Rebranding: Are you ready to innovate?

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In celebration of World Creativity and Innovation Week, I wanted to share our viewpoint on creativity and innovation in the rebranding processes. When an organization needs to rebrand, it means that somewhere along the way, it got stuck. In rebranding, size really doesn’t matter. It can be necessary for a 2 person startup to industry leaders and everything in between. The process is the same — a series of guided exercises played out in workshop meant to get to the core of what a brand really is.

At the most fundamental level, re-branding is a concerted effort to innovate. It means the organization has realized it must do something in a new way. That is a vulnerable place to be. A company ready to rebrand needs to think carefully about how ready they are to re-invent themselves.  Innovation requires an honest look at what is to clearly see what can be. It is not easy. It is not fun.

So how do you know you are ready to innovate through the rebranding process?

Do Whatever it Takes. Often, organizations have spent a great deal of time fixing what is broken. This is a group of smart people that despite their best, something still isn’t working. All the effort and brainpower can only mean that something is fundamentally wrong. Innovation by definition means it MUST do something in a new way. The old way, must be so painful, you are willing to do whatever it takes to change it.

Retrace Your Path. Understand where the organization got off-track. Was it the early customers who controlled the roadmap? The failure to make decisions based on accurate (or no) data? Or just moving in too many directions that true progress couldn’t happen. As part of innovation, it is important to acknowledge and learn from what didn’t work. And, then let it go. To truly innovate, you need to be abandon the woulda, coulda, shoulda mentality to think freely about what might the truer path.

Find the Real Story. Willingly abandon your story and perspective to see the impact of your product, service or idea. Clearly and painstakingly look at what the early customers and friendly advisors were really saying. This is the time to look at the nuances and messages buried in what people were really saying. It is an exercise is listening with the intent of finding the common emotional connection that you can fulfill.

Seek the Small Change. Innovation isn’t about making a huge change. It comes from making a new connection that potentially can have a big impact. It is often small and previously overlooked. It can be disguised as anything — a tweak to the positioning, a slightly different customer experience, razor focus on a thing you do better than anyone else, a new onboarding process, a refined value proposition or discovering the best customer was the person next to the guy you were selling to.

Innovation is not something that happens naturally within organizations. It is a mindset backed by the willingness to go through a process that will make room for it. Creativity and innovation are a result of hard work. It is not always easy but it always yields great results.

Image source: Creative Commons