The unexpected benefits of a brand review

As we wrapped up an interview with a stakeholder during a brand review they said:

“Wow, that was great. I didn’t expect that.”

It’s nice to hear, but it makes you wonder – what did they expect? To feel like a number? Like their answers were being bucketed into convenient categories for data analysis?

Instead, we had a conversation.

And these conversations have unexpected benefits for your organisation. Some of the benefits include providing an opportunity for introspection and innovation, fostering a sense of connection, and building a deeper sense of meaning and purpose in work. We’ll cover all of these, but we’ll start with the straightforward stuff first.

A brand review provides a much-needed opportunity for introspection and with that, new ways of looking at things, which leads to innovation.

Introspection and innovation

As we conduct the discovery stage of the brand review we ask you to poke and prod things that are often taken for granted. To go upstream all the way to “brand”. To examine the mental furniture of the place you spend 33% (or often more) of your waking hours.

You don’t get to think when you’re in delivery mode. When everything is due yesterday. When the metrics are sliding and the numbers won’t hit themselves.

It’s relentless and often we feel pressure to never let up. In this context, conversations about brand feel non-urgent. So, they never happen. But this constant focus on what’s on now and what’s next means we miss some things.

Creativity happens when you take a step back and look at familiar things differently. Laterally. This allows you to change, adapt, and overcome. Not digging the same hole deeper but digging somewhere else entirely (Edward De Bono). Not whacking your way through the jungle but climbing a tree and scanning the horizon for the shortest route. When you ask big questions of the brand, this is what happens.

You start to see that there might be a quicker way to your desired outcome. For example, during the brand review process, we’ve seen organisations:

  • Decide on a different growth strategy
  • Find a new, more compelling way of seeing themselves that engages not just their external audiences, but their internal stakeholders as well
  • Discover the untapped potential in their current team

All of this happened because they took a step back and allowed time for a bit of introspection, which led to new ways of seeing familiar problems.

That’s the first unexpected benefit of a brand review.

Another unexpected benefit is the improvement in the relationships between team members.

Creating connection

Often, a brand review is initiated when a new CEO or marketing director comes in. Or there is a shift in your strategy or marketplace. Whatever the case, it’s typically a large shift which impacts the foundations of your organisation. And these moments of significant change force people to redefine their relationship with your organisation.

Greater connection or disconnection are both an equal possibility at this stage.

Initiating a brand review gets your people around a table to discuss the way forward. Including who you’ve been and who you want to be. This conversation allows them to be part of the process of defining the future.

The unexpected outcome here is buy-in. Creating an opportunity for connection. Both with the brand, but also with each other.

As you go through this process, you must get key stakeholders in a room, including people from different departments. People who perhaps might have competing agendas and priorities. The brand review process is an opportunity to find common ground by agreeing on the values, purpose, and significance of your organisation. When you find common ground here, you’ve achieved a lot. Smaller issues are put in perspective. Teams come out stronger.

Also, we interview stakeholders from every level of the organisation. Including people who don’t attend leadership meetings. The people on the front lines. This is great for both parties. You discover real critical insights, they get an opportunity to be heard, understood, and part of the process.

So stronger, better-connected teams aren’t a happy accident, they are positively built into this process.

And we don’t mean to overstate the benefits of a brand review, but, when you take some time for introspection and inter-departmental conversation about your brand values and purpose, you often come away with a greater sense of meaning.

Deepening a sense of meaning

According to research in positive psychology, meaning is a product of three things: coherence, purpose, and significance (Frank Martela & Michael F. Steger). These break down to:

  • Coherence – making sense of where you are and why
  • Purpose – the core goals, aims, and direction of your organisation with a focus on “what you are there to do”
  • Significance – the inherent value of your organisation to your internal and external stakeholders

Asking questions like these helps to get to the core of this:

  • What are your organisation’s shared values?
  • What would be the impact on the world if your organisation disappeared tomorrow?
  • What future is your organisation trying to create?

All the ingredients of meaning are explored in the process of a brand review.

The Harvard Business Review reported on research that found that 9/10 employees would trade up to 23% of their lifetime earnings to have a job that was always meaningful.

Having these types of conversations allows your employees to develop this.

Then, they can go back to work with more motivation and a better connection to the organisation and the team.

3 keys to great brand reviews

Ok, so there are a lot of collateral benefits to a brand review. But what about the primary, intended benefit of a brand review?

Can it help you achieve a step-change/reset/realignment of your business?

Can it help you get from where you are to where you want to be?

It depends.

We need to ask you a few questions at this point.

  • What’s the opportunity? What is there that can be fixed or achieved? The bigger this is, the more potential for impact.
  • What’s your openness and appetite for seizing this opportunity? It’s going to take a certain amount of courage and championing internally.
  • What is your level of willingness to collaborate? Great brand work is coaxed out of an organisation. It can’t be imposed. Your partnership is essential.

If you’ve answered positively to these questions, you have a big opportunity in front of you.


Would you like more information on the strategic brand review process?

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Ready to get started?

If you’d like to discuss our process, or have additional questions, please give our Growth Director, Karen Newbold, a call on (+44) 01926 678368 or email her at

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