If content is king, then it’s fair to say that branding is the emperor.
It’s the reason we choose certain products, identify with specific logos and build relationships with the companies we love. But however successful they become, most brands opt for a little face lift every so often. It gives them the chance to keep things fresh, reengage clients or customers or even break into a completely new market.
It’s no surprise that many companies get caught up with the nitty gritty of the details and find themselves altering merchandise and business cards for hours on end. While it’s vital you get the small details right for customers, one of the most crucial tasks for any company going through a refresh is to communicate with staff. Once your employees are fully on-board with the new brand messaging, the rest will follow – like a domino effect.
But let’s face it- communicating these changes to different people within an organisation can be a challenge, especially as some will be more receptive to change than others. The question is, how can you engage modern team building and learning techniques to make this easier for management and employees?
Make employees your brand ambassadors
If your branding is the soul of the company, then your employees are its voice. Companies can’t expect staff to pick up on changes by osmosis, they’ll need to be fully trained on brand updates to ensure they can communicate these to the relevant people. According to Forbes, Starbucks’ successful rebrand was down to their ability to instil key ‘pillars’ or values to their employees. Rather than holding one big meeting or event, brands may want to consider breaking down learning and development into bite-sized chunks for different groups across the organisation. In the build-up to the rebrand, you could plan an event which outlines what the refresh is hoping to achieve and invite employees to contribute ideas so that they feel involved. This could be done through a traditional conference or through innovative hands-on learning. For example, if a drinks brand is changing direction to target a younger, tech-savvy audience, the company could engage staff through challenges and experiences, which encourage them to discover how the marketing has changed and why the branding will now appeal to different groups. By walking in the customer’s shoes, staff will gain a better understanding of the new company direction and be better able to sell products as a result. It’s also worth considering a ‘launch event’ following the rebrand, with personalised staff starter kits for all employees.
When it comes to change, engagement is key for moving forward as a company. If you want to bring the brand in a new direction, you’ll need to make sure everyone is ready for the ride. Regular team events in the lead up to a rebrand will help staff to feel involved and valued throughout the process. To appeal to a mix of employees, you could try mixing up traditional team building activities like rock climbing or kayaking with more targeted engagement techniques, like cryptic mazes or challenges. As well as maintaining staff morale, businesses going through a rebrand need to make sure that their team building exercises keep staff engaged with the changes going on. Ensuring that you maintain your team’s energy during a rebrand, collaboration is essential if the company is to enjoy continued success.
Child development experts all agree that playing is one of the best ways to learn. In the work place, there’s no reason we can’t apply the same principles for adults, and that’s where gamification comes in. Whether it’s an app-based scavenger hunt, a game show competition or something really simple like a group trivia night, gamifying your training materials will keep staff engaged for longer. According to a recent report in learning trends from the Open University, the gamification of workplace education is becoming increasingly popular- as staff and their employers seek more interactive ways to teach and learn. Gamification can be particularly effective after a major rebrand, as it offers employees the chance to engage with their colleagues and embrace the changes, rather than learning about them in a classroom environment.
A rebrand can be a challenge, but by engaging your staff in the right way there’s no reason it can’t be fun. After all, the more enjoyable the process, the more your staff will stay engaged with the company and be spreading your rebranded messages.