Coca-Cola. McDonald’s. Doritos.
Sure, they’re all foods (maybe it’s lunchtime) but guessing you had specific images that came to mind for each one. That’s because they each have strong visual identities.
While your brand is multi-faceted, a major role of a new brand or rebrand is the visual aesthetic. What visuals cue your target audiences? What is your brand’s visual personality?
As you start to think about your brand identity, how do you start to figure out what that may look like? Allow us to share some thought-starters.
We’ll start by having conversations about what you’re looking for. You probably aren’t considering a rebrand for the hell of it. We want to know what’s causing you to think about rebranding.
When our friends at MidWestOne wanted to update their brand to a more contemporary look, we used research to develop a clear target audience and then built the modern, clean look for that audience.
What your brand comes down to is who you are and who your audience says you are. Your company’s visual identity should represent your company. Think about some of the following adjectives. Are you…
Next, we’ll want the details on where your company has been, where you’re coming from and the history of the brand. For example, an upstart and a 100-year-old company are going to have different stories to tell.
Then, we’ll look at what your current look is. Are you happy with your current logo? What is working and what’s not so much? This is where our research team will dive in.
Next, it’s time to look at where you want to be. Is there a market you want to be more dominant in? Is there an audience you want to connect with?
This also plays into another question of how much you want to refresh. Are you looking for an update or an entire new look? An existing brand may have strong equity and just need a logo evolution rather than a logo revolution.
Sure, we like to do our own thing. That’s exactly why it’s important to look at your competition, so you don’t end up looking like them and create confusion. What’s your position in your market? What are your competitors doing that you might want to strike on a similar level?
For example, if you were rebranding Coca-Cola, you wouldn’t stray away from the red color people have come to know. You also wouldn’t want to use a lot of blues and end up looking like Pepsi.
Even if they are not in your industry, we like to study different brand touchpoints to get a better understanding of where you want to go. What is it about these brands that resonates with you?
Your brand identity is nothing without a tone and voice. How are you talking to your audience? Is your voice authoritative? High tech? Informal? What are the ways your brand voice can contribute to your brand identity?
For example, the fast-food restaurant Arby’s voice is full of attitude. In advertisements, the writing is fun and clever and the design is clean and simple – which complements the bold and blunt approach.
Sure, it’s time for a new logo, but have you considered all aspects of your new brand including signage, shirts, packaging, vehicle graphics, advertising and more? Look at your brand holistically both internally and externally and start to define your brand strategy. Just take a look at the work for our friends at ALM Positioners as an example. That included a website, trade show and print materials.
Know that it’s not cheaper to wait; it’ll likely get more difficult and expensive to change down the line. Just understand that a new brand look impacts every facet of your business, and replacing those various aspects takes time. That is also why many companies roll out their new brand look in phases.
The point to all these thought-starters is that a brand refresh is not a simple logo redesign. You have to consider what your company does and do the research to find the best way to develop your brand. Taking stock of each of these will start to inform how your new brand will look and some of the elements that would help convey your story.
Good conversations start by asking the right people the right questions. This will help your brand evolve through time and through the process until it’s ultimately the successful identity you needed. We can help you discover your brand; drop us a line.