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5 signs your company is due to hire a rebranding agency

There are many misconceptions about branding, one of them being a brand is a logo and a slogan. Both are undoubtedly important but they are a small part of a much bigger picture. A brand is a promise between you, your customers, employees, partners and other stakeholders. Brand building is a process that takes active management and investment. If you have limited experience with this process (or if you’re all too familiar with the potential pitfalls) then hiring a rebranding agency is the most efficient way to go from point A to point Brand.

Strong brands are the result of years of dedication. Deciding to rebrand your business shows a commitment to being relevant: to your consumer and in the market. Ultimately rebranding is commitment to growth.

Reasons to hire a rebranding agency:

    New locations

Markets have their own consumer cultures, heritage and behaviors. When expanding internationally it is important to research whether your existing brand narrative, messaging and visual identity resonates with the new audience – if the answer is no it’s time to update your brand.  

    New audiences

If you reposition your business to target a new customer — whether through product, place, price, or promotion — your brand needs to follow suit. For example, if a fintech company serving baby boomers releases an app for millennials they may as well brand it as a completely different product, right?

    Complex architecture

Throughout a company’s life it may acquire various technologies, services, products and businesses. We’ve had many clients approach us for rebranding when their product hierarchy is confused due to a lack of consistent messaging across the board. When companies merge so do their brands. Developing a new brand that accurately reflects the new entity prevents confusion and builds consumer trust. If your business is a collection of many sub-companies and lacking an overarching brand narrative, call a rebranding agency to clean it up – all stakeholders will benefit.

    Market changes

The markets change and so should we. If you feel your message isn’t resonating with the modern consumer consider a brand makeover to stay relevant. In one of our previous articles we covered how B2B companies reposition their brands to connect with buyers on a more personal level.

    New mission and philosophy

Your mission and values guide all decisions, including brand. If your philosophy and mission are changing and your company pivoting, you must reevaluate your brand accordingly. Do not forget that when it comes to innovation-led companies a brand can add lots of value in identifying your product-market fit.

    If all you have is a name in Helvetica

Why do smart companies rebrand? They know good design makes a business while the absence of one can break it. If your name, logo and visuals are generic and similar to other businesses gaining consumer mindshare will be hard. A generic logo and stock art in materials will hurt your brand and it will be easy to get lost amongst the noise. A strong brand helps you stand out from your competitors’ by highlighting your differentiators. Even the best companies change their brand identity – and oftentimes gain recognition only after they’ve rebranded. Did you know that Google started with the name “Backrub”?

So you’ve decided it’s time to think about rebranding. Why hire a rebranding agency if you could do this in-house? Well, let me tell you about…

The value rebranding agencies bring:

    Create a clear path for a complex process

Rebranding is a complex process that seems obscure to those new to it. The cost of branding mistakes are high – one a wrong move can see you create an unfavorable image that favours your competition over you.

Most clients come to us after attempting a rebrand in-house: struggling to reach a consensus and getting lost within the process. Rebranding is a balance of art, science and business. It can be a frustrating exercise and passion often run high. A professional provider will approach the task from a neutral perspective. They help to avoid common mistakes and will guide you through their tried and tested process.

    Use the knowledge and fire power of multiple of experts

A quality rebranding agency will have various experts at their disposal: strategists, marketers, designers, developers, production managers and art directors. Unless you’re a large corporation you will have no need for the same team in-house. Remember, good branding is rooted in strategy and research — there is way more than design work to be done.

    Streamline the rebranding process

The rebranding process has to be agile, especially for a high growth business. Yes, you heard right – it’s not only developers that know what it means to be agile! There are multiple work streams in the branding process, way more than you may imagine. Attempting to manage them yourself whilst maintaining your usual work schedule is a shortcut to high stress levels.

A good rebranding agency will not only relieve you of these duties but can connect you with additional suppliers. Need business cards printed in Beirut? They know a guy there. Struggling with your conference booth design? Give them the dimensions and they’ll fix it. You won’t need to worry about who will is responsible for content, collateral and so on – a strong rebranding agency is a well oiled machine. They act as an extension of your marketing department, liberating you from the hassle so you can focus on your job.

