When you’re talking about (re)branding, you can spend hours discussing your logo. Yes, the logo is important, but it’s only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to branding. Today, as part of the ripples of change caused by COVID-19, many companies are rebranding or refreshing their digital presence.
While your logo is arguably the key thread that knits your brand together, you’re missing a lot of aspects of branding if logo is your only focus.
It’s natural for logos to evolve and change with design trends, the industry you work in, a rapidly-warming planet, a global pandemic, and evolving technologies. Logos are linked to your brand. Your logo doesn’t explain or sell your brand outwardly, it identifies it.
Ensure the rest of your branding follows these same factors. It’s more than just design. It’s every character of copy on your website and every connection you make on social.
Our Creative team has transitioned between several websites and moved through a couple rebrands. As of July 2021, we are in the early stages of updating our website, which is also an opportunity to refocus and strengthen our branding.
Here are some of the questions we continue to ask as we navigate our branding journey.
Who are your customers?
The easiest way to do this is to request customer data from your customer service and sales team.
Research who your current customers are; figure out what makes them a good fit for your brands offering.
For B2B, this will include examining factors like:
- Job title
- Company size
Determine who your customers are, then create buyer personas for each category of individuals you serve. Read a more in-depth guide here.
This will guide some of your branding. You need to determine what each of these buyer personas respond to.
Where else would they engage with you?
If you can, you should attempt to see where else you can connect with your audience. Maybe you serve them on LinkedIn and Twitter, but most of your customers are also on Instagram, Medium, or Reddit.
A rebrand or refresh is a perfect time to launch a new channel. Research and design a strategy to most effectively use the new channel and debut it as part of your launch.
What is your mission statement? What are your core values?
Do you even have one? If not, you need to pull together your company’s stakeholders and talk about your mission statement.
You might need to answer some of these questions to accomplish that:
- Why are you in business?
- Who are your customers (answered above)?
- What perception do you want customers to have of you?
- What makes your product different? Price? Quality?
- Who works at your company? How do you motivate them to grow?
Answer these questions. Come up with answers to those questions that evoke emotion. Condense these answers to get two or three sentences to create a mission statement.
What emotions do you want leads to feel when they interact with your brand?
We asked this question as part of the mission statement. But you need to determine how you want your customers to feel when they deal with your brand.
Do they feel like they’re working with an ultra-modern company? Are you especially tech-savvy? Are you cool? Hip with it? Are you responsive? Always on? A reliable source of industry information?
Consider the impression you want to leave every time you interact with your audience. Write a list of those impressions and include them in your branding guidelines document.
What colors do you already use? How can you update them?
Determine which colors you are already using as part of your branding. Write down their color codes, names and include swatches of the colors.
Now that you have a record of what is currently being used, consider how you can tweak them.
- Keeping at least one color consistent through the rebrand
- Update the other colors according to current trendy palettes, or classic color schemes
- Add a couple more colors to keep your branding fresh
- Revamp the shades of colors to brighter and bolder – it’ll help you stand out
What fonts do you use? Do they need to be updated?
Consider the fonts you use in your current branding. Are there any issues with them? Are some outdated? A once trendy font that has been overused? Is it hard to read?
These are reasons to change your current fonts. But sometimes, you can leave your fonts. If there are no issues with readability or design problems, you can use font as a common thread to link your old branding with the new.
What patterns, styles, and images do you use for each type of asset?
Take note of any stylistic conventions you have for content.
Are there particular patterns and images you use on your white papers? Do you want to keep them or change them to create that emotional response that we talked about in the prior sections?
Do this analysis on your website and on your social media channels. Decide if that interconnected dot pattern is something you want to use across your website, or not.
Determine any image standards which can include:
- Colored filters over images
- Justifications of text on images
- The size of images (develop specific size requirements for each channel)
What language do you use?
This final step is based off your mission statement, core values, and the emotions you want your audience and customers to feel when they interact with you.
What will you call yourselves? How do you handle titles? Do you speak in first person, second person, or third person?
What will you call your customers? How will you address them in your content?
What industry language will you use? How will you use it? Will you use hyphens in “e-books” or write “ebooks”?
To make these choices grounded, consider choosing and creating a stylebook for your brand.
Now that you’ve answered the hard questions, it’s time to compile a list of branding guidelines for them. This will make your rebranding efforts go smoothly while also shifting focus from the logo. Let us know how your rebranding goes.
- Have you already implemented a rebrand or refresh?
- How did it go?
- Is there anything our readers should know that we missed?
Also published on Medium.