To Rebrand, or not Rebrand, that is the question…

Logo Rebranding and the transition timeline for a mission agency (also applicable to non-profits)

INITIAL CONSIDERATIONS

When rebranding, for whatever reason, the transition to a new logo can be challenging. The key is to prepare internally as much as possible so that the transition appears to be smooth and swift, as it pertains to the team members (mission family) and customer base (donor partners and prayer partners).

This is accomplished by pre-planning, producing collateral, and mirroring online presence ahead of the new logo launch - all in an effort to allow the ‘launch date’ to be practically instantaneous.

(In a missions setting with stewardship considerations, your leadership will have to decide what legacy material is to be either appropriately discarded or used until it is diminished. For example, if you still have 2000 brochures with the previous brand mark, do you recycle the paper, or continue to use it until your stock is depleted and you begin using a newly designed brochure? Good questions to answer as you move through the process).

THE REBRANDING PROCESS

These 9 steps are crucial to the success of a rebranding of your logo. All points should be carefully considered before proceeding.

1. Begin to tell the story

Your internal team needs to hear the why of the rebrand. Attaching a relevant and resonating story to the reasoning behind the need for a new logo will firmly plant in the minds of your current mission family.

2. Don’t compromise who you are, even if you don’t mean to

Pay special attention to how this rebrand is communicated. Don’t allow the outside perspective to raise their brow. Give solid reinforcement that the move is a positive direction and doesn’t adjust the core values of who you are.

3. Get the buy-in

After these first two steps, you need to firmly get the buy-in of your team. After all, they are your best marketers. Without at least a 90% buy-in, the rebrand may not accomplish its purpose, so communicate well, and incentivize their help. Remember, all of their familiarity and resources are about to be shaken and outdated. They’ll need to know that you’re there to back this change and help them through.

4. Streamline, don’t confuse

To successfully rebrand, all older versions of the logo should be eliminated as quickly as possible. By the time of the official launch date, no old logos should be on any computers, stationary, collateral or signage. Nothing should reflect the previous design or color scheme. All team members around the globe should be on-board and help in this process.

5. Don’t just change the logo

Revitalizing your core values and reiterating who you are, possibly with a fresh campaign and new thrust that reminds your customer base of your values - is an effective way to rebrand successfully. Only changing the logo and colors will be a flash in the pan, and a somewhat wasted expense. Capitalize on the change to boost your growth potential. Be sure to allow this change to bring new life and excitement around who you are. Improve internal culture by passionately sharing with your team where you want to be in 5/10/20 years.

6. Name the campaign

As a step in the revitalizing direction, the fresh campaign just mentioned should give a clear focus for the audience. Something like “2020 Vision” is a great name to speak about the launch of the new logo (probably projected for January 2019), speaks of clarity and also hints at the new decade that will host the new brand.

7. Make sure you can maintain the adjustment

Create support materials to help you communicate the branding—from a style guide to an FAQ—and make sure you have a system not only for rolling out your new logo but also an approval process for future communications so your branding stays powerful and consistent for the long haul.

8. Count the cost

Do your homework and get some opinions from the geeks in your office as to where this will hit the wallet. Be ready to spend some cash, and be sure that the cash invested is headed towards the results you want. Here are some considerations for costs:

a. signage and collateral - biggest expense, esp. if you are helping every mission family member replace their existing resources, prayer cards, promo items like pens/mugs/shirts

b. international ripple - what costs are involved on the international scale. what ramifications and additional funds are needed to support the change.

c. finally, is it worth it  - going to this length to change the logo, do you also need to consider a name change, eliminate it altogether, or will the name change come, and the rebranded logo only seem like a wasted expense in the interim. be certain before you proceed.

9. Understand and stick to the timeline

This timeline is a good measure of what could be followed.

MAY
Count the cost and then Prepare the story by beginning to prep the Campaign with a digital document that lays out the following:

1. Campaign thrust

2. Story essentials

3. Changes to visuals

4. Reiteration of core values

5. Passion for internal culture improvements

JUNE
Present document and confirm with leaders and executives that you have their buy-in.
Fine tune the same digital document and prepare it for the global team.

JULY - SEPTEMBER
Once you have confirmed the buy-in, get to work. Identify, then design and layout all physical material (#8a above) that will need to be reproduced to replace the old. Place these designs on file, ready for deployment. Determine lead time for production, add 4 weeks, and back into the launch date to pull the trigger on those orders.

Begin to discuss online changes, social media channel updates, e-documents and internal uses of the old brand, and work to replace these, and have them on file ready to deploy. This includes requesting mirror drafts of your website that are seated and ready for launch.

OCTOBER - DECEMBER
Roll out a time and date for your global team, and also for your customer base, announcing the change. No one likes surprises. Be clear, resolute, and passionate.

JANUARY 15th
Launch.

Why the 15th? No-one wants to have to skip Christmas to make this happen on the first of the year 🙂

Organize ahead of time to have all collateral, new apparel and promo items delivered on or the week of the launch date. Don’t stress, just plan ahead.
Arrange with the sign company to have the new logo mounted in place on the walls of your offices and out on the roadside on the day of the launch date.

Set the website and other social media channels to switch on the afternoon/evening of the 14th, so that most of the global team sees it (upon waking up) on the 15th.

This launch should be massive to you, and almost unnoticed by the world. When a potential candidate is on the website on the 14th, and then again on the 15th, their response should be, “Oh, that’s cool, they just updated their logo”... and that’s all they should notice - other than maybe a call-to-action (CTA) banner on the site that invites them to join the mission under the new campaign.

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