The ABC's of Rebranding
So, you know your brand is ready for a change. Maybe you want to up your game. Maybe you're sick of blending in with your competition. Maybe your current look is attracting the wrong kind of customers. Either way, you're ready to finally take that big leap. If you're like a lot of clients who come my way, you're probably super stoked but also nervous, scared, and maybe even a little jaded about it because of a bad past experience. I totally get it-- rebranding is a huge commitment to make with your business baby! It's a lot like redecorating your entire house (or in this case, your home on the internet), and while you hope/know that the final outcome will be amazing, it's a messy process and there's a lot of uncertainty in the meantime.
To make that process a little easier for you, here are my ABC's to follow for when you make that decision to change things up in a big way!
This step is crucial! When I get a new branding/site client, I always do a brand audit, but it's something you can and should do yourself before talking with a designer. This will help you figure out what you already have, what you need, and holes in things like your systems. For example: are your email headers branded? What about your PDF's? Do you have an email signature?
When you go to rebrand, you'll want to change all of these things to keep your brand consistent. Maybe you don't have a header for your email, or you haven't been doing blog graphics with the same fonts and colors. A good designer/strategist will help you figure out exactly what you need, but it's important to know what that might entail so that you can a) be sure to ask for it and b) not be surprised when your designer suggests it!
Admittedly, this is one of my favorite things to do-- it's Pinterest time! This is another step that I do with my branding clients, but it's also a really useful thing to do when you decide that you want to rebrand. When you first start thinking about changing up your brand, create a pinboard. This will become your digital "filing cabinet," where you should put any and all inspiration! When I say inspiration, I mean screenshots of sites you love, fonts that strike your fancy, even photos of rooms and fashion that make you happy. As you compile more pins, you'll (hopefully) start to see some patterns in what you like! Maybe you lean more towards boho chic, or maybe you're inspired by a much more clean and modern look.
The best part of this step is that, as you see your style start to come to life, you'll be able to look for designers whose style and philosophy is aligned with that. I'll be the first person to admit that my designs aren't shabby chic or masculine and grungy, so someone wanting that kind of look and feel would probably want to find a designer whose portfolio shows that. For someone wanting a bold, fresh, typography- and strong-color driven brand, though, they'd definitely be landing in the right place when they went to my site! Which leads me to the final pre-rebrand step...
There are a LOT of designers -- and people who call themselves designers -- out there, thanks to the accessibility of the internet and Photoshop. You may or may not have a referral to a specific designer, but I would always recommend looking closely at a person's portfolio. Most designers don't have a ton of pieces, but the good ones will have their best pieces posted in their portfolio or behance site. How does their work make you feel? Does it move and inspire you? Is it in line with the types of images you've been pinning or is it a total 180 from what's been inspiring you? Does their copy make you feel comfortable and welcome? Do you feel like you want to work with this person, and does their work make you feel confident in their abilities to do your rebrand?