You’ve run the numbers. You’ve done the research. You’ve talked to your customers. You know it’s time to evolve your brand.

So what are you waiting for? Just all of your key stakeholders to get on board; no big deal. And not only do you need to get them on board with the budget and resources required, but you need to find a way to turn your internal stakeholders into brand ambassadors to ensure the effort will stick.

Instead of throwing your hands up in defeat, it’s time to employ consensus building to get your brand change off the ground.

What is consensus building?

Consensus building is cultivating an agreement toward a common goal or idea. Coming to a consensus doesn’t necessarily mean all parties get everything they want, but rather, they are able to come to an agreement everyone can support.

There are lots of tactics to support consensus building, including listening or visioning sessions, utilizing data and insights, polling opinions, brainstorms and more. The goal is not just that people feel heard but that they can get on board with the direction. If there are still dissenters after all’s said and done, momentum and impact of the idea can be lost.

Consensus building is leveraged in various ways in business, from small decisions, such as where the team should go for lunch, to big ones, like the decision to transform a brand’s identity.

For those big decisions, particularly related to brand change, understanding consensus building tactics and how to implement them across your internal stakeholders is critical for success. The results? A feeling of investment that leads to more effective implementation, higher engagement, and ultimately a stronger, more consistent brand experience that your customers will feel.

Identifying your champions

No matter how many tools you invest in or what kind of state-of-the-art technology you have, at the end of the day, you need good old-fashioned human beings to make it all work for your organization.

When embarking on a brand change, you first need to identify two core groups of people:

  • Who are your internal champions? Those who drive and support change while bringing others along for the ride.
  • Who is going to set you back because they aren’t on board with the mission? Those who may doubt or disagree with the direction – particularly those who have the influence and authority to do so.

Once you understand who fits into each of these two groups, you can plan out how to engage them at each step of the journey. Those in the latter group may need to be engaged early and often, utilizing one-on-one conversations and listening sessions to ensure they feel heard and part of the process. You can also utilize individuals from the first group, your champions, to bring those in the second along.

When rebranding UNC Health, our team collaborated with an internal champion from the Board of Directors to bring her peers along on the visual evolution. As a respected and trusted individual within an influential group, she was able to convince those doubting the change of the need and value in a way that our core brand team couldn’t achieve alone.

It’s a marathon, not a sprint

Once you’ve identified who the core people are that you need to engage, think strategically about how and when they need to be involved. There are situations when coming to a consensus can be a one-and-done, but for something as big as brand, different groups often need to be brought together at various points through the journey. Trying to bring people to consensus on too much at once can be overwhelming for them and have negative consequences on your objectives.

Additionally, there may be moments when true consensus or full agreement is needed, and others for which you simply want to ensure key parties stay informed so as not to be surprised or become dissenters down the road. Thinking ahead about who to engage when, and setting key points of interaction early on, ensures you will stay on track and creates more internal champions.

Our team partnered with our core clients on this approach when working through the rebrand of Cella, a creative and marketing staffing and consulting company. With two original founders still actively engaged in the direction of the business, it was essential that they understood and supported not just one, but several key decisions as we embarked on the brand transformation. We met with the core team early on and determined what those key moments were, how we wanted to engage the founders, and what was needed to bring them along. This forward thinking allowed us to continue our momentum with their engagement and support, ensuring we got their buy-in on key deliverables at the right moments and in bite-sized chunks.

Tackling a successful brand transformation with Monigle

Consensus building tactics help teams unite under a common goal and, subsequently, come to a stronger outcome. Thoughtfully considering the internal stakeholders to engage throughout a brand change, and how, helps reduce unexpected surprises, enables higher brand engagement and supports a human-centric brand experience.

Monigle’s more than 50-year journey implementing successful brand transformations for clients has left us with a wealth of experience building consensus across and throughout the organization. Contact us today to talk about how Monigle can help achieve your brand goals.

Sara Zweig
August 1, 2023 By Sara Zweig