I recently attended a Reno-Tahoe American Marketing Association luncheon featuring branding insights from International Game Technology’s (IGT) director of corporate marketing, Maarten Löbker, and digital strategist Sean Corbett. Within the past year, IGT updated its decades-old logo with a fresh new look, and successfully rolled out a global rebranding effort to both internal and external audiences, complete with an unveiling of its new look at the September 2013 G2E Summit:
According to this blog post entitled “Rebranding Essentials – Part 1: Why Rebrand?” from author Susan Gunelius, companies can either rebrand proactively or reactively. Reasons to proactively rebrand include predicted growth, introducing a new line of business or a new market, reaching a new audience, or wanting to remain relevant. Reactive rebranding occurs due to a merger or acquisition, legal issues, competitive influences, or negative publicity. In the case of IGT, it was the desire to present a new brand identity reflective of a convergence among gaming, entertainment and technology that drove the move to change.
Below follows a video overview of IGT’s new brand:
According to Löbker and Corbett, below were the basic steps IGT followed when initiating this rebranding effort:
- Strategic Foundation: Define what makes your brand unique and relevant.
- Identity Development: Create the visual identity system and brand architecture.
- Creative Platform: Develop standards, campaign, creative, and tools.
- Employee Engagement: Educate the workforce and build brand advocates.
- Experience Alignment: Internalize the brand at every touch point and measure results.
In terms of launching the brand internally, Löbker and Corbett stressed the importance of creating employee advocates. Their specific advice was to “think globally, act locally; create anticipation for the change; show, don’t tell; acknowledge the past; create excitement for the future, and empower.”
When going all out for the brand launch, they stressed the importance of making sure to tell the new brand story with relevant audiences, covering your bases, expecting opinions, and being sure to leverage change.
In short—especially in the case of a major rebranding effort—driving change requires more than a plan. Make sure to always show empathy to those impacted by the change, provide tools, remove barriers, and respond quickly to any concerns, issues, and questions along the way.