The word rebranding takes on a different dimension if it is wrapped in a merger of finance companies across 30 countries. Making it happen at this €500 bn AUM asset management firm, presented major challenges from regulators, customers and employees.
Futurelab was brought in to manage all three aspects of an urgent, mission-critical change programme.
After acquiring a smaller competitor, this top-tier Paris-based asset manager was under huge pressure to address complex brand transition in more than 30 markets – by a given deadline. Add to that, hundreds of employees with job security concerns and a hesitance towards their new owners; many of them had only just survived a previous merger with a Dutch investment firm. Throw into the mix, many customers who had already seen their investments change hands twice too often; a drop in confidence would mean disaster for the newly formed asset manager.
A small team for a big job
We don’t have armies of consultants because we don’t need them. External consultants never really understand a business as well as people who work in it; at Futurelab we don’t pretend to. So how do we handle change management projects on this scale and of this urgency? Our strength lies in our ability to harness the skills, knowledge and experience of your people. Experience allows just a few of our senior consultants to galvanize dozens, hundreds or thousands of employees and steer them towards change objectives. Working alongside and inside clients is second nature to us.
A single calendar for rebranding
Coordinated by a Lead Project Manager from Futurelab, half a dozen Futurelab advisers pulled together teams of relevantly skilled counterparts in the client’s offices around the world. With this network of change agents we pushed through three simultaneous streams of activity over six months:
- Review the legal implications of the rebrand and ensure all new logo/name issues gained regulatory approval in more than 30 countries
- Develop a communications programme to gain buy-in from incumbent and new employees; accommodating a variety of cultures and time zones
- Going to market: the practical and emotional ramifications of rebranding on the brand promise, customer trust and marketing communications.
We understand the finer points of rebranding
Many companies rebrand with a fresh lick of paint and a name change. Not only are they ignoring the potentially disastrous emotional impact of change on staff and customers, they are missing an opportunity to reinforce their brand values and renew their customer promise. In key markets, Futurelab used its customer insight experience to measure levels of attachment to the old brand and negativity towards the new. Particularly in the Netherlands, we identified pockets of customers who were vulnerable to churn; we helped shape and get group approval for priority communications programmes, designed to reassure and retain.
All tracks of the rebranding were executed on time, within budget and in a manner that balanced head office requirements with the operational reality in each of the countries affected.
If your business is about to put on a new face and it seeks a comprehensive approach which considers the practical, regulatory and customer implications of rebranding, call us for an informal chat