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Most Rebranding Efforts Fail for This One Reason

Lack of integration sinks many rebranding efforts before they even get out of the gate. Far too many brands approach rebranding purely from a marketing perspective, which might seem like a strategic choice, but it actually misses one of the most critical components of branding strategy: integration.

In reality, good rebranding starts in the bones of an organization. That means that successful rebrands are deeply integrated from C-suite to the closer.

Why a Rebrand Needs to Be Holistic

Have you ever heard someone refer to something with the phrase ‘the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing’? That phrase perfectly describes a rebranding effort that isn’t fully integrated. 

Hastily planned, leadership-centric rebrands often fall into this category. The reality is that the C-suite is rarely the department with the deepest connection to the customer base. While they have the data and the influence, they don’t necessarily have the hands-on knowledge needed to plot out how changes will truly work as they get implemented down the pike.

There’s no need for gatekeeping in brainstorming ahead of a rebrand. When approaching a rebrand, it’s important for the C-suite to consult with the ground floor. This means using input and guidance from product developers, customer service, sales, and front-facing roles. 

These teams have a handle on what works with customers, what causes frustration and disconnect, and the tools needed to close gaps between expectation and experience. Most are more than willing to share their insights earnestly and constructively when asked in the right way.

Building a New, Improved, and True Brand Identity

Brands can benefit from making a rebrand effort something they build with their teams instead of something that is thrust upon their teams “after the fact.” In addition to creating a better rebuild, this approach also builds morale, confidence, and a sense of having a personal stake in the success of the rebrand. 

Clutch Creative Marketing, a top branding agency in the US, suggests bringing in representatives from each department or region to collect insights into the actual experiences and impressions of customers and employees during a rebrand. When the information is presented to the C-suite, the results are often very different from the consensus that was helping to drive rebranding efforts. This type of integration helps an organization get a read on “mood” regarding company performance. 

For example, the reliable “my pleasure” that all customers hear after a “thank you” when interacting with Chick-fil-A employees is actually a detailed execution of brainstorming and brand identity that flows from the boardroom to the drive-through window. While not every brand’s rebranding needs to hinge on scripted interactions, this model shows what’s possible for establishing brand reliability. For any brand, the feedback provided by teams at all levels allows leadership to understand:

  • What you’re rebranding away from.
  • What you’re rebranding toward.
  • What you need to get there.

“As we work with our clients to complete a brand build-out, we have various listening exercises and games we will play to help the client’s team really dive into who they are and what they offer to the world,” shares Sasha Clark, Founding Partner at Clutch Creative Marketing. 

Like many leading branding firms, Clutch Creative strives to help brands understand that good branding gets to the heart of the product offering and business personality as quickly as possible. This is a complete reversal from the “marketing-message-first” philosophy that so many failed rebranding efforts take on. 

The real reason why most rebrands fail isn’t poor ideas, lack of budget, or unreceptive audiences. Most rebrands fail because they aren’t fully built for reality before leaving the C-suite.

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