02/20/2013 01:26 pm ET Updated Apr 22, 2013

Re-Igniting Your Brand, From the Inside Out

If you're considering a brand makeover, you should start internally. You should first prepare and train your employees and make any needed organizational adjustments.

That's important because re-branding should be all about improving the customer experience. And the only way to accomplish that is through your employees and well-oiled, efficient operations.

Simply changing your logo and redesigning your website doesn't get you very far when trying to re-position your brand. Everyone knows this, right? Then why do so many brands simply apply a fresh coat of paint and declare victory?

If you want a measurable return on investment for your re-branding, here are some important steps to take internally before launching that expensive re-branding campaign:

Define the desired outcome

What changes or improvements do you want your customers to experience as a result of the re-branding. An improved call center? A speedier online or in-person checkout? New product choices?

Whatever it is, define it and establish baselines and metrics.

Because for the average consumer, new logos are a dime a dozen. What they really care about is what matters to them. Find out what that is, then deliver it.

Train your employees

Share your re-branding strategy with all employees. Explain why you're doing it, how you intend to do it, and what you expect to accomplish.

Do your employees know how to run the new call center? Are they conversant in the new product choices? Are your web people up-to-speed on the new design and user experience?

Provide employees the tools to support your re-branding

Establish a go-to place for all things re-branding -- messaging, new templates, brand training.

Your employees must know the following:

• Your brand promise: What you do.
• Your purpose: Why you do it.
• Your values or behavior
• Your look and feel
• How you express yourself: Messaging, advertising, websites, social media, etc.

And does everyone know where find these things? An intranet or extranet site works great, but make sure it's easy to use and that people in the field can get quick answers to their questions.

Align internally

Use re-branding as an opportunity to address internal or systemic issues related to culture or organizational design. This is where leadership matters -- think long-term solutions, not quick fixes.

For example, perhaps you've wanted to re-orient your approach to marketing in terms of centralized vs. decentralized operations, planning, and budgeting. But the proper timing has never presented itself.

Re-branding is the perfect time. After all, the success of your new brand identity may depend on making these long-overdue changes.

Why it all matters

If you do it right, you'll have all sorts of metrics dashboards and feedback mechanisms to gauge the success of your re-branding.

But it sometimes comes down to this: At a family gathering, someone mentions your new television commercial to one of your employees. And your employee, well-prepared in advance, delivers a perfect 30-second "elevator speech" about what it all means.

All that internal preparation just paid off in a big way -- externally.