At the end of the day, none of us wants to end up as a case study for what not to do, so I've put together a few basic principles, in the form of questions to ask yourself, to consider as you begin this journey.
- Which does the end product serve better, the company or the customer? If it's the first, well, then you may have a problem. If ultimately your new brand direction is just a name change, then it may be OK, but if you intend to change previous brand perceptions with a new naming strategy you'd better be prepared to deliver on your promise.
- Do you have a clear understanding of how your existing customers will react to the change? Are you prepared to support their reactions?
- Do you have a good understanding of the implications of how this will impact attracting new customers?
- Have you done an in-depth analysis and identified the potential revenue risk associated with the change?
- Do you have plans in place to mitigate that risk?
- Do you have the right internal team to drive this project? In my experience, I've found that a core team to manage day-to-day functions, along with an advisory team to drive larger, more strategic decisions, works best. The core team will keep the project on track, while the advisory team is there to make sure there are no roadblocks and that key decisions get made in a timely manner.
- Do your employees understand your overall strategy and are they engaged? Oftentimes, internal change management can be one of your biggest obstacles. Create employee engagement early on, and communicate with employees at key points along the way. Be as transparent with your employees as possible. Employee engagement is key to your success. Employees must believe in your brand; otherwise, how will your customers?