So, your business has been established for a while and for a litany of reasons, you have decided to update your company branding/logo/website, etc. What exactly goes into that process and what might you miss in that process? We know because we have helped many partners refresh their brand and as some of you may have noticed Element 502 embarked on a brand refresh in the Autumn of 2018 to reflect all of our new services and to re-cement our vision and our mission. There are many pieces that go into a brand refresh and we have put together a list of some of the most important and a few that you might forget about along the way.
Most businesses start out with meager resources and the help of friends or use of free resources to create things like logos, business cards, and physical collateral. Most customers that are still in the early stages of their business have collateral from a variety of sources that were all produced as a need would arise. In many instances, the branding is slightly out of sync or colors don’t match, etc. But it was what they needed at the time and it fulfilled a need for them to continue to grow their business and to sell their company to their consumer. There is a term used commonly around the Element 502 to help gauge where a customer is in their growth process, Operational Maturity. Businesses that are still in the creation stage are going to sit lower on that scale. It is a good shorthand to describe where a customer sits in the creative process.
Once an established base of business has been put together, it is important to revisit all those pieces of collateral and branding to get everything in lock step with one another. Not every branding project entails a name change or corporate logo update for a company, but some do. In many cases, a change in focus for a company can facilitate a need to change your target consumer base and thus open the door to updating your corporate logo and branding to more adequately speak to your new target demographic and consumer. That process can take many forms depending on the size and maturity of your company. In some cases, a new logo is something that will be workshopped with friends and colleagues and relayed to a designer to attempt to bring that vision to life. For larger corporations, the new potential designs might be presented to focus groups to gauge their effectiveness.
Whether or not you choose to update your company logo or not, when updating your branding it should be done across the board. In some cases, I have had the conversation, “Yes, I know that you still have 500 of those tri-fold pamphlets that you printed out in 1997 left to use. But I think it might be time to modernize.” It is important for your company to make sure that all collateral that goes out in to the world is representative of your most recent corporate branding. Especially for smaller companies, one of the worst things that can happen is creating confusion for your target consumer through different logos, colors, branding, etc. Holding on to that existing business card design because you still have half a box to burn through can really work against your company.
As you can start to imagine there are quite a few things that can be easily missed when doing a corporate rebrand. Here is a list of some of the older collateral pieces that you might miss when updating collateral:
- · Powerpoint presentation templates
- · Company style guides
- · Whitepaper templates
- · Company branded giveaways (gadgets, pens, notebooks)
It is important to ensure that you have a firm grasp of how much collateral will need to be updated and to systematically work through that and to divide those responsibilities to your graphic designers and trusted printers. Getting a real idea of how much physical collateral needs to be changed will also give some insight into predicting the cost associated with the brand refresh.
Another thing to take into consideration is digital marketing for once the brand refresh is agreed upon and ready to launch. I would strongly recommend a new or refreshed website to reflect your new corporate image. If you are viewing your rebrand as more than a logo swap, you need that to be reflected across all of your digital offerings, not just physical collateral. Building a new, well-designed website that has strong SEO rankings will ensure that everyone that hears about you will be able to land where you need them to and for them to see your new corporate image as more than a new logo.
One last recommendation that should be made is for a digital marketing campaign to be made through PPC ads on google, some social media engagement work, and potentially some Geofencing or IP Targeting campaigns if you are trying to drive potential customers to a physical location (ie a doctor’s office, grocery store, or restaurant). It can be quite easy to look at these kinds of campaigns as a separate form of marketing, but for your new brand image to grab hold and for you to get the kind of site and physical location traffic that you are looking to get out of a rebrand, you need people to see it and be aware of it.
Corporate rebrand projects are broad reaching and can affect many more aspects of your business than you might have anticipated. But, the fresh new look of a new brand, while getting all of your forward-facing collateral in lock-step with each other has tons of advantages to your business and can really drive interest and revenue.