Answer: engagement with stakeholder, policymaker, and broader public audiences.
In my experience, those “important guys” are the Federal managers who have not yet engaged their audiences thoroughly, and thus have not yet tested just how special their project really is. Meeting with groups that have separate interests from your own is a great moderator of the ego.
In fact, I would argue that such engagement should be the first step in Federal brand development, rather than the last. If it is clear, after a rigorous outreach plan has been implemented, that a strong brand is essential to the success of the mission, then this provides a case for a sub-brand. Could this method be built into an agency’s policies?