How long does the branding process take
03. Who should be involved in the branding process?
No question about it, a new branding is a much discussed process in the company. Everyone has an opinion and would like to share it. There is a lot of criticism, a lot of uncertainty, but also enthusiasm for new things.
You'd think that a grassroots approach would be the best way to make everyone happy in the end. That's not the case. Have you ever tried to choose a holiday destination that is suitable for everyone with a larger group? Then you know what we're talking about. The branding process will be easier and faster if there is a central decision maker on the company side. Ideally, this is the management or a person from higher management who can finally approve project phases without first consulting an entire committee.
Nevertheless, it makes a lot of sense to involve a selection of employees closely in the branding process. This team becomes the point of contact for the agency and provides feedback on the various development phases. Ideally, your task force consists of 5 to 7 people from different departments. The team members should have a certain enthusiasm for the branding process - of course - and be able to work together without a dispute over competence.
Your branding team could look like this:
The following list shows who should be involved in the branding process and should sit around the table. It comes straight from our day-to-day work as an agency and has often proven itself.
Nobody knows your brand better than your marketing department. In the end, it has to be able to represent the new branding, so at least the marketing director should be on board.
Your sales people are in constant customer contact and know the weak points of brand development from direct practice. Sales employees can therefore give very realistic feedback.
Especially when your brand development is also about employer branding, someone from the HR department is a must. HR managers know what concerns current employees and what future employees are looking for. They can also provide valuable feedback on the internal implementation.
If your product or service is relatively complex, it makes sense to involve experts from the respective departments. Your knowledge helps to avoid content-related errors, for example when creating content.
People who have spent many years in your company are often inexhaustible sources for the company's history. You know the development of the brand over a long period of time.
Top-down or bottom-up?
Humans are creatures of habit. So it is quite normal that a branding process is not greeted with jubilation by the entire workforce. Changes initially trigger skepticism - it could be that things do not change for the better. So when you initiate deep processes like branding, you should consider which side is best to approach them.
The Top-down strategy is the classic method: top management decides on the change, prepares it and implements it first. The point is to "exemplify" the change - from higher to middle management, which in turn communicates to lower management and employees. However, this approach is not the best, especially when it comes to structural changes. Employees are usually sensitive to “orders from above”. You feel left out, and that creates resistance. In terms of the branding process, this means that employees will hardly identify with the new brand personality in this way.
It works the other way around Bottom-up strategy: The change process begins at the lowest level in the hierarchy and continues upwards. The concept is that employees and lower management know best which changes are useful and necessary in their areas. However, this approach will not work for branding, as already described above. Brand development cannot be a grassroots democratic process - that would increase complexity ad infinitum and weaken the result.
But how do you get the change rolling internally? Our advice is: stay in the middle. By putting your team together as described above, you involve employees from all levels of the hierarchy in the branding process.
In addition, brand development will be faster and more effective in this way - and that in turn increases acceptance in the company.
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