There are few words that can send a chill down the collective spine of a Board of Directors like “It’s time for a rebrand.” They envision piles of money being set on fire as the rebrand project drags on for months or even a year.
“Thousands of dollars for a brainstorming session? How can they possibly justify that expense to members?”
At your marketing co., we are experienced in rebranding credit unions and community banks. We are currently amid three rebrands in 2017. We’ve walked CEOs, board members and staff through the process in a way that is less painful than they had originally feared.
We have learned there are five questions you must ask before you begin a rebrand.
1) Who will actually do the rebrand?
This is one that doesn’t always seem obvious but is vitally important to the successful launch of your new brand. Too often we see individuals or agencies ‘woo’ the decision-makers into agreeing to the project, only to have that person then turn around and outsource the legwork to a third-party. Make sure you know who is responsible for all the steps and who can be held accountable for any missed deadlines.
2) Is there a way to do this “on the cheap?”
Yes and no. While we would never advise choosing a rebrand partner based solely on price, you may be able to avoid the heavy expense of a top to bottom tear down by choosing to do a refresh of your existing brand. Our client, West Coast Federal, recently made that decision and it has been extremely successful for them. You can read more about that on our blog here.
3) Does it make sense for my brand?
What is driving the desire to rebrand? Have we become out-of-date – or worse obsolete – to our members? It takes years to build up a recognizable, reputable brand. Don’t risk losing loyalty simply because a few executives or board members feel like you’ve gone stale. Do your research. Conduct member surveys. Weigh the pros and cons. Make your decision based on data and facts.
4) What will I look like online with my new name?
When considering a full rebrand, consider the way members find you online. For each name that makes the final list, research the availability of a corresponding URL and social media channels. Avoid web domains that require you to use a dash (-) or number, if possible.
5) Does the person doing my rebrand actually understand our culture?
When our clients are involved in a rebrand, we are intimately involved, even if we are not the ones leading the project. And our clients wouldn’t have it any other way. They know that we understand their strengths and weaknesses, their goals and the history of their institutions. Too often when we are given lists of potential names to consider, we recognize half of them from a rebrand that was done a few years ago. The person (or company) doing that rebrand didn’t really get to know the credit union or community bank. They just have a list of names, and if one is not chosen this time, it will be on the next list they provide. The same is true of logos. It is imperative that anyone and everyone involved in your rebrand understands where you’ve been, where you are and where you’re going.
Whether you’re ready for a rebrand or considering a refresh, make sure you ask these five questions to ensure the smoothest possible transition.