How we merged 9 brands into one

How we merged 9 brands into one

Feb 2016 - Dec 2016

Google Workspace
Adobe CC

How we merged 9 brands into one

Project results


Brands consolidated


Story & Strategy

Project Objectives

In this project, I designed and executed a process to aggregate nine sub-brands into one new brand.  The organization was previously divided into geographic regions, and each was allowed to cultivate its own brand for events. This created confusion for the target audience as well as potential partnerships.  The disconformity also produced significant work redundancies and greatly impeded collaboration efforts.

The key objectives included:

  • Creation of a new brand
  • Internal and external communication plans
  • Implementation plan for aligning current products to the new brand

Project Execution

Strategic and Business Management

Because we were redefining the brand for one of the organization's flagship products, a lot of attention was given to alignment with business objectives.  We worked with the executive leadership to ensure the goals of both the project and the product were aligned with the long-term goals of the organization.

Technical Project Management

Employees at every level had a lot of ownership and loyalty to these previous brands, so we had a few thousand people who considered themselves key stakeholders.  The regional leadership also had a history of significant influence in these events.  Stakeholder and communications management were two key knowledge areas for us to focus on.

I developed an internal communication plan which included:

  • Developing a communication calendar.
  • Scripting a video for the executive director to record.  
  • Producing and mailing swag boxes to leaders across the country.
  • Sending multiple organization-wide communication updates.  
  • Creating FAQs related to what is changing and why.  
  • Provided weekly updates accessible to the organization.  
  • Developing talking points for leaders at different levels across the organization.  

To keep track of who needed what kind of information updates, I created and maintained a stakeholder register and RASCI matrix.

Because a brand informs everything about a product, we knew scope creep was going to be a real issue.  The team specifically worked hard to clarify how far into the implementation this project was being asked to give definition.

It took a while to baseline scope because this was not a common practice yet in the organization. Myself and another national director acted as change control board and reviewed all requested changes to scope.


I assembled and led the team, which was responsible for all other aspects of the project, including design, brand definition, marketing, operations and communications.  As a team, we shared a lot of responsibilities initially and then became more specialized in our roles once baselines for scope and schedule were set.

The team was distributed geographically across the county.  We were able to meet a few times but primarily worked remotely.  This required some experimentation in tools and cadence of meetings, but we quickly found a good mix.

We sought to lead as publicly as possible in order to gain organizational alignment and to give visibility to the changes and how others could be a part of it.


One of the key takeaways from this project for me is you can't communicate too much.  We were communicating more often, more broadly and more specifically than any other project had in our organization. In hindsight, though, we probably could have communicated even more.

Where there is a significant change, people don't know what they know and what they don't.  If they don't know something is changing, they don't know the past information is out of date.  If they haven't heard that something is staying the same, then they don't know if they can still trust that information.  This means you really need to be clear about everything and do that repeatedly.

The other key takeaway is when change hasn't happened for a long time, change will be hard.  The organization had not experienced a change of this magnitude for many years, so it was disorienting to many leaders and other employees.  A lot of grace and patience are needed with people are experiencing change and transition.

Project Outcomes

The new brand launched publically in March, just two months after the project was intimated, and was fully implemented in events in December, still less than a year from initiation.  Not only was the rebrand successful in creating clarity, efficiency and collaboration, but it facilitated key growth in organizational culture and process.

The team worked to establish an initial structure for the continued operation of this new unified event brand.  In January, twelve months after project initiation, we closed the project and transitioned ongoing operations.

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