Implementing a Rebrand Across a Distributed Sales and Marketing Network

Lori Alba Written by: Lori Alba


How marketing resource management software helps with a rebrand

Rebranding should be (and often is) an exciting time for marketers, but if you have a distributed marketing network (i.e., dealers, distributors, retailers, agents, franchisees, etc.), the logistics of rolling out a new brand at the local level might be downright scary.

“We have trouble with brand compliance already. Getting our franchisees to start using the new brand creative and messaging is going to be a nightmare.”

Sound familiar? You’re not alone, but there are some ways to alleviate that stress.

At Brandmuscle – as our name would suggest – we’re in the business of strengthening brands. And while we usually don’t get too “salesy” in our blog posts, I’ll apologize now because this topic is our sweet spot. The reality is, having a distributed marketing management platform in place (whether ours or a competitors), will eliminate many of the challenges you’ll face during (and after) a rebrand.

Here are a few things to consider:

1. Build passion and buy-in by including your local affiliates in the rebranding process.

Involve your local affiliates in the rebrand process and they will embody the new branding beyond just your logo and tagline. By having some input into the process they’ll be more likely to embrace the new brand and stand passionately behind it. When communicating the new brand, highlight the input and research you used from customers, employees, affiliates and their peers to develop the new brand; set clear expectations, timelines and goals for adoption. Find ways to reward those who are helping you drive the brand forward.

2. Don’t forget to take “local branding” into consideration when developing your creative.

Your local affiliates want to be associated with a powerful national brand that they can stand behind and confidently sell locally. In most instances, local affiliates have a choice on which brand they choose to sell. You want affiliates investment in selling your brand to reign supreme. Keep that in mind when you’re developing new creative; make sure affiliates have ample room to co-brand and localize your marketing materials so they can support the brand while driving customers to their local businesses. Check out an older post for tips on designing advertising that works best in local markets.

3. Develop a solid launch plan to inform your local affiliates of the rebrand – communicate early and communicate often.

It’s critical that you communicate openly with your local affiliates about the rebrand process and timing while giving them everything they need to easily get your new brand to market quickly and consistently. Make sure you’ve scheduled announcements and availability of materials with enough time for them to implement in their local channels. Every local affiliate and channel partner should know the rebrand is coming early enough to make adjustments on their end (i.e., any local campaigns they have scheduled should mirror and leverage what your brand is putting out nationally). Err on the side of early- and over- communication.

4. If you already have a distributed marketing management platform, you’re ahead of the curve.

If you have a distributed marketing management platform in place you should be able to launch new brand assets and templates for your entire network of local affiliates in a few days. Be sure to notify your vendor about your plans to rebrand. At Brandmuscle, we encourage our clients to loop us in as soon as possible so we can take on some of the heavy lifting by helping with template design, loading of assets, updating the site with new branding, etc.

For instance, one of our clients was recently acquired and needed to update all of their marketing materials to incorporate a new logo and tagline. This client has over 1,200 independent dealers who generate about 800 local marketing campaigns each month. In less than three weeks, hundreds of templates – meaning thousands of local assets –were updated, and dealers were in-market with the company’s new logo and messaging.

5. If you don’t have a distributed marketing management platform (or are considering switching vendors), a rebrand is the best time to launch.

I’ve been at Brandmuscle for six years in the marketing department and have the unique pleasure of following our clients on their journey with us – from the sales process, to implementation, through contract renewal. What I love best is reaching out to a client two to three years after implementation to write a case study and hearing about how we’ve helped them solve a problem or meet a goal.

While it might seem like overload to launch a DMM platform at the same time as your rebrand, clients who have done it have enjoyed increased adoption and saved money and time. Partnering with a DMM vendor during the rebrand process allows us to work with your creative team or agency and help them think through localization strategies and template design. We can help you take inventory of assets to ensure you’re only launching with items your affiliates use, thereby streamlining the user experience, and reducing cost. Based on years of experience we can identify opportunities to drive adoption like conducting live training sessions and hosting on-site launches at a major company event.

Lastly, it’s about change. Tying the launch of your new DMM platform to the rollout of your new branding confirms your support for local affiliates and cements the idea that you’ve made a positive change. Most of all, it shows you’re committed to providing affiliates with the local marketing tools and resources they need to be successful now and in the future.


Want to know more about our distributed marketing management platform for local marketing automation? Contact us here to request a demo.


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