The launch of the Abrdn rebrand has created quite the stir. If reaction was what they were going for, reaction they got! Everyone is talking about it, without fail it has come up in every one of my client meetings over the past two days.
Personally, I'm looking forward to what's next. I'm looking forward to hearing the thinking, the articulation, the differentiation, the promise that can be upheld in every interaction that clients have with the business. I want to see what lies beneath the surface.
Of course getting to that authentic positioning are the hard yards. And while it's not necessarily got the glamour of glossy creative, when done well, it is just as impactful. It brings clarity and confidence externally and motivation and conviction internally. I would argue it is the real essence of what endures in a business, what drives behaviour and what investors really want to know about the character of a business and the experience and service they'll receive.
Articulating how you are better and different is difficult to do from within. Not least because it's too easy to take the shortcuts, to think you already know what your gold dust is, to let the message be owned or go unchallenged by a few dominant voices, to skip the internal comms and assume everyone knows how to talk about the business, to really think about the evidence to the claims you are making… these are some of the areas we work through with clients. Our external perspective and industry understanding are crucial to help zero in on what's real, differentiating and compelling.
Once the positioning work is done, then the project grows tentacles of course… the sharing, owning, integration and evidencing of it, repeatedly. To be honest, I really feel for the CMOs that are mid brand project themselves. They have had to go in to overdrive to manage rattled senior management, who have seen the Abrdn coverage. All the careful planning, stakeholder management, coordination across departments, alignment of messaging and creative in client journeys, can hang in the balance when the confidence of the C-suite is rocked.
For me, rebranding is more than just a name. It's about the narrative that you fill it with. I have every confidence we'll see this come through from Abrdn, not least because the alternative won't do our industry or fellow marketers any favours. High profile brand and articulation projects are such an important part of our industry's ongoing efforts to build greater confidence, transparency and accessibility with clients and society.