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Conquering Resistance: A Guide to Selling a Branding Project to Traditional Leadership

Selling a branding project internally to your leadership team is no easy feat. We break down some proven tips and strategies to help strengthen your pitch.

Selling a branding project to leadership within a traditional organization can be like trying to sell a steak to a vegetarian – it’s not always a slam dunk. But don’t let that discourage you! With the right approach and clever communication, you can make even the most resistant of traditional organizations see the light.

The first step in selling a branding project to leadership is understanding their priorities and concerns. Do your research to understand the goals and objectives of your organization, including any challenges it currently faces. The research process can include meetings, interviews, and surveys. By understanding the priorities, you can tailor your pitch to align with the current and future needs, helping you to effectively demonstrate how the branding project will help the organization achieve its goals.

Next, it’s essential to communicate the value of the branding project to the organization. You need to highlight the project’s benefits including how it will positively impact the organization’s brand awareness, customer loyalty, talent or investor acquisition, and revenue projections, to name a few. Use data and statistics to support your claims and make a strong case for the project. It’s also important that you demonstrate how a strong brand can set the organization apart from the competition and help attract and retain top talent. Often, a comparative analysis between you and three to four key competitors is a sobering reminder of how similar you are to others in the space. 

Additionally, your pitch will go much smoother if you can communicate the process for the branding project, including a timeline, budget, and clear roles and responsibilities for those involved in the project. Coming prepared with a project timeline and budget will demonstrate to leadership that you have a solid plan in place and can execute the project efficiently and effectively.

Be prepared to address any potential concerns or objections that leadership may have. For example, they may be worried about the cost of the project or the potential disruption it may cause to existing operations. You will need a well-thought-out plan to address these concerns and demonstrate how the project’s benefits outweigh any potential downsides. Prepare a detailed cost-benefit analysis and include a plan for minimizing disruptions to existing operations. Not sure what objections to prepare for? Run your pitch by others that share the archetype or characteristics of your C-suite leadership team and see what they come back with. Alternatively, you can interview individuals who have gone through similar projects to identify what went well and come prepared with risk mitigation techniques. 

Another important strategy for selling a branding project is to present it in an easily understandable way for leadership. Use simple language and avoid industry jargon. Using visuals to help illustrate the key points of the project can  make it more engaging and easy to digest for the audience.

Leadership will want to see that you have a plan in place to measure the branding project’s success. To improve your likelihood of success, you should set clear metrics and targets for brand awareness, customer loyalty, and revenue. With a clear plan for measuring success, you can demonstrate to leadership that the branding project will deliver tangible results for the organization.

Finally—and it’s hard to overstate the importance of this one—involve leadership in the branding project from the start. Keep them informed of progress and solicit their input and feedback throughout the process. By including them in the project, you can build buy-in and support, making your branding project more likely to be approved. It’s also important to involve different levels of leadership, as their diverse perspectives can help to build support for and strengthen your proposal.

In summary, selling a branding project to leadership within a traditional organization requires a thorough understanding of senior leadership’s priorities and concerns, clear communication of the value of the project, strong evidence to address any potential objections, and a strategy that includes leadership in the project from the start. Like any other proposal, if you have a defined process, a plan to address concerns and objections, a clear explanation of the project, and a method to measure success, your idea is more likely to take flight. By following these steps and communicating effectively, you can gain the support of leadership and move forward with a successful branding project.

If you’re ready to take the first step in your branding project and would like some support in selling it to leadership, feel free to reach out to us. We’ll be more than happy to work with you and help you make it a reality.

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