitability in the long-term.
Successful recruitment and retention efforts:
Employees should be your greatest brand champions. Building a brand that everyone can rally behind, makes top employees less likely to leave and the right employees more likely to come to your company.
Brand strategy is one of the surest ways to identify where leaders are misaligned. These discrepancies might be stalling business and keeping you from moving forward in pace with a competitive market. Getting leadership on the same page with a shared vision, and a way of getting there, is one of the best things you can do for your business.
A stronger and more meaningful culture:
If your employees live your brand promise everyday, the brand will shine from the inside out, and your business will, in turn, thrive. This is because meaningful culture leads to more inspired leadership and employees, higher levels of engagement, productivity, creativity, and innovation. Businesses that want to compete need employees who believe in their brand and business, and feel validated by their workplace culture everyday. As result, these are the people who give your business the momentum to advance with the times.
Increased brand awareness:
Brand recognition, connection, and engagement are key to a thriving business. When people recognize your brand, your brand is able to grow. And increased awareness of a brand that can emotionally connect with people means increased loyalty, as well as a higher lifetime value for customers.
Building a strong, persuasive, and clear business case that appeals to the worries, concerns, objectives, hopes, and dreams of the decision-makers in the room can help gather the investment and support your brand needs to move your business forward.
Emotive Brand is a San Francisco brand strategy and design agency.