Rebranding your company – Step 4: Brand Development
This is the fourth in a series outlining The Letter M’s methodology for a rebranding or brand refresh:
- Design audit
- Brand framework
- Brand development
In the third blog in this series (Step 3: Brand Framework), we provided guidance on distilling a brand audit and discovery work into a succinct and actionable guiding Framework. With this handy tool in your arsenal, you can now carefully wade into creating your visual brand. Our agency process typically includes the following steps:
1. Brainstorm: Hold a broad concept discussion* to ensure all ideas are “put on the table”. If the logo must have a wave, or the icon must be your dog, this is the opportunity to set expectations. If you are using an external design agency or consultant, they will often lead this session.
*A key reference in this session should be your carefully-crafted Brand Framework (see my previous blog) that directs colours, fonts and an overall style based on research and strategy.
2. Concepts: Let your graphic designer have fun! Where possible, avoid limits (i.e., “must have at least 8 concepts” or “no more than 10”) since they can stifle or stretch creativity. You (or ideally a professional design agency/consultant) should then review and refine the options down to 3-5 viable contenders (ideally).
3. Review: Present concepts to your core working team. Hold them up next to the Brand Framework and discuss which support the brand goals, position and values, which do not, and which could, with some refinement. In an ideal scenario this should take you down to 2-3 concepts.
4. Refine: Refine according to the team’s comments and input. The designer should show each concept across a broad application (i.e., in black/white, on the website homepage, on a product/packaging, etc.).
5. Finalize: Present finalized concepts to the core team. At this time, you can also, if desired, seek broader input from staff, customers, etc., although they will need guidance on how concepts support the Brand Framework.
6. Polish: Select the “winner”, complete any final tweaks/nudges based on the team or broader input, celebrate and put your feet up**.
**You’ll of course share the logo with your cousin, hairdresser, third-grade teacher, et al. Be prepared for comments (“add a starburst” or “it looks too line-y”, etc.) but rest secure knowing the final logo reflects your discovery and research findings, supports brand goals and visioning, and incorporates broad team input.
So now what? The final step in our five-part series: brand implementation is where all your smart, strategic efforts and hard work pay off. Stay tuned…