3 Keys for a Successful Brand Relaunch
To keep up with an evolving marketplace, direct marketers must make tough decisions every day to remain relevant. Sometimes, that can mean a brand relaunch, which is no easy task. Recently, recognition rewards marketer Baudville underwent a rebranding process, mailing a brand-new catalog July 13 with a fresh look and some 250 new products.
Here, Tom Tweedie, vice president of marketing for Baudville, offers insights on how to go about a successful rebranding strategy:
• Do your homework. Rebranding your company isn’t some willy-nilly decision that can be made in a matter of days or weeks. It takes months and months of planning, research and design to successfully make the transition. Baudville spent more than eight months looking at what its customers and prospects wanted and needed, and worked tirelessly to come up with a brand strategy that could meet those expectations.
• Break down silos. Traditionally, product developers and advertising have operated fairly independently of one another, sometimes causing confusion in the brand’s message. Today, all aspects of a company must be on the same page to provide a consistent brand message, and the best way to do that is to get everyone working together.
“We used to be split along product development and advertising lines,” says Tweedie. “… We developed cross-functional teams, so I had designers sitting with circulation people sitting with Web people on multiple committees. We had creative briefs developed for all of this all around a central theme and all tied to a specific launch date. The whole idea of the silos—the Web team went away, catalog production went away, circ went away. It became this new brand launch team.”
• Communicate. Communication is key in any rebranding effort. And that goes for communication internally, as well as keeping customers abreast of the coming changes.
“You have to have a lot of communication. You have to have a lot of meetings. And you also have to have a lot of clear authority and responsibility,” stresses Tweedie. “When we put these cross-functional teams together, there were people who were leaders, people leading design, people making decisions. There were presentations happening every Friday, for instance, so people were doing their homework, putting presentations together, presenting to a group on Friday. Then there was criticism, changes coming back and three days later presenting it again. It was a very rigorous process, and you have to believe it 100 percent.”
Baudville also kept customers in the loop, sending e-mails telling them something new was coming. Then prior to unveiling the new catalog, it sent a direct mail package with the new brand message and products to get customers familiar and engaged with the new positioning.