1 min Read
February 25, 2016

Rebranding won’t fix that

Rebranding can improve a lot of things, but there are some areas it just won’t help.

Rebranding won’t fix your organization’s murky mission.

That’s what strategic planning and other good organizational development processes are for. If someone is telling you to rebrand so you can figure out who or what you really are,  they’re putting the cart before the horse, unless rebranding also includes tackling your ‘theory of change’ or other fundamental organizational strategies.  Organizations that change the way they communicate after a strategic plan or a change in leadership get better results.

Rebranding won’t make people behave better.

Rebranding can help create a shared sense of vision or purpose around what you’re trying to communicate, but it won’t fix what ails most bad managers. Defining your organization’s values can be a good place to start, though. Clearly defined organizational values, along with clear practices to bring them to life with your staff and board, can help provide language and guidance when people misbehave. Also, don’t forget to include those difficult personalities in the rebranding process. If they’ve had a chance to participate they are much more likely to support and use the end results.  

Rebranding won’t automatically drive traffic to your website or drop checks in your mailbox.

Think of your rebrand as one on-ramp to a repaved highway of faster, smoother communicating. The fundraising, recruiting, and awareness-raising work you do (e.g., using your new brand) is really what drives supporters. Don’t forget to save time, money, and energy to roll out and integrate your new visuals, messaging, and brand strategy into the pieces your audiences receive every day.

In 2014 Big Duck co-authored a study on the impact rebranding has on nonprofits called The Rebrand Effect. We investigated what nonprofits that rebrand have changed, why they did it, and what effects (positive and negative) those changes had on their staff, fundraising, programs, and more. If you’re wondering what rebranding CAN do, download our free ebook or watch this recorded webinar about the Rebrand Effect.