New Logo! Now What? The Brand-Refresh Process Explained
Your firm is an established company with an excellent reputation, years of success and happy clients. You’ve partnered with an agency with a solid understanding of who you are, what you do, and your competitive landscape. Now, what’s next in the brand-refresh process?
A strong brand starts with a strong mark. Logos vary in terms of visual strength, modernity, associated brand equity, longevity, and client recall. Your current logo should be evaluated according to these factors, as well as to whether or not it accurately depicts your business today.
Sometimes current logos are kept as is, and a refreshed brand system is developed around them. Oftentimes if the logo is in need of an update, certain aspects of the mark can be repurposed, as there is likely a lot of brand equity built into your existing logo. As circle S Studio chief creative officer Michelle Davis puts it, “Sometimes the best new iteration of a logo is ‘an evolution, not a revolution.’” Wherever your logo falls on the scale, it will likely be the starting point and cornerstone of the updated brand.
There’s nothing that can take marketing materials to the next level quite like good messaging. Foundational to everything from your tagline to key messages that will appear on your website and print collateral, messaging answers the “why” for your prospects and tells the story of the value that your firm provides. Ownable brand messages are a foundational element to a brand, setting the voice and tone of how it is perceived.
Accompanying Visual Elements
(Re)defining typography and color palette are part of the foundation of a strong brand. A unique color palette and font system sets your firm apart from competitors, adds a level of visual sophistication to the brand, and creates a toolkit allowing hierarchy of information for branded materials to come. More than just eye candy, there is theory to colors and fonts, and versatile brands have a combination. Color palettes and typography systems should be visually pleasing and unique as well as functionally diversified. Add photography styles and custom graphics to the mix to round out your firm’s distinctive, unique and functional brand toolkit.
A new website is a fundamental step in the brand-refresh process. More than just a billboard for your brand, your website acts as your firm’s #1 business-development tool and is often the first evaluation of your firm. With a plethora of content to develop and lay out, from stories to write, icons to create and images to edit, a new website is a great way to begin applying new visual brand elements, testing asset combinations, and allowing for any necessary early refinement.
Physical and Digital Collateral
Before the new brand is launched, a basic stationery suite that might include business cards, letterhead, envelopes, folders and notepads, are important basics to have at the ready. Equally important for a cohesive refresh are updated business-development materials such as proposals, PowerPoint templates, pitchbooks, flyers and brochures. Updating these materials that are front and center for clients and prospects will help you realize the impact of the rebrand, and position your firm as the evolved powerhouse that it is in the eyes of those who matter most to move the bottom line.
Last, don’t forget ways that your brand might live environmentally. Have you considered how your brand will be infused into your workspace or on company vehicles, signage, and more? Creating a consistent package of materials will solidify your rebranding efforts while making sure you don’t suffer from brand confusion.
A Plan for Launch
A brand refresh is an exciting step for your firm and a story to tell to your audience. Roll out the brand first to employees, sharing, celebrating and educating on the new elements, from the new messaging and how to speak about the firm, to visual aspects with plans on how this will be implemented. This includes details such as how to update email signatures.
Have a plan for a public launch as well, observing the occasion with branded collateral and spreading the word to clients and partners, keeping in mind that the best campaigns make a splash and tell a story.
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