    Align all strategies

As soon as the rebrand is complete it’s time to spread the word- this calls for marketing. In reality the brand work and marketing strategy should start simultaneously. The success of your marketing efforts rely heavily on your brand as it forms the framework for all communications. Hiring a rebranding agency avoids retrofitting and streamlines your marketing and brand strategy efforts. By unifying branding and marketing you guarantee the effectiveness of future marketing efforts.

    Optimise rebranding services and costs

Rebranding agencies typically offer multiple business critical services.  For example, we focus on naming, brand strategy, visual identity, production and marketing. Working with a trustworthy agency avoids the need to manage multiple individuals. This optimises your costs, increases your access to services at short notice and alleviates your team from the stress of supplier management.

    Obtain a long-term supporter and advisor

A new brand is an investment, not an expense. It needs to be exciting – the more seamless the process, the more excited you’ll be.

Building a relationship with a rebranding agency means you do not part ways on brand launch – they will always be within your reach, available for advice, mentorship or future work. Every agency is emotionally invested in their client’s success as their performance is a measure of their own efforts. Rather than disappearing on payment of the last invoice a good agency will stick around, becoming your long-term growth ally.

If this helped you make up your mind check out our tips on what to look at when evaluating a rebranding agency. Investment in your brand is a serious step in your company’s evolution and finding the right partner for it can be life changing.

FAQS

How do vision and mission statements impact a company's long-term direction?

Effective vision and mission statements should ideally constitute important tools in formulating a company’s strategy. They should largely remain unchanged through the years, though a significant pivot may bring about new vision and mission statements. Together, they work to define the focus of the business and how it impacts the world. 

The vision statement is a representation of your company’s view of a better world. The mission statement reflects how it sets about to achieve this vision. They work together to create internal alignment and help with strategic decision making. When planning for the future, developing new products, or experimenting with new strategies, teams can perform a quick check against the vision and mission statements to ensure that these initiatives are aligned with the essence of the brand. 

In short, the vision and mission statements are powerful tools which can and should impact decisions across the organizations, making them important factors in a company’s long-term direction.

How does brand strategy influence the overall success of a business?

Your brand strategy reflects how your brand sees the world and its role within it. It is the framework that, ideally, should guide all your communications (both external and internal) and audience touchpoints, i.e. each interaction an audience member has with your business. 

Having standardized communication across all channels and touchpoints makes business processes smoother and positively influences your client relationships, ensuring you develop strong, long-term connections with your customers. It also simplifies strategic decision-making and aligns your team. All these factors are vital to the success of a business.

How do messaging frameworks help communicate your brand message effectively?

Messaging frameworks are structured guides that outline the core messages, value propositions, and differentiators of a brand. They ensure consistency across all communications, from marketing materials and social media posts to customer service interactions. By defining key messages that resonate with the brand's target audiences, messaging frameworks help ensure that a brand’s communications are clear and memorable. 

They also help organizations stay aligned internally and ensure that each member, regardless of their role, understands what the brand’s key message is and how to communicate it effectively. This internal alignment is crucial for presenting a unified brand image to the outside world.

What specific elements contribute to a brand's verbal identity?

A brand’s verbal identity should align your team on how your brand communicates and how this communication changes depending on the situation. It defines a specific and recognizable language through which your brand can deliver its message to your audience or audiences.

Typically, a verbal identity includes some, or all, of the following elements:

Brand personality: This captures the human traits or characteristics that your brand embodies, such as being adventurous, sophisticated, or reliable, which help shape how your brand is perceived.

Brand voice: The brand voice reflects how your brand reflects its personality across all communication channels.

Brand tone: While the brand voice remains consistent, the brand tone can change depending on the context of the message and the audience being addressed, ranging from formal and professional to informal and friendly.

Messaging frameworks: These are strategic tools that outline the key messages your brand intends to communicate to its different target audiences, ensuring that all messaging is aligned with your brand's mission, vision, and value propositions.

Messaging examples: These provide specific examples of how your brand's messaging might be applied in various scenarios.

