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Rebranding Through Employee Social Engagement
Posted on June 29th 2014
Is it time for your company to rebrand? Companies today need to keep up with the changing times - or risk losing out to more agile competitors. But rebranding is a process that takes time, effort, money, commitment and business smarts. It takes buy-in from your employees too.
Employees today (especially your younger talent) need - almost expect - to have their voices heard. Staff who’ve grown up in the days of social sharing bring a culture of open communication and engagement. That expectation of being involved is likely trickling up to your more senior levels too.
When your company shifts direction (whether that shift is a new brand logo or a major change in the business model), creating a sense of employee ownership and involvement makes the transition much smoother - and more successful.
An engaged employee who feels valued and listened to can become your biggest brand ambassador. They can spread positive communication through their own social media networks, attract new prospects and bring a strong sense of commitment to your business.
The more innovative - and prosperous - rebrand efforts forget the top-down silo approaches of one-way company announcements and email blasts. Instead, I’d suggest you generate company engagement and renew passion by integrating social engagement tactics with your internal rebanding process.
Here's a few employee contests to successfully gain buy-in.
Core Value Input
When you’re entering a new market, developing a new logo or changing your name, it’s the right opportunity to be reflecting on your company’s core values. It’s also an opportunity to get your entire company on board with your new direction.
The top levels of your business might live and breathe your key values. A new brand slogan of “We’re your number one choice for landing pages” might resonate fully with your CEO and senior VP’s. But does it sound like a cliched message to your sales team? Do your customer service staff get jazzed up when they hear it?
Give your employees a chance to be an integral part of your change. They’ll feel respected, empowered and listened to. They might even increase their productivity levels through feeling a sense of ownership.
Set up an internal company contest to ask your team for their input about company core values:
Take it further by asking people how going forward with a rebrand can keep those values they care most about.
This renews a sense of why your employees are working for the company, and assures them that the top brass is listening. It can also give upper management insights about their business. Sometimes hearing from the front lines can really be an enlightening experience to upper management. It could help to shape the company’s direction, identify consumer pain points and even increase your bottom line.
New Logo Contest
Are you changing your logo? Create an internal contest for it. If you happen to have a team of graphic designers, make it fun by getting your own staff to design a new look- and create an internal competition for your design department. Or, alternatively, outsource your creatives (to an agency, or online logo sites like 99designs).
Bring it back to your employees to ‘crowdsource’ the best designs. Make an internal contest for your team managers, or all your staff, by voting on their favorite. You can gain insights from departments, and your staff tends to feel a deeper connection with the new look with a vested interest in your future success.
I’d suggest you prime your voters by outlining the criteria for your logo - including the company core values and the new direction of your business. It works to reinforce the purpose of the contest and associates your new look with positive engagement.
I’d also suggest you manage expectations at the forefront by adding a caveat to make it clear management has the final say!
If you’re in a more conservative company, or have too many employees for the above tactics to be practical, there’s still a lot of methods to be socially engaging throughout the rebranding process.
A great way to keep communication open (and buy-in rates up) is through a promotional product vote contest. It’s fun and simple and tends to resonate with most employees - from team managers to the new intern.
Implement inclusionary tactics by opening up an internal vote contest on what new logo gear your company should order. Run the contest for a week or two to give everyone the chance to participate - even the swamped accountant or the overworked content marketer. To get people more vested in the new logo, show the product options with a mock up on the images.
Keep it fun by giving away prizes - including the new gear of course!
A tactic like this educates your company about the new look and shows that you’re listening. People will tend to be more interested and engaged going forward.
Effective rebranding starts from the inside. Its success can be made or broken by how well your company employees understand the new look or direction, what your vision is and why it all matters.
Have you gone through a rebranding process? Did you employ social engagement tactics? Share your success in the comments.