Rebranding your company – Step 1: Design Audit
This is the first in a series outlining The Letter M’s methodology for a rebranding or brand refresh:
Looking to put a new face on your organization?
Perhaps you’d simply like to freshen up a brand that may have become inconsistent or weakened (see Why Rebrand? Five reasons). Your brand should clearly define you, and set you up for victory: more than a logo, it is a compelling thematic and visual identity that is critical to the success of your business.
To implement a strategic, informed and nuanced rebranding (or refreshing), you’ll need to start from the ground up, with a Design Audit, the first of five critical steps:
a. Begin by putting out a call to staff for ANYTHING that articulates, reflects or visualizes your brand: this could be the company bio, media releases, strategies, surveys, annual reports, ads, which pen you printed the logo on, etc.
b. Take the time to read, compare and critique the design and messaging of these materials (depending on how many items there are, this could take a few hours or a full day). Identify:
- Materials that do NOT reflect the organization (Why do you feel that way?)
- Your “favourite” materials (What is it about them that speaks to you?)
- Whom the various materials target (These should be your primary audiences)
- The purpose of various materials: to sell, engage, inform, etc. (Were/are they successful?)
- How materials describe your organization and its products/services
- Consistencies (and inconsistencies) in design
- Whether the logo and design of materials matches the words you use to promote it
c. Jot down your notes on the above items then review and reflect.
d. Group your notes into similar themes, findings and opportunities. These should serve as discussion points for your team to explore what they do/don’t want to see in a new identity.
Completing a design audit is the first of five steps in ensuring a fresh and focused rebranding. What’s next? The discovery phase.