When it comes to rebranding, there’s no room for mistakes

October 21, 2014 Steve Pollard

When it comes to rebranding, there’s no room for mistakes

Ah, the rebranding conundrum. Companies don’t want to lose valuable brand equity and awareness that they’ve worked so hard to build, but they also don’t want to become stale and stagnant. Within an existing brand are equities that the brand has built over time such as taglines, colors and implied messages that are consistently repeated in communications and represent the hundreds of options for communicating a brand’s value. Everything that a company does and all of its equities must work together to tell the brand’s story.

Deciding to alter that story with a rebranding investment carries risk, but it can also deliver big rewards if carried out successfully.


For those companies who have decided to undergo a rebranding effort, there’s no room for mistakes. Not only does rebranding require a lot of time, money and resources, but the company’s reputation is also at stake. If not executed flawlessly, a rebranding effort can backfire, and even damage rather than enhance, a company’s image.

When it comes to rebranding, below are four common mistakes companies can’t afford to make:

1.    Lack of an over-arching comprehensive plan: Brand implementation is all about building one over-arching strategy-based plan, setting clear objectives, developing a realistic schedule and getting the right people involved at the right time – all heading in the same direction. So many steps are involved in a rebranding initiative ranging from determining brand rollout strategy to launching a brand identity audit to measuring the overall program. Without one comprehensive plan in place, a rebranding effort can easily derail and fall off its tracks.

2.    Not having one overall brand champion: On its own, a rebranding initiative can be extremely complex – and having too many cooks in the kitchen without one clear owner of the initiative is only going to add to that complexity. With one set of experts working on the design aspects of the brand and another managing the construction and implementation, it’s critical that one brand champion owns the overall initiative to ensure there’s open and ongoing communication and that the project is implemented consistently across every market and country. Most brand champions come out of a company’s Marketing, Real Estate or Facilities groups.

3.    Lack of a centralized process: An effective rebranding effort needs to be managed centrally to ensure consistencies and efficiencies are achieved across the board. When decentralized, there are too many variables that can’t be controlled. For instance, if different vendors are being used in different countries to produce new signage without a centralized process in place, the signage in one country may appear different from the signage in another country, which can completely dilute the brand.  

4.    Not having full support and buy-in from executive level: Securing buy-in from key executives is critical to a successful rebranding initiative. Without it, it’s not only more difficult to get cooperation from the various business units, but it’s also harder to rally and engage employees around the new brand. A strong rebranding initiative has to be embraced by everyone in the company – from the CEO to the interns – in order for it to succeed.  

On average, organizations refresh their corporate brands once every seven to ten years. Since branding isn’t a core competency for most companies, bringing in a team of rebranding experts who do this type of work day in and day out can help a company ensure the rebranding goes off without a hitch.  

With so much at stake, including your company’s reputation and bottom line, there’s simply no room for mistakes when it comes to rebranding.

Contact us to learn more. 

Client spotlight: Nextel Latin America

See how we helped Nextel Latin America rebrand more than 2,800 retail locations across five countries in less than 18 months, and drive vendor and cost efficiencies that saved the retailer more than $10 million in the first year alone.

About the Author

Steve Pollard

Steve Pollard is a senior operating executive with extensive expertise in the field of project management. In his current role as Managing Director, he has managed the delivery of project management services for numerous clients across the U.S. including AMC Theatres, Bank of America, Finish Line, Microsoft, Motorola, Starbucks, United Health Group and Walgreens. He is responsible for outsourced accounts and the firm’s multi-site project management business in the Midwest United States.

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