If you follow my design studio, you’ll find that I’m a fan of brand redesigns. Of course I don’t mean redesigning any brand for any reason. But what I have come to appreciate about rebranding is that it does not have to be a completely new idea. It can be, if your business has shifted in a way where a new look and strategy is necessary. But most times, simply re-working and simplifying the elements within the logo and the vision behind the business is all that’s needed.
Why we hesitate
We are often afraid of what we’ll lose with rebranding (perhaps the fear of not being recognized or losing a following). But I believe – if prepared for and communicated well – a logo redesign can breathe new life into your business and honestly, attract a lot of attention along with it!
Today I’m sharing what to consider when preparing for a rebrand and how this process will ensure you get the best possible solution for your business. Let’s get started!
Consider why you want to rebrand + determine the shortcomings of your current brand
Deciding to rebrand is a big decision, and one that develops over time. Somewhere along the way, the weaknesses of your current brand may build up and create tension within your business. This “tension” can come in different forms, and what some do not realize is that a simple redesign can solve the limitations that your current logo or brand present.
Over the years I’ve recognized a few commonalities in the reasoning businesses have chosen to rebrand:
A simple refresh
A refresh is great for brands that are old or dated and need an update. Maybe it’s revisiting the color palette, updating the typeface, or simplifying the graphical element. Typically with a refresh, the main elements of the logo and the vision behind the brand are kept, and just re-worked to better align with the business’s target audience.
Brand lacks depth and variety
Let’s imagine your business has grown and developed over the years—new services or products have been added and a larger focus has been placed on print and digital marketing. However, your current brand lacks the depth to carry a consistent and professional look through packaging design, print collateral, and web materials.
With this type of scenario, we would consider the strategy of the current logo and if a completely new brand identity would be beneficial or if it just needs to be further developed (i.e. adding patterns and icons, creating more logo variations, developing printed collateral and packaging design, etc).
Brand does not represent who you are or what you do
When first starting out, you DIY’d your logo and did not know how your business would evolve or grow into what it is today. Now, you know your goals and vision for your business and are ready to invest in a complete brand identity that’s built with strategy to attract your target audience.
In this situation, we’d start fresh with my signature brand identity package. Before I start any design work, we’d meet to discuss the objective and background of your business, its unique characteristics, any design considerations, and cover competitor research. After six weeks, you’d have a custom brand identity, complete with brand colors and patterns, marketing collateral, logo variations, and a guidelines booklet to keep all marketing items consistent and on-brand.
Earlier this year, I wrote a blog post about how to know when it’s time to rebrand that walks through the most common reasons businesses rebrand. (If you hop over there you can download a free guide that will help you evaluate your brand and determine its strengths and weaknesses!)
Know your ideal customer and have a vision of where your business is headed
This first point is crucial. When I work on brands, every design consideration comes back to how it will resonate with the target audience and what the design is communicating. There is no doubt that I want my client to be happy with the final product, but I encourage my clients to steer away from personal design preferences and really engage the mindset of their target audience when reviewing the brand package. That being said, it’s a great idea to nail down your target audience before choosing to work with a designer on your brand. Try to get specific with the characteristics you write down and avoid generalities.
For example—if my client were a florist, her target audience could look something like this: Small-town brides who love simple arrangements made up of wildflowers. These brides are down-to-earth and treasure joy-filled moments over material items.
See how this client gave specific details—even down to the feelings of these brides and the type of life they live? This is SO helpful to me as a designer. These details and feelings are what I can be capturing into the logo design and brand elements.
Secondly, know where your brand or business is headed. This allows a designer to be thinking ahead for what will be needed in the future design-wise.
And finally, start thinking through where your new logo and brand identity will be applied. This can be anything from where it’s placed on your website to printed office material such as business cards, a letterhead, stationary, etc. You may want print collateral such as a brochure that gives an overview of your business, flyers to hang in the local shops, or even a sign that hangs outside your location. Get creative with this!
Find a designer
Once you’ve gone over the above details, you’re ready to reach out to a designer and start bringing to life a logo and brand that represents your business accurately, has the potential to grow as your business develops, and speaks genuinely to your ideal customer.
I’d love to hear where your brand is at, and if you’ve ever rebranded or are considering a rebrand! Get in touch through the comments below or reach me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.