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Make the case for change

20 March 2015

Are you experiencing an organisational impasse around your brand or communications? Remember, behind every brilliant organisation is often one person who championed the need for change. You could be that person!

Here are some ways to kick-start the process of change:

Align your case with the organisational strategy

Change for change’s sake appeals to no one.

Keep any conversation rooted in helping your organisation achieve its goals. This will be much more compelling than “our logo looks outdated”.

Get colleagues involved 

People want to be involved and heard.

They may have different perspectives on the 'need' for the project, it’s important to understand their reservations so you can address them one by one as you build your case. Consider setting up a cross-organisational project team to establish a platform where different voices from the organisation can be heard and included in the process.

Look to others

Read up on case studies from other organisations.

There will always be other organisations that have undergone similar processes, whether it’s changing their name or launching a new website. Arming yourself with best practice examples of these can help bolster your own internal case for change, or at the very least, give you an idea of what the process involves.

Industry press – Third Sector or PR Weekly  for example, frequently carry case studies or at least an overview of who’s rebranded or launched new campaigns. Organisations themselves are increasingly transparent about the reasons behind, and cost of, new brands or major campaigns. Here Global Justice Now talks about the rationale behind its recent rebrand.

Invest in a mini-workshop

An external perspective on your challenge can inject some fresh energy and much needed objectivity.

This doesn’t have to mean committing to an agency long-term: a one-off session can bring benefits too. A morning or afternoon with a couple of agency creatives or strategists alongside key people within your organisation is a good opportunity to explore the issue and do some exercises to unlock answers.

This session could be focused around a specific issue – a name change, or something much broader. We often take part in these and find they give organisations either the direction they need to crack the problem themselves or the reassurance, enthusiasm or wider buy-in needed to embark on something bigger.

Listen to your audience

External opinion doesn’t have to come from a consultancy.

Asking your existing audiences to participate in a short survey gives you tangible evidence to strengthen your case. Getting your audience’s perspective on your brand or communications can help your colleagues see the need for change.

Emmie Spencer

strategist, Neo

Brands can shift products or they can shift thinking and behaviours. It’s the latter that most interests Emmie and inspired her move from working in commercial advertising to working at Brighton-based brand communications agency Neo. Making the complex simple is her skill and her obsession, whether that’s uncovering a brand’s purpose or crafting a piece of copy. Emmie is the strategic and creative lead on many projects at Neo and provides creative support across all its work.