April 27, 2024

Example of The Why Conversation for a rebrand

Rebranding is not something I’ve ever bought or sold, so the following hypothetical dialog might be a little off-kilter.

However, there should be enough here to give an actual branding expert some pretty interesting ideas.

Bob: Hey, thanks for jumping on a call. I heard from Carol that you did a great job with her rebrand.

Alice: That’s so nice to hear! I’ll have to thank her for the intro :-)

Bob: We are in a similar situation and need a rebrand.

Alice: Gotcha. Is it OK if I ask you a few questions to get started?

Bob: Yes! That sounds great.

Alice: Rebranding is typically a lot more difficult and expensive than people expect. Are you sure a rebrand is the only option?

Bob: I think so, but we can talk through it.

Alice: What else have you considered?

Bob: Well, we could do nothing, but that seems like a bad course of action.

Alice: Bad how?

Bob: We are just finishing a merger with another company that is going to expand our service offerings into new areas. The old brand won’t accurately represent our expanded portfolio.

Alice: Couldn’t you train the sales team to navigate that on a case-by-case basis with existing accounts and new prospects?

Bob: Maybe, but that would be an expensive way to handle it.

Alice: How so?

Bob: The problem would never go away, so it would probably double our sales efforts in perpetuity.

Alice: And you have, what... about a dozen salespeople right now?

Bob: Basically, yes. I think we have ten at the moment.

Alice: Okay, I see what you mean. Addressing this by doubling your sales efforts would be super inefficient.

Bob: Exactly.

Alice: Could you hold off on a rebrand and have the existing sales team explain the “portfolio disconnect” for the next six months? At that point, you’ll have a ton of information from the market about how serious the disconnect really is, and could decide then if a rebrand was the best option.

Bob: I’ve been working in this space for 30 years. Before I started this business, I worked at BigCo, which is our biggest client now. I know everyone there, and I know how they’re going to react to the merger. I’m 100% confident that we need to get out in front of this and take a leadership role in the marketplace.

Alice: So this merger and the associated rebrand is a key strategy for the year?

Bob: Yes, we’re pretty much betting the business on the idea that our new product/service mix will be an industry-leading differentiator that unlocks exponential growth.

Alice: Understood, thanks for that. Let’s say, just hypothetically, that we do a big rebrand. How long do you predict it will take to know if you made the right bet?

Bob: If our forecasts are correct, we’ll 3-5x our year-over-year profits in the first 12 months post-launch and it would go up from there.

Alice: Yeah... that would be a decisive win. Thanks for walking me through this. Ethically, it’s important to me to “first do no harm,” like a doctor. Lots of people ask me for a rebrand when really, it’s not what they need. But you’ve convinced me that you’re right... a rebrand is the right prescription in your case, and you have good reason to do it now and not put it off.

Bob: I appreciate that approach.

Alice: In a rebranding process, there are usually lots of stakeholders and, therefore, competing opinions, motivations, and objectives. What criteria do you think we could use along the way to ensure that we stay on track toward your ultimate goal of 3-5x YoY profits?

Bob: I’m not sure what you mean...

Alice: Imagine that today is the day we launch the new brand. What would you hope happens?

Bob: I hope everyone loves it!

Alice: Who’s everyone?

Bob: Well, obviously, I want to love it. And the executive team. But it’s more important that the sales team is completely bought into it.

Alice: What about BigCo?

Bob: Well, yes, obviously that’s the most important. The rebrand needs to be clear and compelling to companies like BigCo. That’s the most important metric of all. If they get it, everyone else in the market will follow suit.

Alice: Who at BigCo will probably be the biggest influencer of whether or not the rebrand is a huge success?

Bob: Probably my ex-boss, David.

Alice: Do you think we could loop him into a few progress meetings for feedback along the way to help ensure our success?

Bob: For sure. We’re still pretty tight.

Alice: Great. What sort of reaction would you be looking for from David in those meetings to tell us that we’re on track for a successful rebrand?

Bob: Oh, David is incredibly direct. If he hates it, we’ll know, in no uncertain terms.

Alice: That sounds a little... harsh?

Bob: The upside is that if he says he likes it, I can trust him. He doesn’t blow smoke.

Alice: So, in your opinion, if David gives our progress thumbs-ups along the way, we can be highly confident that the overall effort will be a success, right?

Bob: Yes, I would agree with that. Our internal stakeholders do need to be bought in as well, but David giving his blessing will actually help influence that.

Alice: Assuming we decide to move forward, do you think David would agree to join us as a client avatar representative for a rebrand kickoff meeting?

Bob: I think I can make that happen.

Alice: That’s fantastic. I need to go over my notes and give it some thought, but I think I see three different ways we could engage. I could put together a proposal with prices and have it to you by Wednesday. Would that work for you?

Bob: Yeah, that’d be great.

Alice: Perfect. I’ll email over a PDF on Wednesday.

And with that, Alice has everything she needs...

  1. To write a three-option, value-priced proposal
  2. To guarantee something she can directly control
  3. To measure progress toward the goal during delivery
  4. To control scope creep during delivery