One – Get under the hood
Branding should never be taken lightly. There should be decisive motivation for what you’re doing that doesn’t just stop at cosmetic reasoning. We’ve all considered a facelift at some point, but when it comes to putting our brand under-the-knife, it’s important to base it on facts, not opinions.
The first step is to answer some simple questions:
- Who – Who is your audience, what pain points do they have ?
- Where – What market are you playing in? What is the industry norm and who is seen as the leader?
- Why – Why you? What makes you different and why should your customer choose you over the rest?
- When – When does this brand need to drop to get the maximum impact?
The answer to these questions should start to give you clarity on what opportunity you have to stand out. Look for gaps in the market and where you have licence to make an impact.
Two – Keep. It. Simple.
We’ve all heard the horror stories of big brands spending thousands, if not millions, on brand designs. And although designing a brand is a craft in itself, the trick is to keep it simple and straightforward. Once you have your research, distil it down into your brand positioning. What’s the one sentence that represents you and will resonate with your audience? Once you have this, you can use it to create everything that comes afterwards.
When it comes to actual brand and logo design, having a clear, cohesive brief for your designer that is rooted in insight (see point #1) and with references of what you do and don’t like, will make for a smooth process.
Three – The whole 9 yards
When investing in a new brand, it’s important to commit. Granted it won’t be an overnight change, but ensuring you brand your businesses from top-to-bottom is keeping to a united front. It’s the Wild West out there, but luckily this ain’t our first rodeo.
We know there’s a lot to wrap your head around. From your website, to paid advertising, to email marketing, it’s paramount that all your interconnected touchpoints align in order to control audience interpretation, so leave no stone unturned and commit to the change.
Four – Bring everyone along for the ride
When it comes to rebranding, it’s just as important to communicate it internally as it is externally. Take it from me, in many cases, brand can be subjective. Something as seemingly simple as a colour palette can be divisive. The last thing you want is it to become a decision by committee, all your hard work to be thrown-out at the last minute because “the CEO doesn’t like green”. That’s why if you follow these steps, root your brand in real insights and communicate the process, you’ll have buy-in throughout the process.
For the wider business, make sure you have the time and resources to implement brand training. Familiarising your team with brand guidelines, getting everybody aligned with the brand’s core messaging, and delivering the vision collectively. When it comes to your customers, tell the story of your brand and what you represent. Use your website to share your brand story and your values. Many customers these days look to brands who stand for something and stand by it.
Five – Recognise and retreat if necessary
Contrary to the belief that “all publicity is good publicity”, various brands have made wrong moves over the years and backpedalled to their previous branding, and we don’t just mean Kendal’s-Pepsi-ad-bad announcing their slightly different but wildly inconsistent logo.
A good way to keep on top of your brand health is by implementing a test and learn strategy. Check-in on your data to get a clearer picture of how your marketing is performing, and use it to periodically update your strategy to improve your results.