As an Account Strategist at Emotive Brand, Sarah plays a pivotal role in helping us transform global brands in to more empathetic, purpose-led, and meaningful companies. Her ability to connect the worlds of writing, research, strategy, and design make her the perfect point person for tackling the nuances and challenges of bringing a new brand strategy to life.
In this post, Sarah shares her thoughts on why a global brand rollout can be tricky, gives guidelines on how to tackle obstacles that might arise, and execute a successful maximum-impact launch.
A global re-brand is a large undertaking. Where do you begin?
The real challenge for any global brand rollout is the challenge of execution. The bigger the brand, the more links in the chain. So when we embark on any global project we engage people across the organization and talk about implementation first. We make sure to get a clear understanding of all their brand channels, both internal and external. Understanding the complexities of a brand’s communication system allows us to come up with the strategic and tactical solutions that will make our work together smarter and easier to execute.
Who needs to be involved in a global re-brand? And how do you engage the right people at the right place and time?
It’s critical to involve a variety of stakeholders from the beginning of any global assignment. We strive to interview as many global players as we can to get a broad understanding of the unique challenges and opportunities that vary from region to region and to elicit the common themes that unite the brand. When developing the brand strategy for a global organization, key components like the brand’s Promise, Emotional Impact, and Positioning Statement should be crafted with company leaders because they are the drivers of the overarching business strategy. Once these strategic pillars have been established, we begin to include regional managers to gain their perspective on how to best adapt messaging and/or a campaign to their markets and audiences.
How is the creative process different for a global re-brand?
No matter how big or small the organization, a brand’s emotional impact is the driving force in the creative phase. The feelings a brand evokes should feel the same no matter what region or location. When developing a creative concept that has global reach, we have to be mindful that certain photography or language can be interpreted in different ways from culture to culture. What makes someone feel confident in the US might not make someone feel confident in Asia. Adapting an idea to suit different cultures and outlooks — while remaining true to the brand strategy— is a must for global brands. Making sure the creative and emotional elements tick all the boxes across an organization can be tricky, but if done smartly, it can prevent a creative concept from falling flat.
How do you maximize the impact of a global re-brand launch?
Today, we have technology to help us improve coordination and communication for launching a new brand, but there is also a higher expectation for relevant, localized execution. Cross-organization collaboration and a Go-To-Market strategy help put the right plan in place – telling the right stories, in the right channels, at the right time. To increase the impact of a global brand launch, part of the strategic plan should be laying some groundwork to prepare internal and external audiences for what’s to come. While a big flashy reveal can be fun and intriguing, it’s important to pace out your brand rollout over time – people are more likely to pay attention and stay excited if you engage them in digestible and personally meaningful ways.
Emotive Brand is a San Francisco branding agency.