Have you ever looked at your insta feed or website and wondered how the hell did your brand become synonymous with whatever the hell **waves at branding** this is? Everytime you look at it–it feels off. Something isn’t quite right and you need to know why. You’ve heard the term “brand refresh” thrown around all over those FB business groups and you’ve been toying with the idea.
Hold tight and keep reading–because that might not be what you need at all!
“I’m just gonna change my logo,” or “oh, we changed our name, I’m just going to do this small tweak” is common to see in business FB groups. But any experienced brand designer will tell you–that every element within your visual branding has to serve a purpose. Updating a logo without changing anything else will rarely work because there’s way more that goes into rebranding than people think.
Anytime you are changing the visual aspects of your brand – in a way that is intentional to move your brand forward, you are rebranding. So before you commit those funds, and time to head down this biz changing path–let’s talk about rebrands and how to prep for them.
You can’t move forward without the “who”
Visual branding cannot happen until you have identified a niche, until you have done work on your ideal client avatar. It requires you to sit with yourself and make sure that what you are trying to build is what you want. If you haven’t read my blog post “Authenticity and business is the answer” before, I highly encourage you read that after this one as well as my last blog post about the “Five key things to branding”
When you work with a brand designer, it’s not a fun art project where the designer comes in and makes things look new and pretty. That’s just not how we roll. There is a lot of research that goes into making sure that your ideal client/audience feels connected to the brand. We look at things like:
- what they need,
- how they need to feel
- What do they need to feel at different aspects of their journey
- how can we help them feel safe and like this is the place for them
We need to do this in a way that gives them the power to say yes or no. This is what MamaPistachio calls “consensual entrepreneurship,” this is the process of “I’m not gonna force you to feel like you have to do this.” The old and archaic methods of forceful marketing only serve to make people feel psychologically tricked into things. Consensual Entrepreneurship is about giving people the information, knowledge and emotional journey that they need to feel empowered to make a decision that is best for them – and we can contribute to that through visual branding.
Branding goes beyond the fonts and colors. They aren’t there to make you feel good (although if they do that’s a bonus). They are there to invoke emotions, attract ideal clients, and help them feel connection. So there are some big questions to ask yourself before moving forward.
Your motivation for a rebrand matters.
Some biz owners feel like they have to rebrand because all the businesses around them are rebranding, but “because they did it” isn’t a good reason. Believe me! Business owners who rebrand due to peer pressure from humans with zero insight into the biz tend to regret their decision. And that’s because they took something they liked–nay, loved– and changed it to fit someone else’s concept of what it “should” look like.
An amazing brand is the perfect mix of the biz owner and ideal client’s personalities while honoring the services or products provided. Brands should be intimate, and communicate the needs of all parties involved. The visual branding usually helps shape a huge amount of items within a business–you don’t want to eff up things on a whim of Carol the Control Freak!
So how do you know when it’s time to rebrand?
- Do you feel passionate about serving the people that currently find you?
- Do you enjoy working with your brand?
- Are Clients are commenting about how much they “love your branding”?
- Do clients mention how your branding helped them know you were their person?
- Does your brand’s visual identity easily convey your market without an explanation.
If all of those things are true–you can stop reading because your branding is working! Now if those things aren’t true–it’s definitely time to prep for (not leap into) a rebrand. In the next step we’ll start analyzing all the things that will need to be adjusted for your business’s successful rebrand.
Get the pen to paper and make a list.
One thing every business owner underestimates are all the things they use within their brand. From social media and websites to business cards and email signatures, there are so many things that have your branding on them. So before you leap into hiring a designer, you need to figure out exactly what you need as far as deliverables go! Sometimes this also means assessing what isn’t currently branded but in reality should be. You know, your social media templates, your podcast templates, your emails, your email signature, your dubsado, or HoneyBook templates, all of those things. Every place your brand touches, your website, your flyers (if you still do traditional marketing), all of those things!
This list should include a description of what it is that you need (i.e template for course handout), the program it needs to be in (i.e. canva, illustrator), a link to the existing item, and whether or not a designer needs to make the item or if your team can tweak existing items once the new brand guidelines are available.
Don’t forget things like your stock photos as well! If you’re going from a very dark and moody brand, to a very clean and crisp brand, your photography might need a shift. And so you need to list out all of the things that are a part of how you run your business, all of those different files, all those different things and figure out what items you need help with –
This may be a super intensive list, but I promise it will make the next step in the process so much easier!
Finding the right designer for you!
A lot of times brands feel an urgency to rebrand…now! But there should never be an urgency for a rebrand. A rebrand should be planned and budgeted for. This allows you to work with someone who can intentionally help you strategize a plan to improve sales by getting your ideal client to connect with you, who can help you implement a better structure on your website, who can do all these different things that are going to help further your business and yet not create a struggle in your business as rebranding is an intense process.
Although a designers aesthetic is important when researching, it’s not the only factor at play. Be sure to look for these things as well:
- do they understand your niche
- Will they understand you as a person
- how do they communicate all of these different things
I would then narrow down to a list of approximately 3 designers to approach and get a quote along with a discovery call to see if they truly are a great fit for you and your business. Provide specific information and details, including the list you made up of the items you need. Now I don’t mean, “I want this font or I want this color”, doing that will not help you in the long run, as it’s important that you trust the person you’re hiring to help you and let them use their expertise as branding is not in your wheelhouse.
So take that list, get quotes and estimated timelines, tell them that you’re just looking for a budget because you currently want to figure out how much you need to allot for this rebrand; you’ll also want to know when their next availability is and if they book further out. If you research now and you want to rebrand in a year – you are golden – they can give you a price and then potentially work with you to create a payment plan to book in advance. If your rebrand package is going to cost you $15,000, you’ll have the time to budget for that and get the sales you need to afford the work.
Time, effort, and patience will pay out!
Rebranding is expensive and timely; but when done intentionally – and given the time, planning, an appropriate budget, and the right designer to help, it will be easier and smoother than if you are haphazardly trying to adjust things.
As always, if you find yourself in need of help, please reach out to TeamMolly and let us know what you need, we have the resources and connections to help!