Most companies do not have the resources to rebrand internally and even if they do, it is not always a wise decision. Rebranding a company is about asking the hard questions and getting the answers. It may mean making people feel uncomfortable, because you have asked them something that they had never thought of. Do you really want to do this to your boss in front of their peers?
With that said, finding a branding partner is a critical piece of the puzzle. It is far more about whether they can meet with you for an hour and understand your core issues than how big a firm they are. True, if you are an international firm and need to rebrand in multiple countries with all the complexities that go with that, you need to work with a worldwide firm, but for most companies, using the big firm is more about ego that good use of capital.
Take the time to interview firms. Find a local company with a brand you like, call them up and find out who did their rebrand. Ask questions about timelines, deadlinesand scope of the work. The more information you have that makes you comfortable talking with them, before they walk in the door, the better it is for both of you.
Be honest and open with your branding partner. If you need them to sign a non-disclosure agreement (so that you can give them an all access pass to your company) then do it. They cannot help you unless they know what is great about your company AND your failures.
In short, find a partner. Someone you can be comfortable working with for a long time and that you can trust. Open lines of communication that travel in both directions are critical for success.
We are taking a break for the holiday and will resume this series of posts January 6, 2016