Yes, we all are going through a weird phase in our businesses because the pandemic has affected us at many different levels. And yet we might have a huge opportunity here to embrace change and grow.
If you’re doing a brand refresh or a rebranding exercise, we would love to guide you through this exciting process.
Rebranding is a marketing strategy that involves making adjustments to certain aspects of your business such as its ideal audience, its value proposition, mission, and values.
Then, there are the products and services you create to serve your clients to the best of your ability.
Because rebranding is a beautiful, delicate process that costs money, energy, and a lot of effort, it shouldn’t be based on purely emotional decisions.
That’s why we considered it important to share our top five recommendations with those of you who decided to pivot during a pandemic.
As a professional graphic design team, we must be honest with you. Changing your brand’s visuals is not rebranding. Let’s see what a brand is first.
Your brand is:
Once you have created that unique voice and decided what kind of experience you want your clients to tell others about, you can worry about the graphics that will support that message.
If you decided to pivot during times of COVID-19, the reason behind it should be something invisible.
Do you want to serve a different customer segment? Is there a new perspective you would love to share with the world? Are you deploying entirely new products and services to meet emerging market needs?
Make it all about the experience your customers are craving for, not only about your pretty new image, which we can help you create based on core aspects like those mentioned above.
How do you want people to feel about your brand now?
That’s the answer that will unlock an impactful rebranding strategy that will resonate with your ideal audience.
Since rebranding implies a shift in your brand’s personality, everyone involved with your company should be aware of the changes before they go live.
If your employees deeply understand the pivot and believe in the impact it can make, their energy will influence your clients’ perspective.
You can even test the effectiveness of your rebranding strategy with your staff.
Their feedback will be very useful and it can also serve as a reflection of how the consumers will perceive your refreshed message.
Just like comedians test their new routines with their closest friends first, make sure to value your employees’ comments and observations.
While you focus on what you do best, rebranding experts can help you make the best informed decisions. Following a step-by-step guide you found on Google won’t get you the results you’re looking for.
Your clients’ perceptions and expectations are at stake here.
The more you rely on experienced designers and marketers, the more effective your strategy will be.
And it will be worth the investment.
Search for interesting case studies to get some perspective on how other brands have changed their visuals based on an invisible reason.
Here we bring you 3 recent examples.
These companies are featured in the 2020 Rebrand 100 Global Awards, the world’s most important “recognition for excellence in brand repositioning”, as stated on its website.
Let’s explain rebranding with examples and get some inspiration!
This educational institution based in the US is an independent school that competes with renowned private schools and public options in California.
Although New Roads’ core purpose has always been to promote equality and diversity, it lacked a strategy to bring that value proposition to reality.
Their rebranding work was focused on using a brave, radical voice that made this school so unique the admissions events were at 100 % capacity for enrollment season.
Plus, the fundraising campaigns achieved amazing results, and key stakeholders were enthusiastic and motivated to promote the brand’s core values through its new imagery.
Formerly Moreland Energy Foundation, this non-profit organization brings solutions along with its partners to make renewable energy accessible to the communities.
In the midst of climate change challenges, this institution had the need to scale up as a national and global force to help communities reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
Not only did they change the name to the Australian Energy Foundation, but they also created a new brand identity that serves a higher purpose.
With its refreshed image and strategy, the organization is now perceived as a powerful, reliable force that educates, advises, and joins efforts to serve a diverse audience while making a positive impact on Australian society.
Based in China and carrying strong traditional roots, Origo Coffee had the knowledge and the experience to become an industry leader, but its branding strategy was way too common.
They weren’t offering a memorable experience.
When they identified an interesting market need, things started to change for the better.
The new generations of coffee lovers didn’t have the chance to choose between a regular coffee brand and a high-level artisanal brand.
That’s when they decided they wanted to transition from a boring company to a sophisticated coffee brand that appealed to real connoisseurs.
They started to experiment with detailed procedures to make specialty coffees, and later they began to reflect their expertise and elite experience through high-end brand identity.
Alright, you are putting so much effort into this strategy and you’re relying on experts to help you mitigate risks. However, one can say a rebranding has been successful when the audience welcomes and enjoys it.
It’s an experiment that will confirm – or not – the hypotheses you had about the audience you want to serve. In case you don’t receive the desired response, you can always make adjustments.
And if the response is exactly what you dreamed it would be or even beyond your expectations, celebrate and continue creating meaningful conversations around your brand’s new vision.
