By Greg Mason

The move to a new brand, name or visual identity generally signals a recalibration of a company message in line with new or refreshed business objectives. Anyone who has undergone a full rebranding — company name, logo, tagline, website — understands that it involves a significant commitment of time and resources.

In considering such a step, it makes sense to open other aspects of the business to review. Given the costs of a full rebrand, the ultimate outcome should support, and be supported by, the company culture, as a way to foster achievement of your renewed brand purpose or business goals.

In fact, rebranding presents a unique opportunity to examine a company’s cultural climate in light of its goals. Usually some form of change is needed to better align the workplace with its new branding and intended direction.

The problem is, the internal communications process can be nearly as challenging as the rebrand itself, and too often, it’s an afterthought. That’s a big mistake, because workplace culture is a powerful driver of change, and a rebranding presents an ideal opportunity to harness that energy toward renewed goals.

My company, TechMedia Network, recently rebranded to Purch. It required a full review of every aspect of the business, including company culture. Here’s how we made real changes from the ground up.

1. Evaluate the existing culture.

A well-executed rebrand starts with a brand audit, and it should include employees and stakeholders. How do they describe the company’s business and goals when casually discussing it? What does the brand stand for in their eyes? How do they characterize the culture?

A rebrand should take a hard look at the current culture and how it fits in with the overall business. A SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis with key company stakeholders will tell you if you’re on the right track.

What’s most important in this process is that you set the stage forhonest feedback. That means defining culture, outlining why it’s important, and making it clear that candid responses are important to the process. Reassuring employees in particular that nobody will be penalized for bringing up “negative” stuff — and meaning it — is critical to getting the right level of actionable insight.

During our rebrand, I asked every single person in the company via email to send me their thoughts on our culture. Not everyone responded, but many did. I ended up with an 80-page word document that was immensely valuable in informing our new culture.

2. Be clear on what you want your revitalized culture to be.

During a rebrand, a company will create new messages that capture a retooled identity and direction. Even more important is the communication of corporate values that align with the company’s mission and strategy.

When you take the time to define your values in the context of your business mission, it brings a weighted sense of priority and importance to those tenets and helps your employees see how their individual roles and interactions with one another support the company’s ability to succeed.

Defining what’s most important to your company from the top down, both internally and externally, will form the backbone of your new identity. From this foundation, your employees will be able to build upon the framework and create the kind of working environment that supports those values.

Related: ‘Brand Equity’ Is an Intangible That’s Worth Real Money

Any company can (and many do) say they want to create a “collaborative” working environment. But it’s something entirely different to define collaboration as a value within the context of the mission and vision of the company.

I should emphasize, though, that defining your values and business culture is anything but one and done. Culture is a living thing and its development is never-ending. It should be regularly evaluated and updated as necessary. It needs inputs in the way of frequent research and check-ins with all team members to determine progress and whether changes are needed.

3. Actively sell it to all employees/stakeholders.

Once you have your core values in place, it’s time to put them into action. Hold-in person meetings to debut your vision. Open up a dialogue and field questions. Be upfront and honest about the new direction and how it will affect employees. Sell your vision with substance, not marketing speak. Nothing will sink employee buy in faster than empty jargon that isn’t relevant to their daily lives.

As a company executive, you need to look for opportunities to reinforce the idea of culture and the values that inform it. A good leader will bring it to life with real-world examples and encourage company leaders, both official and informal, to embrace them, hold others accountable and recognize good modeling of those values.

Don’t be afraid to use a little “hype” to galvanize your team and make change tangible. This doesn’t mean you have to take over someone’s house like Tim Horton’s did, but you’d be surprised how something as simple as a cool hoodie or T-shirt can amplify pride and seed credibility in the new identity. With our rebrand, swag went a long way in building positivity about our direction.

4. Execute on values and culture when hiring.

Once we had our existing employees on board with our values and cultural vision, I made it a priority in our hiring process. These things must be reinforced from the outset. The introduction of our values, and how we live and breathe them every day as a part of our culture, is a key part of the orientation process.

I meet with all new employees to introduce them to the company and to individually share our values and the expectations. If a potential or existing employee can’t live by your values and embrace your culture, then they probably shouldn’t be there.

A committed team will create a better environment for new and existing employees. The cultural commitment establishes workplace pride and a sense of community that can translate into greater productivity and better ideas.

At the most basic level, if you’ve rebranded or are considering it, these strategies will help you execute real change from the bottom to the top of your organization. Culture is such an important piece of a brand’s identity and it requires an enormous effort to get it right, so seizing the moment of a rebrand is an opportunity to go much farther than a new website and a beautiful logo.

