A brand new future
For many years KCOM operated as five brands. However, this business model was limiting opportunities through duplication of effort, inefficiency, limited coordination and brand ‘silos’ creating perceptual divisions. When the business took a bold decision to merge all brands, they asked us to support them through the changes that lay ahead. Not least of all the challenge of overcoming the high levels of brand loyalty felt by employees to the existing brands.
Making it happen
We only had four months to engage and unite employees behind a new unified brand before the external launch, but the decision about the brand identity hadn’t yet been made! We overcame this by developing a temporary look and feel for the early phases of the programme – simply called ‘One’.
The phased engagement programme focused both on communication and emotional outcomes to ensure it wasn’t just about information. We needed to influence attitudes, behaviours and acceptance. If people bought into the rationale of ‘one brand’, they’d be more accepting of the what and how.
Dialogue and conversation was at the heart of the programme. This encouraged deeper engagement, and also gave us insights into what was most important to employees, allowing us to leverage them throughout the subsequent programme phases.
We considered learning styles and preferred methodologies for receiving information and developed a mix of visual, auditory and kinesthetic strategies that included graphically rich e-publications, animations and videos, online resources, ‘open surgeries’ with project members, screensavers, e-learning and wide use of Yammer.
A ‘little book of brand’ provided an overview of the brand and e-learning deepened employees’ understanding. We tailored the messaging and approache to different audiences, making ‘what’s in it for me’ as relevant to each individual as possible.
We used gamification, metaphors, scenarios and interaction to encourage deeper levels of dialogue and exploration around the ways of working and brand promise. We also developed a strong change network of 60 influential employees, equipping them to initiate and support the change at the heart of the business.
Analysis from the 298 teams showed that employees understood the nuances of the new brand and were making connections about what it meant to them in their role: