A Solid Rollout Plan for Your New Brand

Before you go public with a new identity, build enthusiasm within your team.

By Deroy Peraza, Partner at Hyperakt

The rebranding process is deep and comprehensive, and it often comes on the heels of some kind of transformative change within an organization. It’s tempting for everyone involved to sprint to the finish line and then mark it done.

Illustration by Merit Myers

But that check-the-box approach to wrapping up a rebrand has mixed results: The new identity gets revealed at an organizational meeting and put out into the world on tote bags and mugs in a launch that feels like an afterthought.

Instead, nonprofits that rebrand need to develop a thoughtful, cohesive plan for introducing the brand both internally and externally. In fact, I’d suggest that you don’t have to announce the new identity with a major public-facing splash, but it should always be a big thing internally. If you don’t get your people excited when you launch the brand, you’re greatly increasing the possibility that it will fail.

Building Support & Enthusiasm for the Rebrand

Rebranding a nonprofit isn't just a facelift. You’re telling a new story about who you are and what you stand for. It's not just about a cool new logo or catchy tagline. It’s about getting everyone on board, rowing in the same direction, and making sure the change sticks. That’s why a well-planned rollout is so crucial: It ensures that your people navigate with you from the before times to the future. Here are some considerations as you plan the grand unveiling of the brand.

Planting the Seeds with the Right People

First things first: You need champions or ambassadors for the new brand. These are the folks who'll spread the excitement and keep the energy high. They're crucial for sensing the organization's readiness for this change. Tap a few influential voices in the organization that weren’t necessarily involved in the process of building the new brand to help bring it to life.

Then there are the leaders. They need to be the voice of this rebrand and articulate the change (and the reasons for it) with confidence. They need to understand the staff's feelings and be able to communicate the new brand effectively.

Fostering the Right Feelings

We're talking about more than actions; it’s about emotions. You want your ambassadors to be genuinely proud of the new brand. Your leaders should exude confidence, so that the staff feels secure and enthusiastic about what's ahead.

As you’re building excitement and anticipation, it’s important to give people the space to express their uncertainty, to ask questions, to poke at the rationale and intentions. Not only does this give them a sense of participation, it lets you prepare for the reactions that will come when you introduce the brand out in the world.

It’s also a unique opportunity to generate energy and pride within the organization. Pride is one of the most important currencies in a rebrand: When people feel pride, they’ll do more for the organization because they believe in it.

The Big Internal Reveal

The internal launch is a pivotal moment in the rebranding process. It’s when the new brand starts to become a reality for the staff. Leaders should start this phase with an event that's memorable. It’s a chance for them to talk about why this change is vital for the future of your organization and for brand ambassadors to share the change narrative. It's about turning the excitement up a notch – think pep rally.

Investing in a compelling launch video and some branded swag are more than just nice-to-have items. They’re essential tools that help people visualize and connect with the new brand. They help make the change relatable, tangible, real.

Living With the New Brand

Post-launch, it’s all about weaving the new brand into the fabric of your everyday work culture. This phase ensures that the rebrand isn't just a fleeting moment but a lasting shift — your leaders and staff should feel empowered to think and act in ways that reflect the new brand.

Activities like brand roadshows and training workshops are crucial in this phase. They help your team get how the rebrand will shape day-to-day activities and long-term goals. Ongoing support is key. Brand ambassadors should be available and ready to respond to staff questions and concerns. It’s about making sure the team feels heard and supported during this transition.

Going Public

Now you're ready to announce your new brand to the outside world. This step is all about crafting the right message for your external stakeholders and audience. Your external rollout should include a mix of messages specifically tailored to your audiences, and a carefully planned timeline. This approach ensures that your external stakeholders understand and embrace the rebranding.

The Power of a Rollout Plan

A rollout plan for a rebranding initiative isn’t just a roadmap; it’s a strategic tool that ensures all aspects of the rebranding are thoughtfully addressed — this is you taking control of your own brand so others don’t fill the vacuum for you. It involves preparing your team, engaging with stakeholders, and strategically communicating the change. Your rebranding is not just a cosmetic change but a transformation that propels your organization forward, reinforces its mission, and resonates with your stakeholders. For nonprofits, where every resource counts, a well-executed rollout is not just beneficial — it's critical for ensuring that the new brand resonates both internally and externally.

When the brand is launched on Day 1, that’s only the beginning of a full brand life cycle that lasts for 5 years or more. A solid rollout plan ensures that the brand achieves its full potential over that time. We help clients map a program of events, training, presentations, and assets that engage their teams and embed the new brand in the organization’s DNA. If you’d like to learn more, let’s chat.

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