Rebranding Essentials - Part 5: Create and Launch the New Brand Identity

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Posted Aug 24, 2011
Susan Gunelius

Rebranding doesn’t begin or end with creating a new brand identity. However, it is an important part of the rebranding process. Once you’ve determined your rebranding goals, learned the steps of rebranding, done some rebranding research, and considered the rebranding mistakes that you don’t want to commit, it’s finally time to create and launch your new brand identity, messaging, image, position, and so on (depending on your rebranding goals).

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Rebranding Identity: Create Your New Brand Identity

Whether your rebranding goals and initiatives include creating a new logo, new packaging, new messaging, or establishing a new image, you need to create some form of a new brand identity. Fortunately, I wrote an entire series called How to Brand that teaches you how to create a brand in six easy-to-read parts. The first three parts of that series cover the basics that you need to follow in order to create your new brand identity. Follow the links below and read all three articles to ensure you know how to create a brand identity successfully:

  1. Research the Market and Consumers
  3. Identify Brand Values
  5. Create Brand Messages and Brand Image

Rebranding Launch: Internal and External Brand Roll-out

When your new brand identity is ready for the world to see, it’s time to slow down. Don’t roll out your new brand without first doing an internal launch. If your employees don’t buy into your new brand identity, why should customers? You must educate your employees about your brand first!

You need to train all of your employees about what the new brand identity is, how it should be used, what it means, and why it matters. Don’t just give employees pens, paperweights, or magnets with your new logo or tagline printed on them, and don’t hand out laminated cards with the 10 new brand values or strategic imperatives. These are meaningless to employees unless you make them mean something. In other words, you need to turn your employees on to your brand. Make them believe in it, feel passionate about it, and become emotionally connected to it.

For example, CSC created a comprehensive website, the CSC Styleguide, that offers all of the information internal and external audiences need in order to understand and use the CSC brand identity. The internal section of the website is available to employees only and requires employee login to access. CSC took the time to understand how important internal buy in is to its brand success and invested time and money in providing easy-to-access information and educational tools so employees can get on board and stay on board with the brand. It’s a great example of a well executed rebranding launch.

csc brand identity guidelines

After your employees are comfortable with the new brand identity, it’s time to roll it out to consumers and the audience at large. Depending on how different your new brand identity is and how consumers are likely to react to it based on your consumer research that you conducted during the rebranding process (see Part 3 of the Rebranding Essentials Series), the extent of your roll-out might include advertising, direct mail, email, websites, social media, and more.

Don’t be afraid to get creative in an effort to spread the word about your rebranding and to raise awareness, recognition, and acceptance of your new brand identity. In 2010 after becoming an independent company, TimeWarner Cable launched a tweaked new logo. As part of the roll-out, Time Warner Cable Senior Vice President of Marketing Communications Marrissa Freeman recorded a very informal YouTube video where she discussed the marketing team’s thought process on why the rebranding was necessary and what it means to consumers. You can watch the video below, which was originally published on the Time Warner Cable YouTube Channel.

Time Warner cable wasn’t the first company to create a video and publish it on YouTube to launch a new logo. When AOL split from Time Warner in 2009, the company launched a new logo along with a sneak peak preview video that debuted on the special AOL Brand Identity YouTube channel one month before the new brand identity officially rolled out. The video not only debuted the new logo but also made it clear that the new AOL image would be trendy, modern, and young, a far cry from the previous AOL that still held the stigma of mailing dial-up America Online CDs to people. It was a great rebranding effort that was well-accepted. Check out that video below.

Part 4 of the How to Brand series teaches you how to educate people about your brand -- both internal and external audiences -- and Part 5 teaches you how to create emotional brand involvement and branded experiences, so consumers are able to connect with your new brand identity, believe it, and trust it. Finally, Part 6 teaches you how to monitor brand perception to ensure your brand is going in the right direction. Be sure to read those articles thoroughly before you launch your own internal and external rebranding initiatives!

Once you roll out your new brand identity, your work isn’t done. Next, you need to measure, research, and tweak, which you’ll learn about in Part 6 of the Rebranding Essentials series. Check back soon for that article on the AYTM blog.

If you missed any of the previous parts of the Rebranding Essentials series, just follow the links below to read them now:


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