Tips for Rolling Out a New Brand

In March, WW (formerly Weight Watchers) watched their stock plummet 30% after reporting a poor fourth quarter performance including massive declines in membership. What caused such a shocking drop in business during their peak season?

All signs pointed to a failed rebrand.

Back in September of 2018, Weight Watchers made the official announcement of the new name and rebrand. But some of their top executives later acknowledged that the launch failed in communicating the connection between the legacy brand and the new changes, ultimately not resonating with their target audience.

As an Account Lead here at Syrup, I have the pleasure of working with companies as they go through the rebranding process. So often the focus, energy, and excitement are around the brand itself while the rollout of that new brand is an afterthought. The brand launch plays a vital role in the success of your brand and without careful consideration, your beautiful, engaging, exciting new brand can fall flat, or even worse, hurt your business (sorry WW). Here are a few things to consider in your rebrand.

1. Tell Your Story:

As we learned from WW, the connection between their old identity and new identity was missing. It’s incredibly important to connect the change in your brand to a larger narrative. How has your company or your product evolved, improved, or changed? What does this change mean for your target audience?

A great example of this was Budweiser’s rebrand in 2016. As part of the rollout, Budweiser made the connection between the hard work that goes into making their beer and the dedication and effort they put into creating the new brand.

“Budweiser as a beer is one of the hardest to brew,” says Tosh Hall, creative director at JKR New York. “It takes roughly 30 days. We wanted to apply the same effort to design principles as to brewing. So we spent twice as long, drawing every piece of type and vector art by hand, such as the medallion, leaves, grains and hops. We put effort into caring about every last detail.”

Design Week

2. Involve Your Team:

Your employees are your company’s storytellers, your brand ambassadors, your advocates on the front lines. They are the most important audience to focus on when launching a new brand. Involving them early, introducing them before the rest of the world is a great way to get full team buy-in. Share the vision of the company and the story behind the rebrand, take them through the visuals, the guidelines, the rollout plan, open up for questions, and even create excitement with new, branded swag.

We helped OED introduce the new brand to their employees before the big launch. We shared the vision of the company and where the new brand fit into that vision, took them through the new visuals and the story behind them, and then treated each employee to branded bags, polos, mugs, and notebooks. The internal launch was a huge success that left every team member excited and eager to brag all about their company and the new brand.

Before & After

3. Plan Your Attack:

Think about all the ways someone experiences your brand… From your website to your business cards to sales and marketing collateral, there are hundreds of different ways people interact with your brand every day. In order to have a successful rollout, all these touchpoints should be considered. It may feel overwhelming but it is critical that all of these elements are updated to be consistent with the new brand.

Build a plan that includes these items, being sure to give yourself enough time to have everything ready to be deployed at once. Make sure there is a plan in place to do away with legacy branding to avoid confusion in the market and leverage the launch to create excitement and drive awareness around the new brand.

On April 1, we helped VoApps breathe life into their legacy brand that didn’t adequately reflect the energy and personality of the company and the people that worked there. It also missed the mark on representing their technology and the innovation they bring to the industry. We worked together to refresh and launch their new brand across all their major touchpoints.

Before & After

Rebranding is a challenging but exciting endeavor that can make or break your business. How you launch that brand is vital. If you are wondering if your company needs a new brand or just want to talk more about the rollout process, email me!