‘Tis the season to be thankful for good fortune, which for us includes many fun projects with a wide range of healthcare clients. With a New Year approaching, it seems fitting that two of these projects involve helping clients unveil new trade names. Two very different companies – one in the health technology space and the other in healthcare supply chain services – both rolling out new trade names and logos that more accurately reflect what their brands are all about.
When they reveal their new corporate identities in January, they’ll do it with all the right messages to every applicable audience across every applicable channel. In doing so, they’ll revitalize their brands in ways that are meaningful for employees, consumers and all other audiences, which will lead a steady pace of new prosperity in the new year.
But, as these clients know, it’s a lot more work than meets the eye. Choosing a new name, logo and tagline is only part of the puzzle. There is much work to be done and many factors to consider when changing a company name. It’s brand-building at its core. So, in the true spirit of a New Year countdown, we present to you…the 10 essential steps to successfully rolling out your new company name.
It’s a countdown, folks, so say it with us…
Know your audiences…all of them. Who are the various groups you’ll unveil the new name to, and why should they care? The latter depends on the former – different stakeholders have different reasons for taking interest in what you say and do. Using a mix of methodologies, we helped our clients identify all targets and the brand attributes most relevant for each group. For our client in health technology, we mapped key attributes across seven different audience groups; for our client in supply chain solutions, four groups.
Study your competition to pinpoint how and where you can stand out. Start with the obvious – their websites – then explore anything and everything you can get your hands on, like sales collateral, digital and print ads, social pages, and so on.
Choose the name. Share what you learned in the previous steps with key representatives from your internal teams, noting their additional perspectives on exactly what the new name should convey. Carefully narrow the focus to the most universally meaningful brand attributes, then find a name that fits just right.
Write a tagline that clearly and succinctly communicates your value proposition. Capture only the true essence…you will have plenty of opportunities to expound on it in copy. For both clients, we helped craft powerful taglines using only three words each.
Redesign your logo. Bring the new name and tagline to life with a visually appealing, contextually symbolic logo. Whether you outsource or use an in-house designer, choose colors and other visual cues wisely, as they should become the basis for the new brand standards you’re about to develop (later in the countdown, that is).
Refine your key messages. You’ve already identified who your target audiences are and what each one seeks from your company, and now it’s time to further develop and fine-tune your key messages accordingly. Craft reader-ready key messages, tuned to the listening preferences of each audience, for use in copy across an assortment of communications and media.
Develop a brand styleguide. Using the colors of your new logo as your starting point, select a full color palette for your brand and create a manual to govern employee use of colors, logos and even editorial standards if appropriate. In some cases, it’s necessary to create co-branding guidelines as well, for vendor partners to use under co-marketing circumstances.
Reveal the new name, tagline, logo, key messages and brand standards to everyone inside your organization. We suggest a meeting – or even better, a fun event – where you can present the new look and feel in ways that excite and engage the troops. Wherever possible, draw attention to the ways their input contributed to these decisions and developments. Assure them that you are providing all the tools they’ll need to live the brand in their daily work and professional interactions.
Prepare for the external launch, and leave no stone unturned. Like looking under your couch cushion and finding assets (okay, coins and pens) you’d forgotten you had, you might be surprised to discover just how many parts and pieces have your outgoing company name on it. From minutia like mailing labels to the big things like your corporate website – and partner websites that feature and/or link to you – it’s time to get downright tactical, no matter how tedious it may seem at times. We recommend using this handy company identity checklist as your starting point.
Happy New Year! Proudly light up and embrace the new you, and make it your resolution to uphold the integrity of your newly revitalized brand all year long.
Best wishes to you and yours throughout the coming year, from all of us at Dobies Healthcare Group.