Rebranding: Embarking on an Amazon Journey

When a rebrand comes out of left field, your executive team, your board, even your frontline staff, may be thinking, “at least take me out to dinner first.” A rebrand won’t fix a high-friction organization, so why start the process off that way? It takes self-awareness and self-control to lead a rebrand. How can you sway your team to be excited and optimistic about a rebrand?

We can trick ourselves into believing a rebrand will solve our problems and fix mistakes. The truth is your growth and scale will now be challenged by a reactive decision. How consumers feel or describe your credit union or community bank – the words you want them to use to describe you – won’t change, or at least, they won’t change for very long.

Sure, every rebrand comes with a honeymoon phase. For a while, you’ll think you’ve unlocked greatness within your organization. But without shared values and beliefs within your organization, you’ll quickly discover that you lack a competitive advantage. Before you know it, your brand will go the way of the fidget spinner.

What does your culture stand for? Does everyone in the organization live it every day? You must tell your frontlines, your executive team and your board again and again, and then set the example yourself. If you set an expectation, you must live up to it.

Think about the e-commerce giant Amazon. The name was chosen because they wanted a globally recognized name, and back in the 1990s, search engines listed companies alphabetically. It was much the same way we might come across Aardvark Plumbing or AAA Heating and Air in the Yellow Pages.

The name “Amazon” holds meaning to us because of how it makes us feel. We do business with them because they are high performing and accountable. And now if you search the word “Amazon,” you must put “rainforest” after it to find out about the region we’ve been trying to save from deforestation and climate change for nearly half a century.

Before committing to a rebrand, ask yourself:

  • Does my team conceal weaknesses and mistakes from one another?
  • Do I have a team that fears conflict?
  • Does our organization revisit the same discussions without resolution?
  • Are certain members of my team shouldering the burden of others?
  • Do I have a team committed to customer service excellence?

Be selfless and objective. When embarking on a rebrand, make sure you are not on a hero quest of one.

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