When it comes to successfully rebranding a company, Revelian CEO Cherie Curtis FIML has been there, done that.
Among the many changes Curtis has witnessed since joining the company as a psychology intern in 1999 is the rebranding of Onetest to Revelian, the people analytics company which has assessed more than 200,000 people around the world in the past 12 months.
As the man charged with leading AIM into the future as the Institute of Managers and Leaders, Chief Executive David Pich FIML, finds plenty of common ground with Cherie in the first of three podcasts around ‘Change’.
“Changing your brand is a big decision and it’s not taken lightly because we had carved a lot of market share with the Onetest brand and people knew us and had a strong positive association with that name,” says Curtis, who was named Manager of the Year at the 2016 Australian Leadership Excellence Awards.
“One of the biggest concerns is around brand equity. Onetest had banked so much recognition, so much value in that name and we questioned whether we were giving that all up.
“A fear of losing what we had built is what held us back from rebranding earlier. We were proud of our reputation and we were emotionally attached to the name and the business.
“But the reality is now that we are on this side of the rebrand that we didn’t lose traction and it strengthened us moving forward.
“Our old brand name was solid but having moved to Revelian we are completely attached to this new identity and this is us – we are proud of who we are.”
When it comes to the role of a leader in guiding a team through a rebrand, Cherie is adamant communication and consultation are critical.
“There is so much uncertainty for everyone because everybody feels an attachment to the name – it’s part of them,” she says.
“Everybody has a unique perspective and as a leader you have to stand in their shoes and look back at the situation and have the conversation with them as how to how it will affect them both with risks and positives.
“Over time the new brand can start to stand on its own and you find yourself not referencing the old name. You don’t need that anchor anymore and that’s exciting because you know you have created a new entity.”
The question of whether the new brand still represents us as an organisation and still represents where we want to go is at the heart of the re-branding discussion.
Mr Pich believes the rebranding will allow the Institute to go after new markets like universities, higher education and other professional bodies – and have the opportunity to reconnect with any members AIM may have lost.
As Cherie Curtis points out, “brand is an interactive thing”.
“How much do your members/clients want to attach their identity to your brand? That is the biggest endorsement they can provide,” Curtis says.
“Brand is about people wanting to associate themselves with that brand.”