A brand is the vehicle a business uses to communicate what it is doing internally, to its customers and stakeholders. At Narrative, we develop brands for a living – as well as delivering quality PR, creative, advertising, digital and strategic services, of course. In 2015 – when the company was known as Press Ahead – I realised that our business had changed substantially and to the point our customers, potential customers and our team didn’t fully understand all of the services we offered and how we delivered them. Consequently, I decided that we should follow our own advice and ensure that as our company evolved, our brand also evolved with it.
Listen to the people you want to work with
At the start of any brand project, I’d recommend finding out what your stakeholders think of you. Including what they think you do, how you do it and what they like about you. You may not always like the responses, but it’s an important step to understand how others perceive your business.
The feedback our company received when we did this highlighted strengths and weaknesses, which helped us to validate what we thought we already knew, and ultimately strengthened my resolve to create a brand that truly reflected our business and our fantastic team.
Your internal team may have the answers
During the rebrand process, we decided to open up discussions with our internal team and this proved to be a major factor in our eventual success. Through these open discussions, I could find out what the team felt Narrative stood for in a heartfelt, off the cuff way, and this helped inform our final branding decision by ensuring we created a brand that truly reflected what we do.
It can be difficult for any senior team to create an open, honest dialogue with their staff about their company and its values – especially in larger companies. Sometimes it can be useful to have an independent person facilitating this process. Ultimately, I would recommend having such internal discussions because the brand decisions you make based on what you hear will be much stronger. And it is much more likely that workforce will become proactive brand advocates.
Prepare for bumps along the way
The team involved in a rebrand will likely all have their own views on the identity of your brand. People often see their place of employment as a reflection of themselves and their own values, so can hold their opinions quite highly.
Sometimes it is necessary to take a step back and take everyone’s views into account – even if this means your project takes longer.
Don’t lose sight of your goal
A brand project can be a huge investment for an organisation, in both time and money, and can also push emotional boundaries. However, if you’re looking to grow your business, it will definitely pay off.
After a recent successful period for the company, Narrative is starting to think again about how it communicates what it does as the business evolves. Our business continues to grow and change as we find better ways to support our customers in what is a very fast-moving environment. This time we won’t need to change our name, but we will need to refresh our brand to better convey how
Narrative can help our customers with their own brand and marketing issues – watch this space!