We rebranded our company this month and it hurt. The word on the street (from one of the blog posts I read about our rebranding) is that it took us about a year. That’s almost true, although it wasn’t a year of solid work day in and day out. Like most creative projects we worked on it in fits and starts, some days more successful than others, with some fairly long spaces in between when we were waiting for inspiration (or when the team was just waiting for me to make a decision).
Along the way we learned a thing or two about rebranding and I thought this would be a good time to share those things with you.
- It’s hard. Changing the name of a company that’s been around a while is not easy. You’re basically making a decision that you will have to stand by for a decade or two. That’s scary stuff.
- It’s far reaching and expensive. Every single thing that has your name or your icon on it will have to go. Tossed. Into the trash. That includes the napkins you bought for that sponsorship event and those t-shirts that never got worn. And that hurts.
- People get attached to their graphic identity (this means we like our logos). And when somebody tells you it’s time to ditch that and start over, it’s emotional. It sounds crazy now, but that’s the truth.
- Sometimes you have to let go. There were times in the process that I didn’t understand where our designers or developers wanted to take a concept and at those times I had to learn to trust them, and to trust in our website pledge (which you know if you’re our client).
We realized after a couple of months that it was hard taking our own medicine. Our company tag-line is Simple, Clear and Focused on Results, and we say that all the time to our clients. Yet we found ourselves piling everything we could into the content needs of our site and we were having a tough time winnowing it down until we hit on a couple of things…which I’ll explain in a later blog post.
Over the next few weeks, the team that guided this rebranding project to the end by doing the actual work will be blogging about their parts of the project. You’ll hear from:
Mark Ott, the strategy guy, will discuss the strategic decisions that guided the development.
Blake Allen, the art director, will write about the design approach. Changing a brand for a marketing firm is no small task. This was a mighty hard process that he handled with aplomb. Yes, aplomb.
Brad Haynes, the creative director, will take us on a deep dive into the new site and will talk about features, functionality and the concepts that drove a lot of the thinking behind the site.
Jonathan Kelly, the director of development, will talk us through HTML5 and showcase pieces of functionality like the homepage feature module.
Kate Gallagher, the media director, will tell us how hard it is to get a company who teaches and manages our client’s social campaigns to do that thang for themselves.
At the end of this project I think we all felt a little more sympathy for our clients. It’s a gutsy, and most times, a stupid thing to tell a company that you know what’s right for their brand. We experienced that ourselves. We doubted and questioned, argued, then agreed and celebrated.
I hope you’ll enjoy the series. And if you have a good rebranding story, please share it with me. We’re all learning all the time.Share Article