What are your favorite brands? Chances are you are picturing logos and images of highly recognizable brands. Can you imagine Nike without it’s swoosh, or Apple without it’s, well, apple? Brands can invoke an emotion, build trust, and most important, call people to act, which is why creating a brand around a change initiative can bolster support and help ensure a successful transition.
Whether your company is implementing a new policy or simply moving office spaces, this transitional period can be challenging Important tasks can fall through the cracks and employee morale can weaken. After assisting many organizations in successfully implementing a variety of organizational changes, we have determined an important step that many companies seem to forget. The idea is to treat any change the same way you would a new product or service launch. Give it a brand, complete with a mission, logo, and a story that’s just as much personalized as it is attention-grabbing.
In any organizational change, it is important to realize that it’s not just about what you do, but how you do it. Here are 5 ways that adding a personal brand to a change initiative has kickstarted our client’s company transformations.
1. Build consistency with emails that pop.
Developing a brand around your change will help employees recognize any change-related communications from regular corporate correspondence. The average professional receives hundreds of new emails a day, and we are sure that you can attest to that. After factoring in additional direct messages and social media updates, your communications are up against a lot of noise. Branding your change initiative helps any communications you send to stand out in a cluttered inbox. That way, you can keep team members informed about important steps in the process.
2. Build awareness with a variety of communication types.
Change can be a shock to the system. When carried out with focus and a strategy, it triggers growth. Execute change poorly, and it can jeopardize the success of the initiative. A branded change strategy keeps people informed about what’s going on, why it’s happening and why it all matters.
Not only do you need to stand out in email inboxes, but you also need to update your team via your company intranet, videos, and other day-to-day communications. It is important to follow a comprehensive communications plan guided by your branded initiative to make sure all information is being shared correctly and on-schedule.
3. Build employee trust in the initiative and organization.
Trust is also equally essential in terms of a successful employee change initiative within different workplaces. Whether you’re undergoing a leadership change or transitioning to hybrid work, these shifts are risky and may be new to some team members. While everyone may initially react differently, teams who trust their leaders are more likely to achieve the goals that inspired the change in the first place.
In branding the change, you develop a story. The story you tell demonstrates the value of the change and gives you the opportunity to address potential pitfalls head on. The result is a team of confident employees who feel motivated to evolve with the company and become an important character within the storyline.
4. Encourage team members to act.
Before you undergo an organizational change, you first need to get people involved. Whether you need team members to step up and take on new roles or learn unfamiliar skills, your people need to feel inspired to rally with the organization. A motivated team is more likely to step up to the plate to accept new responsibilities.
Think about what happens when you set personal fitness goals. For many, taking the first step in either going to the gym, eating healthier, or training for that dreaded 5K in six months that your friend made you sign up for, is the hardest. If this isn’t you, congratulations – you can skip this paragraph. Although for those that struggle to find the initial motivation, what keeps you going back and sticking to your goals? Maybe it’s your increased confidence and noticeable difference in mirror and on the scale, or maybe it’s the words of encouragement from your super-fit neighbor or friend. I’ll be willing to bet that once you find the joy in the motivation, you are more willing to put in the hard work, day after day.
Branding the change initiative will help your employees be will employees be willing to put in the work as well. Your company’s takeaway? The means to develop the necessary support for your successful change.
5. Develop an emotional connection to the initiative.
When your team feels connected to the change, they’ll gain a sense of pride in the project. How will the change impact your employees? Will a long-term problem finally be solved? Will they have new resources available they couldn’t access before? During a transitional period, you’re probably going to need your people to go above and beyond. Show them that the rewards of this change will outweigh the risks to get them invested in the effort.
A unique brand presence can help facilitate this new emotional connection, especially in the forms of easy-to-understand graphics, an eye-catching logo, and a brand voice that is relatable and understanding of all employee perspectives.
KGO’s branding strategy
Undergoing a transition in your company? We can work with you to develop a brand that gets team members on board.
We work closely with your team and stakeholders to develop the brand identity for your change initiative. Including employees and stakeholders in this process ensures that individuals feel invested in and support the change. Plus, with their input, we’re able to deliver a brand identity that reflects the perspectives of the people most affected by the change.
It all starts with a brainstorming session – done in-person or online using tools like Miro We ask questions to get the ideas flowing and map them onto a whiteboard to discuss your feedback.
During our brainstorming session, we ask questions like:
- What’s the vision for the change?
- What is the brand personality?
- What are the ideal outcomes of your change initiative, including one, five and ten year goals?
From this exercise, we’re able to begin developing concepts. Here is our step-by-step process for branding your change.
1. Title your change initiative.
The goal is to energize your team and stand out from other initiatives. It should be a name that resonates and could be straightforward or catchy.
2. Develop the story.
The story helps get team members engaged with the change. It should be relatable to a wide audience and demonstrate how the change will benefit those affected. This story carries through all messaging channels, including email blasts, town hall meetings, and intranet site updates.
3. Give the brand a face.
Use imagery to further support your message. For example, moving the office to a new location? Incorporate photos of the new neighborhood to ensure your team feels connected to the space before moving day. Logos also help to drive awareness of the brand and make the messaging more recognizable.