Do You Need to Re-brand? You bet.
How do you know when it is time to retire your brand identity? This is a hard question for most organizations – even ones like us who pride ourselves on helping clients through this process.
In January 2011, IS began redesigning its website. We started by having discussions with each department, conducting competitive research, and analyzing what was, and was not, working on our current site. As we began to dig deeper into the process questions began to emerge such as: who are we, what makes us different, and what is our value proposition? We suddenly realized that we needed more than a redesign. It was time to rebrand Interactive Strategies.
The realization that this was a necessary step for the success of our new website came easily. What was not easy was turning our process inward. Rebranding is a scary proposition for most organizations. There is a history, brand equity and familiarity that people often feel cannot be replaced. And in some cases, they can’t. For big brands like the Gap and Starbucks, consumers were not keen on the rebranding exercise and only accepted the change kicking and screaming. But, this sort of outcome is the result of an inadequately executed process. In our case, we were determined. After shaking out our jitters (as we encourage our clients to do), we assembled the team and got to work.
Think. Evaluate. Focus.
Sticking to our process, we went to the white board and began to cull the adjectives. Our goal was to keep it simple, make it relevant, and distinguish ourselves. Words like, strategic, agile, smart, helpful, resourceful, creative and curious were touted, but the one word that we continued to gather around was CLEVER. It encompasses many of the qualities we are and aspire to be: creative, ingenious, intelligent, resourceful and agile. Armed with our inspirational word, we began to explore possible logo designs and new key messages that see you see on our home page today.
Was it all worth it? Definitely. Did we learn a lot from the process? More than you will ever know. Should you find yourself wanting to refresh your brand, here are few take-aways we’d like to share:
Trust your instincts: Believe in what you know to be true, while arming yourself with a willingness to let go of preconceptions.
Research to the rescue: Ask the tough questions. Gather information. Conduct field research, even if it’s just gorilla to separate fact from fiction.
Creativity is a process: Translating ideas into something visual takes time. Don’t be afraid to step away and breathe. Only then may you find clarity and confidence in the new you.