The central government of the Netherlands is decentralising. For many municipalities, this implies additional duties and responsibilities. Because of this abundance of tasks, many (smaller) municipalities are no longer equipped to execute all activities. A reorganisation or merger of municipalities creates larger entities that are better capable of implementing all tasks. Such municipal merger concerns many aspects, one of them is the new brand identity.
Solely when the new name and corporate identity of the new municipality are properly communicated, it will be clear for all residents and other stakeholders that the former municipalities no longer exist.
Every reclassification is unique and requires a different approach, depending on a variety of factors. However, there are certain steps that can be followed for streamlining the process. We have developed a five-step plan that ensures an organised and orderly rebranding.
Step 1: Impact analysis and survey
It is not without reason that the adage states that a good start is half the battle. A properly performed rebranding requires a complete understanding of all items that need to be rebranded. What is the current situation, and what are the requirements in the new situation? Which items bearing the old brand identity should return in the new style? An impact analysis results in a report, which entails a minimum and maximum scenario, coupled with a realistic assessment of required budget and feasible planning.
In addition, the survey provides a list of all existing brand identity carriers. It appears that many municipalities are surprised by the amount and variety of carriers. In most cases, not even all carriers need to be rebranded.
Step 2: Planning and budget
The impact analysis results in a report that serves as the basis for making an informed choice for a scenario. From there on the planning and budget can be determined, while prioritising on the basis of time, finances, impact and /or communication purposes. In our experience municipalities often choose for a scenario that is somewhere in the middle of a phased and a big-bang implementation.
Now that the scenario has been chosen, it is advisable to arrange teams that decide what needs to be done per group of brand identity carriers. This phase is also very suitable for research of potential savings. Limiting the number of variations of printed matter is often one way to achieve savings.
Step 3: Materialisation
After the design agency delivers the new logo and brand identity, the design needs to be adjusted for various types of brand identity carriers. The aim is to ensure an optimal, but consistent, brand appearance on all types of carriers.
Step 4: Production and assembly
When eventually it is clear which carriers are to be rebranded, it is time for the supplier selection, followed by the start of the production and the scheduling of the assembly.
Step 5: Launch date
Finally, the launch date has arrived! From now on the new municipality is officially up and running. The new brand identity adorns in the entire municipality, and the old logos are nowhere to be found. A solid start for the new municipality and its residents. The only thing remaining is to ensure a consistent use of the brand identity and to manage it well. But that is for the next stage.