Updating a beloved yet dated brand

Sometimes creating or updating an existing brand can be an easy process with clients open to moving far away from the existing brand and are ready to embrace a new look and feel. But what do you do when the client is attached and protective over the existing brand unwilling to take a risk?

Working with a well-loved brand makes it harder for people to accept change so when starting re-branding exercises the client needs to fully understand the reasons for the change.

Challenge:
I recently worked on a project where everything was changing from the logo design through to the collapsing of numerous websites in to an all-encompassing one. For the company to get fully on board with what was happening they needed to understand the reasons behind the change and this proved difficult.

Sometimes an ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ mentality can prevail so it’s just a case of clearly emphasising why a change is necessary.

For us we were merging separate business and consumer services into one large brand so, though we were using one of the existing brands as the name, it now had to speak to a new audience whilst not alienating its existing one. Sadly the worry was that in changing the existing brand and logo we would potentially lose both audiences than gain a new one.

We also hoped to gain an international market and felt a few things needed to change in the current logo to allow for this, such as a much dated strapline that proved difficult to drop.

Solution:
Rather than just introducing initial design mock ups and explaining the decisions behind them a thorough brief was produced as to what we were trying to achieve, what changes we needed to make and why and what we expected the outcome to be on the basis of these changes, such as an easier transition in to an international market.

This brief was put before the business and once agreed the design process for the logo re-brand could begin.

When pitching the ideas to the stakeholders we needed to bear in mind that many clients were from non-design related backgrounds. To deal with this I found it easier to make comparisons between what other companies were doing and why we should do something similar to push ideas.

I did this by explaining all aspects through to the smaller details such as fonts, what was popular with high street brands and why, or by explaining that the use of more flat design in terms of colours in order to make the logo was more contemporary than the current old fashioned design and showed example brands.

Working closely with the marketing teams I always make sure that I am fully aware of what the brand needs to project, in what audience we want to target and what current design features need retaining, such as the use of a shape or colour in the logo.  From there it’s just a case of making sure all thought process is clear and easy to follow so when pitching to any client the decisions made are understandable. Then it’s down to personal preference…

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