Dan JanalNSA – the National Speakers Association – had the right intentions to rebrand: they wanted to reflect the changing nature of the speaking industry and they wanted to be more inclusive to people who speak as a part of their business, i.e. authors, consultants, coaches, trainers, facilitators and so on.
Here are 10 factors organizations should consider when they rebrand:
1.     Ask for comments from a sizable number of stakeholders, such as members and industry partners.
2.     Build consensus from insider members such as former presidents and board members as well as local leaders and influencers. Given time, these people and others could have become advocates and evangelists.
3.     Pick a name that is unique, interesting and memorable.
4.     Choose a tagline that explains the group’s mission or membership.
5.     Make sure the name isn’t used by a competitor in the same context, otherwise you’ll spend a fortune in legal fees settling the issue.
6.     Choose a logo that is clearly identifiable. If people have to wonder what a symbol means or looks like, then start over.
7.     Test the name and logo with several focus groups of stakeholders, such as members and people who hire them.
8.     Consider the cost of promoting the new brand as you are stewards of the organizations’s financial resources.
9.     Consider that the new brand can be phased in over time, not in one swoop. That can give all stakeholders a chance to get used to a new name, tagline or logo.
10.  Be brave. Don’t go along with the consensus if you feel they are going down the wrong path.
Time will tell if they hit a home run or put their foot in their mouth.