How To Gain Stakeholder Buy-In For Rebranding

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 Jim, an Executive Director at a nonprofit organization in Seattle, Washington who writes:

I work for a nonprofit organization that needs to rebrand. I am getting resistance from the board and a major client. Do you have any advice to help me get the buy-in I need to accomplish this without alienating critical stakeholders?

Hi Jim, thanks for your question. Given the resistance to the rebranding effort, I would start with a survey of key stakeholders to determine how they are feeling about the organization and its brand including the strength of its unique value proposition, its traction against competitive organizations, any concerns, etc. Without being too biased or leading, help the organization’s stakeholders come to their own conclusions by getting them to think about the issues that could be solved by a rebranding effort. I wouldn’t initially talk about rebranding.

I would then share the results of the survey and create a discussion around it. If people begin to see the need for some changes, I would then talk about brand strategy refinement. If the discussion starts out as a strategic discussion, it avoids the issue of people’s attachments to specific brand identity elements. I might then conduct more customer research to determine organization and brand perceptions. Using all of this input, I would conduct a consensus-building brand positioning workshop with key stakeholders. The result should be a new brand positioning statement including the brand’s essence, promise, archetype and personality.

The organization may also need to revisit its mission, vision and values as well as its purpose. This could also be accomplished in a one-day consensus-building workshop. These strategy refinements could lead to a new story, tagline, “elevator speech” and other brand identity elements. By this time, key stakeholders are very likely to understand why the changes are necessary and even beneficial. Bring everyone along with you in the process – one step at a time.

Jim, these posts will also help you make your case:

Brand Consulting: How To Gain Buy-In For Outside Help

Why Brands Drive Financial And Business Results

Do you have a question related to branding? Just Ask The Blake Project

The Blake Project Can Help You Think Through Your Rebranding Strategy: Email Us

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