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7 steps to your new brand A simple guide to rebranding including tips and tools for branding from scratch.

KATE PASTERFIELD BRILLIANT IDEAS | REBRANDING


What is branding? Branding is an attempt to harness and control a set of associations that present a company as distinctive, trusted, exciting, reliable or whichever attributes are appropriate to that business. (Design Council, 2014). Rebranding is about updating those associations and there are many reasons to do it, for example your business has grown and changed, the market has changed or your identity looks outdated. Benefits of a rebrand, or indeed a first-time branding exercise include:

Attracting the right customers

Attracting talent

Commanding higher fees

Breathing new energy, pride and purpose into your workplace.

About this guide This guide walks you through the key stages involved in branding or rebranding, following the real case of elearning business Sponge UK. It will:

Provide awareness of the work ahead

Share techniques to help you think creatively

Equip you practically with useful templates, tips and resources.

BRILLIANT IDEAS


Step 1: Why?

Help from the outside

It’s important to begin with a good reason for a rebrand.

At this time you will also want to think about outsourcing. Sponge UK produced the rebranding using in house resources, but in most cases you’ll need to enlist some help.

In the case of Sponge UK, it was because the market had changed, the services had expanded and it was their 10th anniversary. There were also some practical limitations with the old logo (it could only ever sit on a white background) and a more up to date look with greater flexibility was desired. Once you have established why and committed to moving ahead, you want to assemble a project group including decision makers and to set a deadline. For Sponge UK, they had a show to attend in 4 months so everything needed to be ready for that date.

Choose an agency that fits your values and who you feel you can work with. The ability to work collaboratively may be more important than who is on their client list. If you’re just starting out, using a freelancer can be cost effective.

BRILLIANT IDEAS


Step 2: Who are we?

Which direction (our vision)

To cut through with imaginative, enjoyable and useful elearning experiences that inspire application

Understanding who you are as a business will inform the whole process. A brand platform or brand wheel is a tool to help you clarify attributes. The personality segment in particular will be used by the visual designers to influence decisions and the tone of voice circle helps with content writing. This is the completed brand wheel for Sponge UK. A blank one is available at the end of the guide for you to play with, as well as a model to help you define tone of voice.

Where

(our positioning)

(our values)

Sponge is a UK leader working with global powerbrands (Tesco, adidas, GSK, The United Nations, Toyota‌)

Integrity Customer focused Accountable Teamwork Confidence Excellence

Why

(the heart of our brand) Absorbing online learning makes a difference to the workplace

Who

(our personality)

How

(our tone of voice) Energetic, passionate, clear and knowledgeable

With

Professional Knowledgeable Helpful Warm Quirky

What

(our offer) We translate training for induction, compliance, sales and product knowledge and skills development into custom-made elearning content

BRILLIANT IDEAS


Step 3*: Evolution or revolution? It’s normal to start with developing the logo; the mark that attempts to consolidate and express the company attributes. When you have defined these using the brand wheel, you can decide to what extent you need to move away from the current logo to express your new attributes. This is useful information for a designer and helps to set expectations.

Revolution: A more radical departure

1902

1909

1909

1916

1926

2008

2009

2011

Evolution:

A modification of something familiar

*you can skip this step if you’re branding for the first time.

BRILLIANT IDEAS


Step 4: Logo design Creating a new logo is a highly visual process involving lots of design decisions. There will be many options to review and at each stage of exploration, you’ll use your judgement to eliminate those that don’t work.

Tip! Put all the design options and the personality words from the brand wheel on the wall and ask your team and even clients to vote their preference. This provides insight into how your logo will be perceived. If there’s more than one decision maker, to streamline the process make sure you’re reviewing things together and agree the changes before giving feedback.

custom-made absorbing elearning

BRILLIANT IDEAS


Step 5: Colour Visual identity conveys emotion – you ‘feel’ something when you look at it. Sponge UK wanted people to feel welcome but also to know they are doing significant work with global organisations. The colour palette expresses warmth in the reds and yellows and established professionalism through the cooler and neutral colours. Notice how the personality words have influenced colour choice here.

Primary colours

Secondary colours

SPORANGE

KNOWLEDGEABLE BLACK

P 1788 U/C C0 M79 Y55 K0

PROFESSIONAL WHITE

P BLACK 6 U P BLACK 7 C C56 M55 Y56 K74

WARM GRAY WARM GRAY 11 U WARM GRAY 9 C C50 M74 Y49 K12

HELPFUL BLUE

QUIRKY YELLOW

P 629 U C54 M0 Y35 K0

P 7404 U P 116 C C0 M18 Y84 K0

BRILLIANT IDEAS


Step 6: Assets and fonts A final consideration for the identity is to agree your fonts, and to devise any complementary visuals assets you’ll use to bring life to the marketing materials. This includes the style of illustrations, information diagrams, icons and photographs.

OUR WORK

We just love making it

Tip! Designers can research styles for you and put together mood boards to show you a variety of styles. But don’t be afraid to look out for what you like too. Pinterest is a great visual resource.

