Aug 17, 2017

Rebranding — The Why, The What and The How

We’ve shepherded a few clients through a complete rebranding — everything from redefining their mission, vision, values and logo, to overhauling their website. It’s a fun and challenging process that helps clients succeed.

When to Rebrand

When clients come to us with an idea to rebrand — we always start with why. Often it’s because the company has outgrown or changed since the last core messaging was developed, or because they realize the website is dated and see it as a good opportunity to give the entire brand a dusting off. Other reasons can range from new leadership wanting to give the company a makeover or a desire to communicate more clearly with audiences. Either way, companies ready for a change often want to move quickly.

A brand is how the company chooses to be perceived in this world. It’s a perception, a soul and a heart all combined into shapes, symbols and words. It is anything but a quick process to rebrand. At Conveyor, we take stock of everything.

What to Rebrand

Before starting, take stock of what a rebrand includes and whether you have the resources or time to invest in the effort. We often look at the following five categories:  

  • Core messaging: Core messaging includes a mission, vision and values that make up a company’s DNA. Core messaging not only helps us learn more about the company, but helps define all other aspects of a rebrand. It can also include taglines and an elevator pitch.

  • Logo: A logo is one of the most visible aspects of a brand and is used to incorporate company characteristics.

  • Website: A website is the digital home for a brand — it’s a source of legitimacy for any company to illustrate an expertise, product or service that will help their audience with a problem. A website is also the first stop people go to ask questions or to reach out.

  • Digital: A company’s digital landscape includes everything online that points back to the website — social media, listings, reviews, search and advertisements.

  • Offline assets: Marketing materials such as product sheets, brochures, office signage, print advertisements, swag, posters, business cards or even car decals are all assets that we consider to be “offline.”

Don’t let a list of five categories fool you — updating all of a company’s brand assets is an intensive process. Taking steps to prepare ahead of time can help set you up for streamlining the process.

The How-to

First and foremost, begin with taking stock of all five categories. Conduct a thorough audit and write down everything that needs to be updated, removed or replaced. Once all assets are compiled, make an estimated timeline for when certain pieces need to be replaced. The timeline should include everything from finalizing core messaging to the launch date of the website.

Next, start with your company’s DNA and ensure your core messaging still resonates with the company of today and tomorrow. You can redefine core messaging internally, but often leadership teams find that they need guidance, ideation and expert wordsmithing to feel confident about their new core messaging. If taking on this task internally, make sure you have everyone with a vote at the table to voice their opinions. Remember — core messaging isn’t about one person’s idea of a company, but rather getting to the core of who the company is in totality.

Before launching a logo design, we highly recommend putting together a mood board. This integral step to the design process helps establish a clear vision for rebrand and can eliminate design revisions. A mood board establishes an aesthetic, fonts and company color pallette. It also can be referenced for all other, future company design work.

Once the core messaging and logo redesign are complete, refer back to the first marketing asset audit to ensure all digital and offline assets are updated with the new logo and necessary design elements.

The last component is whether to update or overhaul the company website. Websites are similar to leasing a car. Every 3-4 years, you want to assess whether to keep the car with some added work, or to trade it in for something updated. At minimum, logo and messaging should be updated. If you are unsure if your website needs work, conduct a website audit. This process analyzes page components, links, calls-to-action, messaging, page objectives and website analytics to determine what needs improvements. If you’re ready to start from scratch, start with a content strategy to ensure all content in your new digital home is there for good reason.

Need more info? Check out this blog on core messaging to get started.