Rebranding is Change Leadership

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By Aaron Templer

How many guitarists does it take to change a lightbulb? Two: One to do it, and another to tell everyone how they would have done it better.

Marketers are like guitarists in this way. We just love to amp up our outrage anytime there’s a high visibility rebrand (even if they work out just fine most of the time). It’s a passtime of ours, really. In my first column for Inc.com (here’s all three I’ve written for them) I use this as a vector for discussing one dimension of leadership’s relationship with marketing: Branding and rebranding is mostly about leadership because leading an organization’s identity change is actually a complex and sophisticated exercise in leadership, challenging for the most seasoned leaders let alone marketers without any leadership training. So without a little change leadership acumen, rebranding efforts risk going the way of any number of branding failures.

As I wrote in my column:

“Imagine a branding effort led by a team versed in John Kotter’s principles of change leadership. A team that understands the importance of and knows how to instill a sense of urgency for the rebrand; builds the proper internal coalition to advocate for it; creates a compelling vision for the future state of the new brand; enables others to act by removing barriers (as opposed to imposing talking points); and seeks to highlight early and small wins to build momentum.”

Three Over Four’s background in leadership helps our clients in all kinds of ways, including our branding, brand strategy, and rebranding projects.

And we’ll keep our rebranding critiques to ourselves.

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