Your staff knows something’s up. There are more meetings than usual, agency types are walking in with presentation pieces, and rumors are floating around about a new logo or maybe even a new name.
Your employees may not say anything, but they’ve noticed. They may have concerns about what’s going on and what it means for them. And you can be sure they have questions.
If your company is thinking about rebranding, we’ll tell you what we tell the clients we lead through the process: Your employees will be on the front lines of establishing and upholding that brand. Make them feel included in the process sooner rather than later.
That’s not the same as letting everyone be a decision-maker, by the way. Trying to reach consensus when everyone has a vote is a recipe for—well, a whole lot of things, none of them good.
But we believe the way you unveil a brand internally is almost as critical as the way you roll it out to the public. And we’ve helped numerous companies navigate both phases smoothly and successfully.
Recently we worked with L. O. Eye Care – formerly Lansing Ophthalmology – to help evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the old name, transition to a new name and develop a new visual brand.
“We’d been Lansing Ophthalmology for almost 50 years,” said Lisa Rentz, director of marketing. “We knew there were going to be mixed emotions, even a sense of loss, about a name change.”
We worked with Lisa to develop strategies for explaining the change to staff, keeping them informed throughout the process and preparing them for questions they’d likely encounter from the public.
“Everything hinged on the staff having enough information to understand and be comfortable with the changes,” she said. “And, of course, to be confident in answering questions from our patients.”
Coordinating the transition internally was a significant undertaking, Lisa acknowledged – from phone-answering protocol to making sure everyone had a newly branded t-shirt and water bottle. One thing we advised – and she quickly agreed – was to build in some fun for the employees along the way.
“Even positive change can be stressful,” she said. “We wanted to make sure our staff knew we appreciated them and their hard work and support.” Lisa made sure that small gifts and unexpected treats were part of the days leading up to the unveiling.
There’s no “right” formula for an internal rollout. Like so many things in our industry, it all depends on your company’s particular situation, style and people. Our job is to help you arrive at the right approach, strategies and tactics for your organization. But if you make the employees part of the process early on, keep them in the loop and factor in some fun, it goes a long way toward making sure your new brand has the best possible start.