When your brand’s worldview dramatically changes, it’s time for a full rebranding strategy that connects with a target audience that feels the same way.
When Apple launched its marketing campaign back in 1984, its core message revealed a rebellious brand that attacked its competitors and wanted to fix what was wrong in the industry.
It directly criticized Microsoft because of its lack of creative alternatives for young people.
It wasn’t until 1997 that Apple’s brand character transitioned from a rebel to an innovator.
Steve Jobs led the rebranding campaign with the slogan “Think Different”.
It praised creative geniuses like Pablo Picasso, Bob Dylan, and Thomas Edison, brilliant minds that had made a positive impact on the world.
Not only did Apple want to change the world too, but its leaders decided to encourage consumers to express their creativity and “think different” by providing them with state-of-the-art tools.
And we all know how that story went.
Finding the right graphic design team during the global crisis caused by COVID-19 implies that you need remote candidates.
And beyond making an obvious statement, I want to suggest that choosing a team with experience in remote work would be the smartest decision.
You were probably used to pointing things out while facing the same computer screen as your designers, or brainstorming ideas face to face.
By working remotely, this kind of interaction is lost, and you need remote workers who are actually comfortable with online processes.
Everybody is working from home because, well, there’s no choice. And the reality is most workers are struggling with the new habits they have been forced to adopt.
Experienced graphic designers who have been creating amazing solutions from their home office for the past few years will be your best allies in this adventure.
They are organized, tech-savvy, and reliable.
Nothing has changed for them in terms of their working routine.
Besides this very important detail, here I give you 6 things to look out for when choosing the team that will bring your new perspective and ideas to reality.
Visuals explain best what you are trying to say.
Are your new graphic design team able to put different things together to create an outstanding visual concept? And it matches your big idea and your core message at the same time?
The best graphic designers aren’t afraid of taking risks when it comes to creating powerful engagement tools.
They’ll do what it takes to convey your powerful message in a memorable visual experience that will keep your audience engaged and make them want to share it with others.
Every good designer has their work under control, but only the best ones make sure they understand your vision and meet all of your requirements.
Sometimes high-level experts will challenge your instructions because they’re focused on the strategy’s goals and not on your subjective opinion.
Still, they are results-oriented and will always do what’s best for your brand.
Most importantly, they would never go against yours or your brand’s core values.
They have been trained to deliver high-quality work as fast as possible.
They can even exceed your expectations without compromising any important detail, and working under pressure is not a problem for them.
If a graphic designer says they need a ridiculous amount of time to deliver the work, it can only mean one of two things: they have other clients who are more important than you, or they don’t have the skills to create amazing solutions in a reasonable period of time.
Either way, they aren’t the experts you need right now.
Do they treat this project as if it was their own?
Caring designers put themselves in your shoes and will do what it takes to make you feel heard and cared for.
They pride themselves in providing a memorable experience.
Your success is theirs too.
Do they carefully listen to you and come up with what you need?
The best designers defend their views respectfully and act as thoughtful guides, not as forceful enemies. They also ask instead of assuming whenever they have doubts related to your project.
When you explain the purpose of this project to them, they deeply understand that it’s something much bigger than just a visual change.
They ask the right questions and are able to reflect with colours what lies behind the new solution.
They get that it’s beyond graphic design.
It’s about improving people’s lives and helping to communicate a profound message to the audience.
Making a list of what you stand for and what this project means to you will help you find the right remote team that will successfully guide you through the transition.
The current circumstances have forced us to find new ways to achieve our business goals, and that shouldn’t be considered an obstacle, but an exciting opportunity to adapt and evolve.
Let me share a couple of tech tools I’ve discovered to ease the process of working with your design team remotely.
This tool allows your team to get visual feedback from you on an incredibly easy to use interface.
You can put arrows to point things out. Watch my review on this Linkedin video.
It’s currently available on desktop, but they’re working on a mobile version. And it’s for free!
Save time and energy with an app that lets you communicate your desired changes and avoid misinterpretation on your feedback.
You can create your feedback on the format of your choosing: video, GIF, screenshot or annotated image.
Once you’re done, simply share the link with your design team and you’re good to go!
Watch my review on this LinkedIn video.
Try out these tools and stick to the one that best suits your needs.
Rebranding is a process that will mark a milestone in your business’ history.
Make sure you surround yourself with experts who will have a deep understanding of your values and purpose.