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A Brand Rollout Done Right: Salesloft

9 min read
Salesloft Rollout 16 9

Your brand project involves some of the most important decisions you’ll ever make about your brand — including how you choose to roll it out. It’s your first opportunity to share your new brand with the outside world, and accordingly, you’ll want to make the right impression.

In our previous post on brand rollouts, we discussed the missteps and learnings we can take away from the Twitter/X rebrand. Now, it’s time to focus on rolling out your brand the right way, from start to finish. Each step of the way, you’ll get a peak behind the curtain of how Salesloft, who worked with Focus Lab on its rebrand, successfully rolled out its new brand.

Assemble Your Team

The size of your organization and the complexity involved in updating to align your new brand might make your rollout a daunting task. And there might be a lot you’re forgetting. That’s because creating your brand and rolling it out well takes time and effort, and it can become a full-time job in itself. All of that can be a lot to balance on top of your regular workload, especially if your brand is in its early stages and you’re already wearing a lot of hats in your role.

So, consider tagging in some teammates. Anyone who assisted in your rebrand is likely a good choice; they already understand your new brand and might also have insights on its rollout that you hadn’t already thought of. Any project managers on your team might also make good candidates, as this work can involve a lot of tasks, timelines, and dependencies — the things they deal with day in and day out.

An added bonus: The folks you involve now can serve as brand stewards after your brand rolls out. Not only are you sharing the load with the rest of your team, but you’re also spreading brand knowledge across your organization, further strengthening the brand and how it’s applied.

How Salesloft Did It

Salesloft serves a global audience of sales professionals, and it had found a good brand agency partner in Focus Lab. The organization already saw the value in partnership for its rebrand, and stakeholders knew that a brand this big and far-reaching couldn’t hinge its rollout on just one person.

So, they created an internal team dedicated solely to the rollout. But that wasn’t all. They came up with an exhaustive list of brand applications that would need to be updated and tasks that would need to be completed to properly announce the new brand. Tasks were then grouped into seven tracks — including employee activation, influencer activation, product execution, and website — and an owner was assigned to oversee each track.

Get Organized Early

Regardless of who you recruit for help, you might underestimate just how much there is to do to properly roll out your brand.

It helps to get organized as early as possible. As you start putting your task list together, now is a great time to think back to your brand strategy and use that to help inform prioritization. What’s your vision? What are your goals? What do you want your company to be known for? Consider how storytelling might play a part in how you present your brand to the world.

Don’t get your head stuck in the clouds, though. While your brand deserves a rollout as big and impactful as it is itself, you also need to be practical. Make a list of all the things you’ll need to update before and as you roll out your brand, making sure that, along with the higher-impact updates you make to your website and social media pages, you’re prioritizing the smaller things you use everyday, like email signatures and business cards.

If swag is going to play a part in your rollout, consider sourcing vendors now. The last thing you want is to be scrambling a few days before your launch date and be forced to pick a quick-turn supplier who sacrifices quality for speed. Your brand should never be associated with subpar quality, in any context.

How Salesloft Did It

With seven tracks of tasks to complete prior to its rollout, Saleloft had its work cut out for those on the brand-rollout team. Good thing they got to work early. Rollout tasks began soon after work on the rebrand itself began.

That’s right — the rebrand wasn’t even complete before stakeholders got to work on figuring out how to roll it out. This gave them months of runway to navigate all the complexities of such a nuanced brand rollout and enough time to brainstorm ways to make the launch unforgettable.

Get the Timing Right

Timing is everything, and getting it right can be tough. Not only are you juggling your team’s regular responsibilities while working through your brand rollout priorities (and maybe balancing all that with external timelines, too), but you also have to consider the world you’re releasing your brand into. Rolling out even the smallest brand can feel like trying to land a rocket ship on the moon. When’s the right time to launch your brand?

Let’s start with the wrong times to launch your brand. Holidays are the obvious consideration here; you don’t want to launch your brand when most of your audience is spending less time online than usual. Note, too, that if your brand operates in multiple counties, you’ll want to consider the holidays in each market. There are also informal holidays or otherwise big national events that can threaten to steal your brand’s thunder: the Super Bowl, election days, and so on.

So, when’s the right time to launch? For maximum impact, consider coinciding your rollout with important events related to your company and industry. Perhaps you could save the big unveiling for your organization's national sales meeting. Or maybe you could make a splashy introduction at your next trade show.

An in-person launch isn’t required, of course. A simple series of teases on social media leading up to a thoughtful digital launch could also create a nice impact within your community.

How Salesloft Did It

Salesloft recognized that it had multiple audiences it was rolling its brand out to, both internal and external. Further, the rebrand process had seen the brand gain a new verbal identity, complete with new situational messaging, which included a new value proposition. So, the rollout team timed the new brand rollout around its annual sales conference, which gave sales leaders time to learn the new ways of talking about Salesloft.

Timing also centered around SaaStr, a high-profile event where the team knew their external audiences would be paying attention — the perfect place to catch a first glimpse of the new brand.

Remember Your Internal Audience

When working on a brand project, you want to keep your customer audience top of mind. After all, they’re the ones that you need to continue winning over to keep your business running. They’re not the only ones you need to win over, though. Consider, too, your brand’s biggest cheerleaders: your internal audience of employees.

That’s right. A successful rebrand should get everyone who engages with your new brand excited about it, including those who’ll be engaging with it most. There’s no question that your employees will learn about the new brand one way or another, so the question becomes: How will they learn about it?

If you put little or no effort into building excitement around the new brand, you run the risk of employees not caring about it. Worse, you risk building resentment in those who feel they were left out of the process and are just along for the ride.

You don’t need to clue team members into every step of the rebrand process. But you can easily find opportunities to tease and build excitement around the brand long before it launches.

How Salesloft Did It

From the get-go, Salesloft understood the importance of employee buy-in. “It was so important for our employees to be bought into the brand,” former Salesloft CMO Sydney Sloan said in conversation with us for The Debrief. “We needed them to have the same love and passion for the brand that [they had for] the brand before.”

Long before the official brand rollout, the Salesloft rebrand team teased the rest of their team with a full-on internal campaign that culminated in employees receiving mystery puzzle boxes adorned with visual elements of the new Salesloft brand — an experience that cultivated mystery and surprise around the new brand leading up to the internal announcement, which was revealed through a professionally-produced video.

Release Your Brand

You’ve done the work. Checked off all (OK, maybe most) of the items on your task list. And now all that’s left to do is hit “publish” on your big announcement post.

It’s a moment that marks the end of a lot of hard work, but in some ways, the work is just beginning. There’s a lot you’ll learn as you begin to navigate the world with your new brand. It’ll be tempting to focus on reactions. And don’t be fooled, there will be reactions, and it will be hard to ignore them.

But the best brand rollouts embrace that not everyone will love it. Or even get it. After all, the most memorable brands hinge on differentiation, and being different from everyone else means that there will be negative reactions. Trust the brand strategy you’ve invested in and stay the course.

And, for now, celebrate.

Photos by Diya Pokharel and Victor on Unsplash

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