Read more: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/243636

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TechMedia Network, the platform that connects technology and SMB buyers and sellers, has rebranded under the new name Purch as it makes its official European debut in the UK.

The new name Purch is aimed to reflect the company’s position at the intersection of content and commerce, as both a content provider and an e-commerce platform.

The news coincides with Purch being named the largest Tech Inventory Network in the UK, according to the latest Comscore figures.

Purch currently helps 78 million shoppers, using its data-led platform to tailor content and commerce experiences in more than 1,000 product categories.

“Our new name embodies the company’s long-standing goals to simplify purchase decisions for consumers, and help marketers directly engage with buyers in the right place at the right time,” says Purch Chief Executive Greg Mason. “It’s a culmination of the strategic focus of our business and the steps we’ve taken to reinforce it.”

Purch’s portfolio of brands include Top Ten Reviews, Tom’s Guide, Tom’s Hardware and Live Science, all of which offer custom experiences across multiple platforms to trigger buying decisions in an array of product and service categories.

More than 7,000 marketers and sellers work with Purch to connect with ready-to-buy consumers, driving more than $1bn in commerce transactions annually.

Ad inventory across the Purch portfolio will be exclusively handled by Net Communities in the UK.

Read more: http://www.mandmglobal.com/news/06-06-14/techmedia-rebrands-as-purch.aspx

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After a long winter, rebranding has been springing up like May flowers in publishing circles.

Take tech industry publisher TechMedia Network’s recent rebrand to Purch after recent acquisitions of BestofMedia and lead-gen platform Buyer Zone. What’s behind the new name? A solidification of the company’s role as an expert source at the nexus of content and commerce—a direction it has been moving toward for some time.

“The new name is definitely evocative of our mission that we live and breathe—to make complex buying decisions more simplified for consumers and professionals,” says Erin Kapczynski, VP of marketing. Citing a “growing chasm” between the existing name and the company’s mission, Kapczynski tells min, “We wanted to communicate what we do with a new name that’s shorter, punchier and more memorable.”

According to the company, which counts a collective 78 million readers across its publications and sites, 81% of U.S. shoppers spend 79 days gathering information online before buying a product. Purch’s digital platform, which includes b2b-focused site Tom’s Hardware, matches advertising and product reviews with editorial content with a goal of increased reader engagement in both industry and consumer realms.

It’s a mission that’s served the company well, and will lead it to around $100 million in revenue this year, according to Purch, which attracts 7,000 marketers and sellers to its sites and drives north of $1 billion in annual transactions for its clients. It’s also led to growth on the content side, like the recent annexing of Ziff Davis’ Mobile Nations’ brand and its sites Android Central, iMore and Windows Phone Central to the Purch platform.

While some companies may opt to rebrand first and then steer the company in a new direction, Kapczynski says for Purch, “it was just the opposite. We took a hard look at what it is we do well, and what value we bring to consumers as well as to advertisers and sellers, and it became very clear that our value is simplifying complex buying decisions.”

By design, the executive team involved only a small group of company leaders in the decision-making process behind the rebrand, “It’s been exciting to see how quickly everyone has adopted this culture that was created as a result of rebrand.”

The same tact of company evolution first, name change second guided the rebrand at publisher F+W Media, which recently adopted the new moniker F+W, a Content + eCommerce Company. Again, the new name pretty much says it all, emphasizing the ecommerce business the company is embracing.

“We felt like we needed to do the work first, get the results and build the infrastructure and the business,” says chairman/CEO David Nussbaum. “So when we announced the rebrand there was not a lot of, ‘what are we doing and why are we doing this?’

Nussbaum says F+W rebrand “better reflects who we are, since the company moved more aggressively into the e-commerce space.” Having Media in the name “was not terribly accurate,” he notes. “We are a company that produces content, but that no longer means just an article in a magazine or a piece on a Website. It could be online video, terrestrial television, conferences and Webinars.”

Additionally, F+W currently operates more than 20 e-stores and growing, selling everything from content to products. The commerce business is leading significant growth, from $6 million in revenue when F+W opened its first digital store in 2009 to a projected $60 million in 2014, Nussbaum says. “That’s the kind of scale we’re talking about.”

By Cathy Applefeld Olsen, min online

Read more: http://www.minonline.com/b2b/Whats-in-a-Name-Behind-Two-Recent-Rebrands_24106.html#.U44-0ZRdUb5

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