Branding Tips In A Digital World
Shannan DuShane | September 2016 | Spectrum Net Designs, Inc
You wake up one day and get the idea of re-branding the company that hasn’t been updated in 75 years and the look is stale; you probably have no idea where to start. So what do you do? The last thing you will do is sit on your computer and try and design a logo yourself!
People often have a misconception differentiating branding and marketing, they think they can just tweak their logo and throw it out there for the world to see and slap it on everything from their website to letterhead. While that might work a small percentage of the time with a smaller mom and pop shop, that is 100% wrong direction and thinking for most companies that has a more noticeable reputation or corporate image to uphold. Re-branding is changing the face of the company, sometimes a name change, mission, vision, website, advertising, logo modification, graphical elements, marketing material and much more.
Start the process by meeting with the managers, owner, and anyone else that will have a say in the project itself, and ask these crucial questions before anything else, especially contacting and interviewing marketing and ad firms. The art of branding a company is not just a process, it is a lot of work and needs people who are motivated with initiative! Which piece will you play in the process?
- What’s the reason for our re-brand or need for change in the logo?
- What is our objective and goals with the re-brand or revamp of the logo?
- What is the company mission and vision statement? Is that still correct or does it need changed completely or just modified?
- What is our geographic target audience? What locations are we trying to reach?
- What is our demographic target audience? Who are we trying to reach?
- Evaluate the current logo, as well as all of the compilations of the logo, company name, website, gauge if it reflects your brand or is a change needed?
- Where will the new logo/brand go and how will it impact all of the business mediums including company vehicles, website, letterhead, business cards, advertising, etc.
- Create a feasible and reasonable timeline of what you were thinking. Once you talk to the ad firm you will have a better idea, but it gives you a start. Make sure they k now about any product launches or other events taking place so they don’t coincide with each other. You want the launch to be its own event and nothing crowding it.
- Fill out a design brief that asks questions that you might not think of now but will impact it later.
Do your research into same industry related companies, inside and outside your geographic location, look at what you are up against to get an idea where your brand is heading. The last thing you want is a similar logo to your competitor, or a bad logo that resembles a pile of crap – literally if you don’t believe me check out what happened to Hershey’s new logo back in 2014,
it resembled the Emoji Poo – you know they didn’t do their homework. Hershey’s new logo looks a lot like the Emoji Poo?!
Keep in mind you have other avenues you don’t want to forget about, including social media and advertising needs that
will impact your brand and how your ads are perceived, you might have to change up your marketing strategy to support the company more effectively.
After you’ve figured all of the above out and sorted through the company, the next thing is to interview marketing firms that specialize in the task of re-branding business, because even the big dogs can crash and burn after spending thousands of dollars on their re-brand. Check out The 15 Worst Corporate Logo Fails. It is an interesting read and gives you a different perspective to think about when going through the process yourself. Some are not as obvious as other but look closely and you will see some surprising stuff.
The one piece of the puzzle I see companies overlooking is neglect of the white and negative spaces within and just outside their logo, and the secret objects that aren’t caught right away, but too late to catch before the public attack begins.
It’s true that some companies do not need to go through a whole re-brand process if it’s a small logo change, color or object, by keeping the same company name and philosophies you can probably trust a graphic designer to do the deed and save the money of a costly ad marketing agency.
Just remember that this is not an overnight project that will be done in a couple weeks, you will want to take your time. This process requires a dedicated team, weekly meetings, an experienced agency and patience to get done properly.
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