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Do I Know You? Transitioning the brand

Have you ever run into someone who suddenly looked substantially younger? I mean Dorian Gray or Benjamin Buttons younger. (If you live in L.A., you may be desensitized to this.) Or when your longtime acquaintance suddenly shaves off his facial hair. It’s like meeting a stranger. Suddenly and shockingly, the veneer of familiarity is stripped away.

When you rebrand your organization, whether due to merger, acquisition or just because the brand no longer reflects your company as it is today, it can be startling or confusing to those who are “accustomed to your face.”

So, how do you smoothly transition through a rebrand in a way that prepares and reassures your customers that the company’s core brand values will be strengthened and not diminished?

Here are some basic practices to keep the customers satisfied:

  1. Build anticipation and not anxiety: Drop hints that something new and exciting is coming. You can do this by adding a “stay tuned…” note to your signature line, postings to your social media or mentions in your enewsletter when you know the date of your new logo launch.
  2. Insider alert: Prepare an email letter (or written note) to your best or active clients letting them know how much you value their support and to let them know you are updating your brand on a specific date to better represent how the company has evolved. This assures them that you will provide the same attentive, quality service (uninterrupted) during the transition. Making clients privy to the information in advance conveys trust and respect. (Caveat: If you are a publicly held corporation, you may need further guidance on this to satisfy SEC or legal issues around an acquisition.)
  3. Mini-billboard: Have a tchotchke ready, emblazoned with your new logo, to hand out with the announcement to your clients, vendors and colleagues on the launch date. Branding is reinforced when it touches as many of the five senses as possible. Giving something that can be viewed, touched, heard, smelled or tasted reinforces brand retention. It is a mini-billboard of your new look.
Change can be unsettling. Getting out in front of it and building positive anticipation helps your clients and contacts feel comfortable and supportive of the brand new you. Don’t be a stranger!

 

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Next Issue:

Hiding in Plain Sight: Positioning so your brand does the heavy lifting


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