Most businesses at some stage have to reassess their branding. You might have been handed on a logo initiated in the past that now looks a bit dated. Or your business may have moved on, grown or changed direction. Whatever the reason for updating your business logo and brand, here are 6 rules (OK, suggestions!) for getting your refreshed branding right, so it not only builds recognition and positive feelings about your company, but reflects what you want it to say.
1. Work out what’s involved. To get your branding strategy off on the right foot, make a simple list of all the items your current branding appears on, from your website, adverts and corporate stationery to invoices and vehicles. You need to aim for business branding that works well across all these media, without having to significantly change or adapt the logo, for example to make it work in black and white on a business form, or be noticeable on the side of a van. Ideally you need to change all these items at once, partly to save design time ‘revisiting’ each time but also because a brand relaunch (see 6) is a valuable marketing opportunity.
2. Size up the competition. What are they doing? Make a list of looks you like and those you don’t. Consider how modern or traditional they are and whether there are trends within your industry – favourite colours (see below) or styles of typeface for example. Do they have straplines/slogans? You don’t have to follow what everyone else does, but if you are going to go for something totally maverick, it needs to be for a good reason.
3. Less is more. Someone famously described a camel as ‘a horse designed by a committee’. The same is true of logos. A good, simple design can go wildly astray once a group of people with differing tastes (or no taste) have had their say. Designing a memorable brand means withstanding temptation to add the shimmers and moving parts beloved of web designers – you won’t be able to reproduce them on paper or a press ad and will be forced to ‘version’ your logo which will undermine its memorability. The world’s most famous logos have in common a striking, stonkingly unignorable simplicity.
4. Colours count. Your rebrand is an opportunity to make the most of the messages colours convey – it’s not unusual for a rebrand to involve a subtle or total change of colour. Any psychologist will tell you colours carry meanings. Which is why blue (clean, clinical, sensible) is beloved of healthcare companies and mauves and greens (human, emotional, subtle) are favoured by holistic businesses. Again, some research among your competitors can help you work out the colours favoured by your industry’s customers and which are a no-no. Bear in mind that the significance of colours varies with cultures. For some interesting detail see http://visual.ly/meaning-colour-marketing.
5. Brief your designer or agency in writing. At Two Lizards we undertake business brand design and redesign in isolation or as part of a larger marketing project. Whatever the situation, a considered, written brief is a huge help. It means the client has thought through what they want (and don’t want) from their branding or rebranding, what they want it to express about their company and which materials need to carry the new branding (practical but essential to project management). The simple fact of putting it down in writing will help you work out what you want – and if there are partners or a board involved, it’s essential. We have a handy, concise briefing document you may find useful – contact us and we’ll send it over.
6. Celebrate! The launch of new or updated branding is a significant moment in your company’s evolution. It’s making a statement about moving forward and (very often) changing or expanding. So assuming you’ve got all your branding changed in one go (see 1 above) it’s worth making a song and dance about. Plan in advance how you are going to do this. Consider a fresh marketing campaign that draws attention to your change of look or pace. Announce it to your industry’s trade press. Extend your campaign through direct marketing to ensure your new image and message is seen by your target audience. Invite your clients and suppliers to a party. And, it goes without saying, this is the time to raise your game with social media to get the best value out of your brand investment.
Once your new brand is completed you need to consider maintaining brand integrity. Make sure you create some corporate brand guidelines so your suppliers and marketers use your logo with consistency and accuracy. You need to provide downloadable versions of your logo with specifications as to how it should appear, alongside details such as whether your strapline or slogan should always be used and in which typeface and how much space should appear around your logo. And, since the whole point of your logo is to convey your company’s values and personality, you might want to include some detail in your guidelines, specifying the type of photography or illustration to be used in your marketing materials, the tone of voice for copy or content and anything else you see as part of your company’s corporate image.
Two Lizards would love to help you with your business brand design or redesign and can guarantee to deliver your project on time, on brief and on budget. To see some examples of our branding and corporate image work for a wide variety of clients take a look here. We are always happy to discuss any aspect of your branding or marketing so call us now on 01403 731028 or email us now.