by Nicolle Huffman

May 15, 2024

We recently completed a major project for one of our clients – a company rebrand. Throughout the process, we completely transformed the way the organization looks and talks about itself.

To aid in this massive organizational change, we suggested that our client create a Brand Advisory Committee (BAC)* at the very beginning of the project to provide both input and rollout support. Over the years, we’ve found that BACs can be critically important levers in helping companies effect major organizational shifts such as a rebrand, shift in business strategy, change in leadership and more.

The value of a BAC can be broad or narrow, but the roles are generally the same:

  • Serve as an internal generator or sounding board for ideas
  • Provide insight about how the broader organization may react to changes
  • Act as a team of internal ambassadors to accelerate and amplify understanding and acceptance of whatever is being rolled out, and
  • Provide honest feedback on planned changes and announcements

The success of any BAC depends on picking the right team and using it wisely. How can you engage and keep a BAC on track? Here are seven tips:

1. Pick the right team at the outset: Having a diverse set of employees on your BAC will help provide unique perspectives about what you’re planning to roll out or implement. BAC members should be selected based on their influence among their peer group – not based on title or seniority – and should represent a good cross-section of your organization, including job function, location, business unit and more. The key point here is that BAC members should carry influence, which means they can help articulate what is going on and cascade messages in a way their peers will understand and believe.

2. Make room for a naysayer: Consider adding someone who may be a naysayer to your BAC – someone who may push back, provide some harsh truths about what the greater organization may say, etc. This will give an inside look into some of the opposition you may receive so you can plan for it. As an added bonus, if you can address the naysayer’s concerns, they will be an even better ambassador during the rollout.

3. Engage your BAC from the start of the project: Getting this group engaged at the very beginning – and keeping them engaged along the way – with a big announcement is key. This allows them to feel like valuable members of the team whose feedback is needed and leveraged to ensure the change is successful.

4. Share expectations on their role: Be clear at the beginning about their role and the time commitment. Meetings with the BAC should be thoughtful and occur only when input is needed. While being a part of the BAC likely won’t require hours of their time on a weekly basis, it is expected that members come prepared and ready to engage.

5. Give the BAC insight into what the whole change process will look like: Building trust with the BAC will be important to ensure you’re receiving candid feedback. To do that, be transparent about the process and end goal. Share a high-level overview of what the next few months will look like, so they feel like they are part of the change. You’ll want to stress – and remind in each meeting – that the topic is confidential (as it almost always is) so news doesn’t get out before it’s intended. This is particularly important if you are a public company dealing with disclosure implications.    

6. Be respectful of their time and come prepared to each meeting: Before each meeting, develop an agenda and share it with the BAC. This puts the whole team in the right headspace and ensures your time together is productive.

7. When in doubt, ask the BAC for feedback: If you’ve assembled the right team, they should be a trusted group of team members that can be a sounding board and serve as the “voice” of the overall organization. Don’t know what to do for employee giveaways? Ask the BAC. Not sure how to celebrate with employees? Ask the BAC. Wondering which executive should share the news? Ask the BAC. Their insights could have a long-term positive impact when the change is announced and as it’s implemented.

The company rebrand we just completed has gone better than anticipated, which can partly be attributed to the insights and power of the BAC team that was involved. One big proof point for us is that manufacturing employees eagerly went onto the company’s storefront to buy new company swag! If that’s not a win, I’m not sure what is.

Do you have a big change coming up? If so, reach out! I’d be happy to talk with you about how a BAC may help you implement change at your organization.


*Please note: There are multiple ways to refer to this type of group – change ambassador committee, internal ambassador group, employee ambassador team, etc. For the purposes of this blog, we’ll use BAC.