The weeks leading up to a launch are exhilarating. All that hard work coming together, and so much anticipation in the air. But there’s something that often gets overlooked in the excitement. Something that can impact the success of your brand before it even has a chance to debut. Something that even the best creative can’t solve on its own.

Your internal activation.

Up to this moment, your team has probably spent months talking to customers, dissecting competitors and engaging leadership. But that’s not enough. Because successful change must be driven from the “inside out.” That is, each and every employee (from the front lines to the corner office), should be able to repeat what your brand stands for, what makes it emotionally compelling, and what their role will be as a brand champion. And that preparation should be happening well before launch. But how?

The answer ultimately depends on the size of your organization. If you still have time before launch, here are three questions to start the conversation:

 

Did the right people shape our brand platform?

Great brands are built from the top down and bottom up, but if either direction is out of touch or not representative of where the company wants and needs to be in the future, then it’s time to re-evaluate the decision-making committee. This might lead to some tough conversations, especially if the rebrand is far along, but it’s especially important to pay attention to from a diversity perspective.

Are our company values aligned with the brand direction?

It often happens that brand platforms and employee values are developed in siloes, which creates friction in the brand experience. For example, a company that positions its brand around transparency needs internal values in place to support open, honest dialogue – otherwise, how will employees feel empowered to deliver on your promise? (Check back next month when we share our tips for developing a set of distinct and memorable values.)

How can we get employees on board with the message?

Companies will sometimes announce a rebrand to employees right before it starts and then circle back with the “finished product.” Building a deeper level of support requires more check-ins along the way, such as sharing key learnings or the rationale for a particular direction. These updates should come from leadership, and the more creative the approach (like a video or “launch kit”), the more likely it will grab people’s attention.

Check out BECU’s Brand Launch video below.

Getting clear on these questions will further cement your brand strategy and position your organization for greater success. In fact, we’ve started building them into our kickoff meetings and have made a practice of revisiting them throughout the strategy and creative phases to make sure they don’t get overlooked.

We want to hear from you! Are you in the midst of a rebrand? How’s it going? Any success stories or best practices to share?

Drop us a line: ann@pbdh.com.