Style and grammar guidelines: These outline your preferred spelling, grammar, and style, ensuring that your communication is consistent across the board. 

What are some key considerations when developing a tone of voice for a brand?

The first and most important consideration is the brand’s personality. While businesses are functional, they still communicate with people – and people primarily connect with stories and personas. Your brand’s personality will define a set of human characteristics which reflect how it sees itself in the world. By giving your brand these human attributes, you are making it both distinctive and easier to identify with. The tone of voice should reflect your brand’s personality.

It’s also important to consider your target market and your audience’s expectations. While having a distinctive tone of voice is important for memorability, there is such a thing as being too different. If all brands in your segment adopt a serious, professional tone, and you would like to be fun and playful, there is certainly space for that, but consider very carefully why you are doing it.

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FAQS

How does competitive benchmarking influence the development of a visual identity?
Competitive benchmarking is important in developing a brand's visual identity as it provides insights into the market environment. By examining the competition, a brand can better understand its unique value proposition and strengths. This understanding is crucial in identifying what sets the brand apart from others.With this knowledge, a brand can lean into its unique strengths when crafting its visual language. This approach ensures that the visual identity not only looks appealing but also reinforces the brand’s distinct point of view and competitive edge.
How does visual identity differ across industries, and how can a brand ensure it stands out while remaining authentic?
Visual identity varies significantly across industries, shaped by both the industry norms and the unique aspects of each brand. Understanding where your brand stands in the competitive market is essential when crafting a visual identity that both stands out and remains authentic.Industries have distinct visual trends that are often expected by consumers. For instance, financial services brands typically adopt a reserved, traditional look with a color palette dominated by blues and greys. In contrast, skincare brands often go for a lighter, more colorful approach with pastels. Being aware of these industry-specific trends is important because it helps to decide how much your brand should differentiate itself from these norms. This differentiation should be based on your audience's expectations and your brand's unique value propositions.For example, a financial services brand that emphasizes its use of innovative technologies might choose a more digital-oriented visual language. Similarly, a skincare brand that focuses on scientific innovation might benefit from a more science-based visual language.
What are the key considerations when creating visual concepts for a brand?
The visual identity of a brand should quickly and clearly reflect its strategic positioning. Designers begin the process of creating visual concepts by immersing themselves in the brand’s strategy to extract key narrative themes. These themes are then translated into a visual language that employs both emotional and aesthetic elements to communicate the brand's messages. This translation is crucial as it shapes how the audience perceives and interacts with the brand.When developing visual concepts, it's important to make sure they align with the brand's strategy and fit well within the competitive landscape: demonstrating key differentiators, but still fitting into the industry at large. The visuals should also be suitable for the mediums they will be used in. Whether for digital, print, or physical applications, the choice of medium can greatly influence how the visual concepts are designed.
How does visual identity contribute to brand recognition and trustworthiness?
Visual identity is key to boosting brand recognition and trustworthiness, especially in busy markets. When a company maintains a consistent visual brand across different platforms, it becomes easier for customers to recognize and remember it. This consistency is crucial for standing out among competitors.Having a consistent visual identity also shows professionalism and attention to detail. These qualities make customers more likely to trust a brand. When a brand looks the same across all touchpoints, from websites to products and ads, it tells customers the brand is reliable and serious. This builds trust and makes customers more likely to pick this brand over others that may not look as professional or consistent.
How do brand guidelines ensure consistency in visual identity across different platforms?
Brand guidelines are a key tool for maintaining a consistent visual presentation across various platforms. These guidelines typically outline the main use cases where the brand's visual identity will appear and provide comprehensive rules and standards. The guidelines include detailed instructions on how to use the brand’s assets, such as logos, color palettes, typography, and imagery. This ensures that anyone using these assets, whether they're designers, marketers, or external partners, can apply them correctly and consistently. It’s crucial that the entire team is familiar with these guidelines. It’s important to get team buy-in on the visual identity and ensure that the guidelines are easily accessible. When the whole team understands and follows the guidelines, the brand's visual identity remains unified across all touchpoints, enhancing brand recognition and trust.

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