When we talk about “rebranding” we naturally think of a developing a new logo, tagline or mission statement. While these items certainly help lay the foundation, it’s ultimately the experience your donors, research partners, and customers have with your new biomedical brand that will determine its success. Ensure that your new biomedical brand identity is one that is embraced and put into action seamlessly across institutional lines through these seven steps.
The heavy lifting in revitalizing a brand lies within the processes of getting stakeholder and customer buy-in.
Create Brand Ambassadors
Like many corporations with in-house creative teams, biomedical institutions often partner with outside brand consultants and design experts when it’s time to develop a new strategy and identity. Those leading the rebrand internally are typically directors and c-level executives, which means that not all members of the board, communications and development teams are involved in the process. While it’s important to avoid the design by committee scenario, where you have too many decision makers involved, it’s essential to create brand ambassadors from the very beginning. How?
Share Your Vision, Early.
Talk with board members, institutional leaders, external partners, and key donors, to give stakeholders ownership right away. Share your vision and give them the opportunity to offer their thoughts as well. Branding is about adopting shared values and defining your core attributes. And since your stakeholders are the ones who will carry out and lead your brand for years to come, their buy-in is essential.
Keep Stakeholders Informed.
For biomedical organizations, your core rebranding team may consist of your executive director, a board member, and other institutional leaders such as those in fundraising, communications, research and product development. Encourage these institutional leaders to share key developments along the way with their staff so that other stakeholders remain informed and engaged throughout the process.
Inspire Ambassadors to Take Action Before Its Needed.
Your entire organization needs to be united to reflect your brand before it’s made public. Sure, after months of R&D, it’s natural to have a little trigger finger. But before the brand assets are made available (and business cards delivered) make a formal announcement internally. Lead your new institutional and philanthropic culture by sharing the final visuals and messaging with your staff, board and partners so they are inspired to take action before it’s time. Send letters to key donors, or better yet, have your executive team make personal phone calls.
Turn your stakeholders into brand ambassadors early. Once your new brand identity is in place they will embrace it, share it and become your greatest assets.
Establish an Intuitive Process for Obtaining Brand Assets.
Help facilitate the requests and delivery of brand assets throughout your institution in a timely and efficient manner. Your logos, templates and other identity assets most likely are available on your intranet but consider fellow colleagues, like research staff, who may not be that familiar with what’s available and where. Instead of creating one point person for staff to remember, consider creating an easy-to-remember email alias (e.g., “firstname.lastname@example.org“) that goes to several members of the branding team. That way the most appropriate staff member can respond and, by copying the alias on the response, close the loop on every request.
Manage Your Brand Library Well.
Enable your internal creative team to hit the ground running by connecting them with your agency team well in advance of providing deliverables. No doubt they will supply various logo formats, supporting design elements, templates, graphic standards etc., but your agency know additional files that would be helpful to streamline the design and production process ahead. In addition to storing your new brand assets online for easy access, have them on disk and kept in a safe place. You’ll save time and energy when IT or power issues arise. As you build out the brand be diligent about uploading files to your library appropriately.
Make a public announcement and give people the reasoning behind your new brand. By offering the first word you will encourage raves and dispel most rants.