Fonts

Assets

BRILLIANT IDEAS


The new brand kit!

Primary colours

Seco

Now you have all the foundational elements needed to get going with the next phase of work; implementation. SPORANGE

Logo

Fonts

Colour palette

P 1788 U/C C0 M79 Y55 K0

KNO

P

C5

Primary colours

Secondary colours

OUR WORK

custom-made absorbing elearning

Associated assets

We just love making it Primary colours

Increased sales

compliant workplaces

SPORANGE

P 1788 U/C C0 M79 Y55 K0

Sales & product knowledge

Accelerated productivity

enhanced staff effectiveness

PROFESSIONAL WHITE

SPORANGE P 1788 U/C C0 M79 Y55 K0

KNOWLEDGEABLE PROFESSIONAL BLACK WHITE P BLACK 6 U P BLACK 7 C C56 M55 Y56 K74

W HE

WA WA C C5

Secondary colours

PROFESSIONAL WHITE KNOWLEDGEABLE BLACK P BLACK 6 U P BLACK 7 C C56 M55 Y56 K74

HELPFUL BLUE

QUI

P 629 U C54 M0 Y35 K0

WARM GRAY

WARM GRAY 11 U WARM GRAY 9 C C50 M74 Y49 K12

HELPFUL BLUE

QUIRKY YELLOW

P 629 U C54 M0 Y35 K0

P 7404 U P 116 C C0 M18 Y84 K0

C


Step 7: Implementation Implementation is when the new brand kit is applied to all the materials you use in your business. There is always a lot to think of, so a checklist covering typical items has been included below. For all of these items, a process applies, but naturally some, like a website or brochure, are bigger tasks than others.

The process is outlined on the following page. Knowing this will help you plan and delegate tasks – for example could someone help obtain case studies for the website or collect testimonials for a brochure – so that you can co-ordinate and produce the aspects only you can do?

Marketing materials checklist Main brochure Sector or product specific literature Marketing giveaways (pencils, pens, mugs, post-its™ etc) Promotional flyers Competition posters Show stand Showreel of work Stationery – letterheads, business cards, with comps

Client facing documents – proposals, order confirmations, invoices Internal documents – policies, contracts of employment Packaging and labels Sales presentation Signage Vehicle liveries Website

Digital stationery – email signatures BRILLIANT IDEAS


The Implementation Process

Research This is where you brainstorm what’s possible and get inspired. You know you need a website, but what sort? You know a brochure is required, but what will it look like? Gather references for the key materials including web-links and brochures and note what you like as well as what you don’t. This will help provide direction for the design phase.

Design

Writing

The design phase includes creating any graphical assets such as photos, information diagrams and illustrations and putting it together with the words in the format required (website, brochure, business card), following the direction you identified during your research. You’ll also need to decide on paper stocks and confirm volumes for print.

Words underpin all marketing materials, so plan for this step to take time and thought. You need to understand your business first before articulating it to others simply. Give yourself a structure to help, e.g. who are we, what do we do, what have we done, what did we achieve. Also allow time to collect client testimonials and produce compelling case studies.

Print / Build

Direction and Approval

The last step is to send the materials to print or for the web designs to go into build. With the website, be ready to spend time checking it thoroughly including functionality (navigation links and contact form emails), all copy and visual look and feel. You may also need to test on different browsers and mobile devices.

Be generous with your time throughout the process to check everything aligns. If you’re outsourcing, ask the agency up front when the sign off stages are and how many changes are included to prevent incurring a charge.


The final result It’s a momentous achievement when everything comes together and time to congratulate yourself and your team on all the hard work. It’s also the first time you will be seeing things together, so it may be necessary to collect a snag list of anything you’d like to improve. Be open to feedback from clients. This is when you find out how the rebrand is truly received. For Sponge UK it has generated a very positive response and the company is looking forward to seeing where it takes them over the next 10 years.


Tool 1: Brand wheel Which direction (our vision)

Where

With

(our positioning)

(our values)

Why

(the heart of our brand)

Who

How

(our personality)

What

(our offer)

(our tone of voice)

BRILLIANT IDEAS


Tool 2: Tone of voice slider This model is helpful when determining the ‘voice’ to use when you write your materials. Place a mark where you feel sits right for your business and use that to influence the choice of language. For example, ‘simple’ might mean you don’t include jargon. ‘Informal’ might mean it’s OK for you to use contractions.

Warm Humble Professional Complex Traditional

Cold Proud Informal Simple Modern

BRILLIANT IDEAS


Resources Here are some links that provide further advice on branding and rebranding. Design Council article on the power of branding:

http://www.designcouncil.org.uk/news-opinion/power-branding White River Design 10 reasons to rebrand:

http://www.whiteriverdesign.com/blog/2013/01/10-reasons-to-rebrand-your-business/ Hinge Marketing rebranding kit:

http://www.hingemarketing.com/uploads/Hinge-ReBranding-Kit.pdf

BRILLIANT IDEAS

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