Once you’ve gotten the board of directors, C-Suite and everyone on the management team on board with the decision to rebrand, there’s one more hurdle that publicly traded companies need to clear: their investors.
Ensuring that investors don’t lose faith in management requires that you justify every major decision your company makes and a rebrand can be hard to sell, particularly to institutional investors focused on the bottom line. Transforming the public face of your company often requires a significant upfront cost and no matter how thorough your research, projected revenue increases based on the redesign can only ever be best guesses.
These six tips will not only help justify your rebranding efforts – they’ll help get investors excited about the process and eager to see the new face of your company.
Explain your reasoning
No one walks into a boardroom with revenues rising and announces that it’s time to shift directions. But investors, shielded from the day-to-day changes in your company, can sometimes feel like they’ve been blindsided. Your first priority should be ensuring they understand why you need a corporate facelift, whether that’s an internal reason, like a recent merger, or an external one, like customer confusion between you and a competitor.
Know the hard numbers
As hard as we try, we can’t predict the future but we can make educated guesses based on how similar initiatives have impacted the company in the past or how competitors were impacted after rebranding. It can even be useful to look outside your industry – a company looking to highlight an overlooked aspect of their business, for instance, might study how International Dairy Queen rebranded to highlight their food offerings instead of just desserts.
This is when it’s helpful to work with an experienced agency. Experts who understand your industry, your competitors and your expectations can help provide the hard numbers that investors expect, like projected revenue increases. They can also set up consumer testing and focus groups to give your numbers real-world weightiness.
Provide visuals as soon as possible
As a CFO, I’m often guilty of focusing all my attention on the numbers. But as important as the numbers are, nothing beats the look of comprehension on a client’s face when they see a proposed design. Suddenly, all the abstract talk of “brand strategy” and “corporate identity” is transformed into a real, visual proposal – something they can point to and say “I want this.” Give your investors the same level of understanding by presenting tangible visuals of your rebranding initiative.
Stick to a firm schedule
Rebranding is a big, time-intensive job – it’s not uncommon for the time between a proposed initiative and the final rollout to take a year or more. But for investors who aren’t privy to your day-to-day progress, the project can seem to drag on forever, especially if your revenues are fluctuating. That’s why it’s so important to work with an accountable agency that can stick to set timelines: you want to be able to prove to your investors that things are on track.
Prioritize investor materials
Finally, don’t forget that a holistic rebranding project will include new materials for investors and those should be rolled out as early as possible. Investors are a unique audience: they’re close enough to the company to have literally bought in, but are far enough removed that, unlike employees, they’re rarely tainted by daily exposure. Your investor relations department can be a useful conduit for getting early feedback and your investors – even the hardened, institutional investors who only care about the bottom line – will enjoy feeling like they’re tuned in to the new corporate image before the public is.
How do your investors react when you talk about rebranding? What strategies do you use to convince everyone to buy in on major initiatives? Let us know in the comments below and subscribe to receive the latest Shikatani Lacroix insights in your inbox.