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Rebrand is back on the agenda in B2B

Adam Holder, Bray Leino’s director of B2B, looks at why, over the last six months he’s seen a three-fold increase in the number of enquiries from businesses looking to review their brand identity and proposition

The financial downturn led to marketing strategies becoming more focused on customer retention and sales, but now businesses are taking advantage of improved economic conditions and greater boardroom confidence to strengthen their employer brand and stimulate marketing cut-through by rebranding.

Dusting off after a deep recession is an opportunity for businesses to reassess what they stand for and why. Recession and austerity have altered customer perceptions in recent years and business purchasing behaviour inevitably tightened.

In this tempestuous environment, business leaders and their legacy brand identities risk slipping out of date; clarity of the brand proposition is an invaluable asset to retain or attract talent, maximise the value of a business sale or simply accelerate growth.

But now business leaders are moving from a survival to a growth mind-set. We are starting to see new budgets being channelled into building value back into the brand for employees and customers.

Over our 40 years, this is a trend we’ve seen a few times. And while every project is different in its scope, the bottom-line objective doesn’t change; increase clarity, build value.

Once the decision is made, the process begins at the top with business leaders and key stakeholders, and eventually will involve customers and employees at all levels. A badly communicated rebrand can be disruptive and disengaging for frontline staff, so bringing everyone into the process at an early stage can help people buy in to a change in language or direction.

We apply various strategic tools to a branding project, drawing on a wide array of expertise, from strategic brand planners to communications and sales channel specialists, leadership and change management experts.

It’s a complex task, but can be broken down into three main pillars. ‘Brand definition’, who you are and why you do what you do; a ‘brand story’, your narrative, what you say and who’s going to engage with it; and a ‘visual identity’, what you look like. 

The critical phase is to translate this insight into a strategy, then the strategy into an action plan; assigning specific goals to each part of the business and highlighting the role everyone will play, top to bottom.

Brand building has short term benefits, but it’s a long term commitment to building value across your entire business. It’s not just about a re-launch or a new way of talking to your customers and employees. It’s about improving the effectiveness of your communication channels to deliver the best return on your marketing investment.