6 Foundation Blocks to Deliver a Successful Rebrand - Lego Style!
In the first article in our series around professional services, we looked at how brand goes beyond the logo.
We highlighted how relevance, coherence, and participation were key to truly engage clients with your brand experience. But before your brand even gets to your client, there needs to be considerable internal alignment- and this is what we want to address here today.
At Tangent, we have a tonne of experience in creating purpose led brands in professional services, particularly digital brand transformations. So, we thought you might like to hear about some of the principles that we use to build them:
1 - Leadership commitment is essential
Without it, your brand transformation is likely to be a short-lived marketing effort with limited return on investment. There needs to be an appetite for change amongst the key decision makers. Senior leaders need to have a clear understanding of the expected output, their anticipated level of involvement, and, of course, the required investment. Most importantly, they must be willing to engage in and publicly support the digital transformation process. Input and approval from the leadership on any new platform is key, and once developed, they should embrace it as a key component of overall leadership strategy and messaging. Buy in, in order to sell out.
2 - Open the process and be consultative
Professional service brands are living, breathing entities. People sit behind the product or service on offer, and these people are in the trenches selling and delivering work each day. When developing or refining your brand, it is imperative to engage firm employees throughout the process. Publicise the initiative and get opinions from as many firm employees as possible. Not only will they have a wealth of insight that will lead to better solutions, they are much more likely to embrace and deliver your ultimate recommendations.
3 - Every opinion matters
It is key to recognise that every opinion matters – not just those of the equity partners. The insights of "Steffan" in the IT team is just as valid as "Nicole" Head of Private Equity. After all, it is all these individuals who live and breathe the brand and the experience that it offers on a daily basis. It is these individuals who form the essence of the firm. They are your brand.
4 - Define your purpose
We’ve covered this in our previous post, but it’s worth reiterating that to define a meaningful purpose, you must move beyond capability stories and start building greater depth into your brands. Clients today want to know what makes your firm tick. They want to know what drives the firm forward and what motivates your employees to get out of bed each morning. Identify key themes of your brand’s purpose by answering questions to the ‘What, Why and How’ of your brand.
5 - Build on your foundation
We use themes as the foundation to build brand’s visual language and brand toolkits to be used in all future comms. It’s important to have enough flexibility to be creative within future applications and create coherent experience that appear familiar but don’t restrict creativity. The brand is not just what you see rationally, it has an emotional intelligence that communicates a deeper meaning.
6 - From the inside out
Marketing campaigns and adverts are not just for media-centric companies – they serve a purpose in professional services too, but the delivery needs to be carefully considered. A splashy ad campaign is nice, but it doesn’t mean anything if the firm isn’t geared up to actually deliver on a campaign’s promises. In order to facilitate this delivery, your teams need to appreciate how to improve the power of the client promise and message to the market through behaviour and compelling content.
Brand success is notoriously hard to quantify, but according to a recent Havas study, brands with purpose outperform the stock market by 134%. Make no mistake you will not please every single stakeholder with your new brand direction, but if you follow our process, you will have the confidence and belief that’s it the right thing to do.
It’s also worth reminding that working in a highly regulated industry doesn't mean that you can’t push boundaries. If you identify your brand truths and place them at the heart of everything you do, you will build a foundation that supports everything - from the way you behave, to the way you engage. You will attract the people who share and the businesses who align with your values. It requires commitment and dedication to protect your brand integrity, and generate rewarding results for your firm. So next time someone mentions rebrand… just do it!