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Maintaining Commitment To Branding Efforts


Rebranding Strategy

Branding Strategy Insider helps marketing oriented leaders and professionals like you build strong brands. BSI readers know, we regularly answer questions from marketers everywhere. Today we hear from Karen, a VP of Marketing in Washington, D.C. who writes…

“We serve various government sectors and completed a complex rebrand last year for our B2B company. We needed to build some distance from a government contract name that evolved into serving as a name for a division of our company, giving us two identities. All key stakeholders were in full alignment on the decisions that were made during the rebrand. Now we have a major customer questioning these decisions, influencing some stakeholders to rethink the path we have chosen after a great deal of work. What suggestions do you have for staying the course and facing resistance from customers and employees who prefer our identity the way it was?”

Thanks for your question Karen. It’s always hard when, having taken decisions and set a path, someone wants to revisit the decisions. From what you’ve said here, it looks like you’ve put in the hard yards to get the organization back to the point where it has a single name and with that, one assumes, a new identity that reflects that sense of who you want to be. You don’t identify who’s leading the charge for a reversion at the major customer, or whether they were involved all along in the rebranding consultation, but let’s assume they had some involvement and that they were consulted. The key point is that your brand is your brand – not theirs. Their views are important because they are a major customer, which is why they would have been consulted, but equally it’s not their role to tell you what your brand is.

Assuming you want to stay the course, here are three things you could do. Firstly, shore up support for the brand with all stakeholders by reminding them why the historic situation was untenable, thanking them for their efforts in helping you make a decision and walking them through the extensive work you did once the decision had been taken.

Secondly, do the same with staff. These two steps should help restore confidence. Finally, if your major customer is still unhappy, perhaps meet with them to carefully go through their concerns. Why are they so worried about the new name? What do they fear is happening or is going to happen? Who is upset and why? Does this issue go deeper than the naming and reflect underlying concerns on their part about the relationship itself? You may be surprised by what comes to light.

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