Thinking of rebranding?
So are millions of other businesses on an annual basis. Brands around the world, especially B2C brands, are finding the need to rebrand more often than ever. Thanks to smartphone technology and the success of social platforms that bring new media to market 24/7/365, the rate of culture change is increasingly rapid. And as the culture shifts, so do consumer expectations, preferences, and attitudes. Whether you’re in the B2B or B2C worlds, one thing is clear – if you’re not evaluating your brand’s resonance with target audiences on a virtually constant basis, then your brand is likely falling behind.
Just think of the pop-up store concept for a moment. Pop ups are emblematic of consumers’ overwhelming desire and capacity for welcoming new brands and products into their lives. In order to capitalize on new trends, brands forgo the traditional brick and mortar route for something more rapid and less permanent to test their brand’s ability to penetrate the market.
Now that we have an appreciation for the extreme pace of culture change and the need to pivot quickly to grab the attention of target audiences, let’s shift to where you as a business owner or Marketing Director should go for branding inspiration.
In economics, the saying goes “cash is king”, well, with branding projects, strategy and process are the “king” and “queen” of brand land. Process and strategy are drivers behind the effectiveness and longevity of brands. The attention to detail and time spent on these two steps will determine if your brand sticks or falls victim to fleeting design trends.
First of all, rebranding well takes a team of experienced creatives and strategists. So, if you’re a DIY business owner, this may not be the advice you’re looking for. If you’re looking to work with an agency to partner with to brand or rebrand your business, I hope you’ll find the following resources extremely helpful. When you’re finished you’ll be able to get synced up with your design team (hopefully you’ll choose us!) and participate in an effective way.
1. Brand New – a Blog by Under Consideration
Co-founders Armin Vit and Bryony Gomez-Palacio have been writing illuminating blog content for over a decade, beginning first with their Speak Up blog and eventually launching Brand New. Brand New is focused entirely on identity and specifically rebrands. Co-founder and Editor Armin explains what Brand New is best:
“Chronicling and providing opinions on corporate and brand identity work. We cover redesigns and new designs of notable products, companies, services, and organizations across all industries and locations.”
If you want to know what’s being done in your industry, use their handy search feature. Best part is, you’ll see branding projects done for industry giants like Best Buy down to one of my favorite local spots East Lake Brewery and Tap Room. Warning – don’t put too much weight on what you read in the comments section. Seriously. As a Designer and Art Director, I can tell you the comments section is mostly where other Designers go to vanquish their colleagues and lay ruthless siege to the feelings and self-worth of the person or agency responsible for the work above.
2. Watch Simon Sinek’s TEDx Talk on Branding
If you’re smart, you’re probably wondering why on earth I’m telling you to watch a branding video from 2009 when the rate of change is so rapid. Well, if you’re a business owner or stakeholder in your company, that has not been led through a rebranding process, this will help you get in the right headspace. Before you can jump into the design process with your agency, you need to have a rock solid understanding for ‘the why’ behind your business. Branding is 75% intangible strategy and 25% visual/tangible execution of that strategy. Of course, we help our clients zero in on their why and much more.
3. Read this article on multi-channel marketing
If rebranding is new to you or your company, chances are the resources and time required to effectively roll out your rebrand may be a surprise. In some cases, rebranding may mean changing the way you conduct business in order to align more effectively with target audience expectations. To reach audiences, brands these days are serving content on a variety of digital channels in addition to their printed collateral and physical spaces. And since a great brand provides the same experience to audiences no matter where they encounter the brand, jumping down the multi-channel marketing rabbit hole will give you an appreciation for the scope your branding project will likely entail.
You’ll notice these resources were not about where to look for color inspiration, logo inspiration, or fonts, or how to design your new logo. You’ll want to leave that up to your design team, the folks with 10,000 hours or more invested into perfecting their craft. What business owners and stakeholders like you need to double down on before embarking on a rebrand is making sure your team is ready, that you know your ‘why’, and you’re open and ready to commit to a process that could fundamentally change the way you do business.
What’s the next step in rebranding?
You’ll notice these resources were not about where to look for color inspiration, logo inspiration, or fonts, or how to design your new logo. You’ll want to leave that up to your design team, the folks with 10,000 hours or more invested in perfecting their craft.
Like yourself, business owners and stakeholders have to make sure your team is ready before starting your rebrand. You and your team need to know your ‘why’ and that you’re prepared to commit to a process that could fundamentally change the way you do business.
To understand these points (and more), we recommend using our rebranding checklist. It includes the questions you and your team need to answer to start your rebranding process. Get your free rebranding checklist below!