When companies stagnate, they will take a variety of efforts to reinvigorate. They will

  • Bring in culture consultants which elicits eye-rolling and confusion across their team
  • Double down on their sales people, causing frustration and anxiety in their frontline employees
  • Bring in an efficiency or cost-savings expert who alienates the company’s partners – some of their most loyal and knowledgeable advocates

And the company ends up with an anxious workforce, alienated vendors and a frustrated customer base. So they turn to their advertising team and start down the road of rebranding.

There’s a belief that rebranding will solve a company’s problems. We call this The Rebranding Myth and we’re here to shatter that myth.

  • We believe rebranding is wrong, painful, expensive, unethical and marketing malpractice.
  • We believe companies put a lot of time, effort and money into becoming successful.
  • Rebranding is repeating work that’s already been done, looking for a different outcome (Einstein said this is the definition of insanity).
  • Rebranding wastes time and money, confuses the market and frustrates the team.

A company’s brand is who the company is, how they got to be where they are and why they keep pursuing their dreams. Why would a company want to change that?

The issue is not that they need a new brand, but rather their brand is out of alignment. There are missed gaps and undiscovered strengths within the organization.

You don’t get a new car if the brakes squeak. You don’t buy a new house if the paint is peeling. And you usually don’t get a new spouse if you have one fight.

You look for where the problems are and try to fix them. You realign your tires, paint your house, apologize to your spouse and find a way to realign both your expectations.

Similarly, a company needs to find where their brand is out of alignment. It could be a need for better technology, enhanced training, remodeled delivery systems, and often just better internal communication.

How does a company discover those gaps and strengths? They ask their people – they know. Sidney Yoshida’s Iceberg of Ignorance discovered that in one organization, 100% of the frontline employees knew the issues and challenges facing the company. Their supervisors knew about 74% of the issues. Middle management knew about 9% and the C-suite knew about 4% of the issues and challenges facing their company. A 2019 IBM study confirmed this disconnect continues.

And a 2016 survey uncovered that 56% of employees have suggestions for improvement in their company, and 43% have insights that could reduce costs. Yet only 33% of employees say they are surveyed once a year, or less. And over 50% said employers weren’t asking the right questions.

But even if a company asks the right questions, they aren’t going to get the full, honest, candid, raw insights they need to close gaps and build on strengths to get their organization back into alignment. Few employees feel confident enough to be 100% truthful with their supervisors, leadership team or HR department. There’s just too much at stake.

But, the employees will be candid with an outside third party – especially within the context of discussing brand. Everybody loves to talk about brand.

And this is where the MBM Smart Branding Process comes in.

But first we need to shatter the myth of rebranding.