Of all the challenges that come with rebranding a company, getting internal stakeholders and investors on board is one of the most difficult. Here are three steps for approaching it.
Make the case
Though in many instances the potential for improvement through rebranding a company is evident, internal stakeholders may need to be convinced. It's critical to make a compelling case internally that a shift needs to occur for future success. Provide clear evidence of current issues and paint a picture of what the company stands to become through rebranding.
Crafting an argument for a major company shift both gets investors excited about the potential changes and helps to ensure that internal and external marketing campaigns are in sync.
Map the route to results
Exactly what, your stakeholders may be wondering, will the rebranding consist of? A company might seek a shift in any number of areas — a corporate name change, for one. Kentucky Fried Chicken went this route when it became KFC.
Your stakeholders might need help thinking beyond this obvious rebranding example. Perhaps you need to update your selection of products and services, as J.Crew did when it repositioned itself as a retailer of upscale basics like cashmere cardigans and tank tops. Or maybe your business has grown to a point where it's time to spin off certain lines into uniquely branded divisions or even separate companies, lest your branding become too complicated and watered down. This is what the former Kraft Foods did when its snack business became Mondelēz International.
Make personal contact
Once the case for and details of the rebranding have been articulated, senior management needs to get squarely behind it. Company leadership should communicate personally with internal stakeholders about why changes are being made, where the company is headed and what the potential is for improved financial results. That's really what they want to know — how will the rebranding enhance the company's value? So talk it through and answer their questions, in person whenever possible.
As marketing campaigns are finalized, share them with internal stakeholders first, both to confirm their support of the changes and to get them enthused about what's to come.