What Mars has to Do with Your Rebranding Process
If they’re not with you, they’re against you.
Although the phrase is most often used by politicians, it carries just as much meaning in the business sector. You may not realize it, but as a business leader, you’re either bringing your team together or giving them a reason to rebuke your direction.
Everyone Wants a Reason to Believe
A classic example of leadership, culture, and customer experience coming together in perfect harmony is, of course, The Walt Disney Company. It’s true, Disney was founded on all things magical and happy; but to build and sustain an environment like Walt Disney World takes pure dedication. Even through change in leadership, this company has maintained its reputation for being the expert in the customer experience. It comes back to the employees having the right guidance and level of empowerment to make the Disney experience what it is every single day. This is leadership upholding a single vision and giving their teams a reason to believe in and live by a common goal. Becoming the next Walt Disney Company doesn’t happen overnight, especially for new CEOs, but with the right tool and the right direction, it is possible.
So, what is the right tool for uniting your team under a single vision?
Energize Your Team Through Rebranding
There are many drivers for a rebrand, but for new CEOs, one of the most common reasons is to change internal culture. As a new leader, you’re likely faced with one of two scenarios: 1) you’ve been promoted to CEO from within the organization, or 2) you were hired from the “outside.” Being promoted from within comes with possible baggage, which can either benefit or harm your cause. People already know you and have a sense for how you plan to lead the company. This can be an uphill battle, or not, depending on your level of engagement and leadership roles up to this point. On the other hand, CEOs hired from outside the organization have an opportunity to put a stake in the ground, making their intentions crystal clear from the start. No matter which area you fit into, a rebrand is an effective way to build confidence from within; let’s be clear though, this is much more than just a new logo or new vision statement. It’s developed using a thorough, well-thought out plan for moving your organization forward. A logo or new purpose statement can be included, but the overarching goal is to help everyone – both internally and externally – to fully understand why your business exists and why it matters.
Clarify Your Vision with a Trip to Mars
One of the first steps in rebranding is clarifying who you are as a company. One of the most effective ways to accomplish this is to ask employees what they feel your vision is. Why does this organization exist? The process includes layers of investigation and engagement across all departments and locations.
An effective exercise is to consider opening a location of your business on Mars. Think about it for a moment: you are expanding to Mars and need the right team to help guarantee your success. Who do you send to carry out your vision? Who understands the foundation of your business? Who can see the future from the past to move the brand forward? Who is loyal to your cause?
Many of these questions point to members of your team who have been with the organization for some time. These are the people you believe in, and who believe in you as a leader. For the purpose of rebranding, it’s also worth considering those who haven’t necessarily been with your organization a long time but who possess a natural desire to help your organization succeed. Together, this group of people offer insight and thoughtful opinions about what your organization really is and what it really does for your audience. Without a truth-based, clear vision of your purpose today, any rebranding effort will fall short in the long run. Starting with a true picture of where your organization is today paves the way to a meaningful rebrand that incites buy-in and support from your entire internal team.
Rally Your Troops Using Transparency
At this point, many leaders are excited and anxious to share their new brand with the world. However, this is a critical point in the process. Steps toward introducing the new brand to internal teams are clearly outlined, and placed well ahead of an external launch.
An internal launch often includes an all-staff event, a meeting, or party. Once again, engagement matters. Leadership takes a clear stance on the direction of the company and presents the new brand. Those heavily involved in the process also play a role, serving as ambassadors for the new direction. Presenting clear values and expected behaviors open the door for building trust and cooperation across all levels of your business. An internal launch is the first opportunity to “rally the troops” and show excitement for the days, weeks, and years ahead. Just don’t forget the swag. Encouraging employees to wear or use branded items seems small but goes a long way toward creating a sense of belonging among employees.
Turn Them Into Believers
In addition to the internal launch event, create a communications plan that regularly engages the larger team. This includes regular communication (email, in-person, etc.), recognition programs, and other tools to encourage the internal culture.
A positive internal culture goes a long way in the long-term success of any business, and rebranding to guide your team culture can be one of the most important activities you pursue as CEO. The Mars concept is just one rebranding tool that guides leaders to think differently about their vision. At its core, a rebrand aligns the vision and objectives of a company, and when employees understand and believe in their CEO’s intentions, they’re more like to be “with you” in your quest for greater success.
We are brand design experts who deliver transformative ideas to the nation’s marketing professionals and CEOs as they seek guidance, clarity and excitement for their brand.
We would love to hear more about what you have in mind for your next project. Call Greg Daake at 402.933.1094.