Brand Management needs involvement and collaboration

So just how do you get brand changes approved by management and embraced by employees?

In a recent Forbes article, John Ellett interviewed Verchele Wiggins, Holiday Inn’s  Vice President of Global Brand Management, about the chain’s recent rebranding efforts. It’s a wide-ranging article that ends with this exchange:

Holiday Inn pillar sign JOHN ELLETT:  From a leadership perspective, what were the most important personal characteristics that helped you get all of these changes both accepted and implemented in the organization?

VERCHELE WIGGINS:  The first word that comes to mind is collaboration — making sure that everyone felt like they were a part of the process, which they were. So it was a collaborative approach and not the global brand team sitting in an ivory tower creating these new positionings.

We truly reached out and got everyone involved, not just regional brands, but also our counterparts in design and innovation and strategy and insights. We had people from our agencies involved. We had the social media team involved in the process. We really had a great mix of cross-functional counterparts across geographies involved in developing the new work, which enabled them to be brand advocates and champions in their regions. So by the time we got to our executive committee we had so much support bubbled up through the organization that we were able to confidently stand there and say that this had been well vetted….More at Holiday Inn Turns 60, Refines Brand Strategy – Forbes

So it may sound messy, but getting inputs and then doing whatever it takes to hammer out the strategy in collaboration with all parties affected works.  It gets both management and employees marching to the same drummer in implementing consistent, well-understood brand communications.

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