5 Tips for Brands in Transition

K4 is big on brand consistency!  So when it came time for a website redesign we needed to be certain to practice what we preach and update not only the website but also our logo, marketing collateral, business cards, PowerPoint presentations, envelopes, letterhead, email campaigns, social media headers and profile pictures, trade show banners, promo items, and more.  While the brand conversion remains a work in progress, you can be sure we are experiencing many of the same things as banks and credit unions when trying to update our look and appeal to our target market while remaining true to our core values and legacy.  Here are five tips that we feel can lend to the financial industry when going through the re-branding exercise; and can also help to lessen the blood, sweat and tears that can often accompany the process.  As you approach the big reveal of your new brand, know that the transition period between old and new brand identity should be closely managed to ensure the acceptance and long-term success of your re-branding efforts.

Perform a Brand Audit

What impression do you want give off versus what impression are you actually making?   Is your brand consistently communicated via all of your marketing assets from the physical side with your branch exteriors/interiors to the digital side of website and social media to your print marketing materials and community involvement?  If not, how can you implement consistency amongst your various marketing channels?  How can the new brand identity be applied successfully to each?

For your branches, brand audit questions can include:

  • Is there consistency in the pallet of materials and colors used amongst your facilities?
  • Is the application of your logo and your tag line consistent from marketing materials to the physical signage to the digital signage and graphics?
  • Can someone look at your facility and quickly identify your brand?
  • Can someone look at your website, mobile, and/or social media and receive the same experience as they would inside the branch?

Boost Your Visibility and Gain Feedback

Be part of the conversation and part of the community.  Get social about how you plan to refresh your brand and even post ideas and concepts on your social media platforms.  Put it out there, and encourage people (both employees and members or customers) to give you feedback!  Get them to buy-in and make them feel they are a part of the process.  We did this and received a lot of great feedback from our customers and followers, insights that we missed being so close to the project.  It was like a free focus group from our target audience.  We made many changes based on those suggestions as these are the people we want to appeal to in the first place.

Communication is Key

From the construction signs to the employee questions regarding changes to selling the brand conversion to stakeholders, be sure to always be able to answer “Why?”  Transparency and clarity are essential here and confusion can be detrimental to re-branding efforts as well as discouraging to those team members actually making it happen.  Bad morale regarding upcoming changes can spread like wildfire and should be prevented and addressed with consistent internal and external communication.  More than just construction signage and/or renderings communicating a new look to the public, changes should be supported with detailed and enthusiastic project descriptions on the company website and social media.  Getting employees to engage when asking about future changes can also increase the excitement surrounding a project.  Proper training on how to educate the public on upcoming changes and a clear direction for explaining the changes should be implemented.

Managing the Conversion Process

Congrats!  You’ve made it past the “Why” and onto explaining the “How,” “When,” and “Where.”  How will this affect employees, operations, and members/customers?  When will the changes take place?  Where can we direct questions during the process?  Make sure you roll out the brand conversion consistently, or if doing it on a timeline, update everyone of sequence of the process.

It is extremely important that the conversion be managed successfully from the design and the development process, but it is equally important that you and your team manage the expectations of your members or customers.  We recently had a client stress to us the importance of renderings to a remodel project and how they were crucial to setting a managed expectation.  What the public saw on the renderings got them excited and they knew what to expect, so it made them more tolerant to the inconvenience of the remodel.

The Big Reveal

It’s a great idea to first reveal internally and get your employees to buy into the brand conversion before going public with the refresh.  When you are ready to go live with all the changes, engage again on social media to not only drive traffic to your newly remodeled facility or website, but to encourage engagement with your new brand.  Tease the event to the public leading up to the big reveal and then educate them about the changes post implementation.