Our step-by-step guide to internally re-branding your company
Rebranding your company takes time. You need to think about the current state of your company, the progress of your company for the future and how you’d like to be seen. Sometimes the hardest part of rebranding is understanding how to capture the view and attention of your audience while also having your company be perceived the way you want it to be by that audience. I will explain the steps that we took to rebrand our company and give some insight on how your team can approach internal rebranding the same way.
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Step 1: Mission Statement
This is the first step your team should explore with rebranding. A mission statement is the embodiment of your company’s purpose. What end result does your company produce, what are your objectives and how do you reach them? What does your company do on a day-to-day basis and how does it affect people in a positive way? How are you helping people with your business? How does your company have a meaningful connection with your audience and how can you turn that into an emotional appeal? These questions will help make your mission statement be more meaningful. The most impactful mission statements can be the shortest. Examples:
TED: Spread ideas.
Disney: To make people happy.
Remember that it’s a part of the process to tweak and revise your mission statement throughout rebranding. The more you can shorten it, the better.
Onyx Creative’s mission statement is based on the unique offering we give to our clients and how we help them elevate their project designs through authentic experiences.
Onyx Creative: To discover the elevated experience behind every client’s project.
The phrase “aspirational design” would later become part of our tagline that pairs with our logo, which is a shorter embodiment of our mission statement. It’s more impactful and easier to remember than the longer version, but essentially has the same meaning.
Step 2: Vision Statement
After you’ve figured out where your company currently stands, figuring out your vision statement is next. A vision statement is all about your company’s future. What do you want to do? How do you want to be seen? How can you inspire your employees? An inspiring vision statement includes your product or services within the world as a whole:
Feeding America: A hunger-free America.
Instagram: Capture and share the world’s moments.
Your vision statement can be simpler and focused on your mission. Our team ultimately decided to live in the moment with our vision statement, knowing that we would achieve our goals by giving each client’s project the attention it deserves.
Onyx Creative: To live the mission.
Just like your mission statement, your vision statement can progress over time just like your company’s goals. If your mission or vision statements stop speaking to your current and future company, then you should change them. The vision statement about your company’s future will inform the rest of your rebranding process, giving it an overall direction.
Step 3: Naming Research
Research will be a large portion of the rebranding process. Your mission and vision statements will inform your direction for your research and will help you decide what is right for your company image. Research can include everything from your new company name to the brand visuals.
When researching a new name, think about the meaning of the words you are choosing. Use a thesaurus and dictionary. Think of descriptive key words that you want your brand to resonate. Ask yourself what you want people to think or remember about your company, and this can help generate some key words. Ask yourself what could improve your current company name. While this process is internal, get outside opinions to understand differing perspectives. Have several key personnel in your company come up with name ideas and discuss them amongst one another. The best way to move forward as a creative brainstorming group is by coming to a consensus with your team leaders. Remember the new company name that you select will need to be unused by similar businesses and businesses in your area. The name will need to have an available website URL. If this is a struggle, try to be original and quirky; this can help you stand out from your competition. When you want to commit to a name, get a lawyer involved that can recommend next steps to trademark your name. Once you finish your visual brand, this should be done again.
Step 4: Design Research
After your group selects a new name, look at visual inspirations for your new brand. Look at graphic design and logo design examples. Look into color psychology and think about taking a different approach than your competitors. Keep your descriptive keywords handy for this step. How can you portray these keywords through visuals, text and color?
Rebranding will give your team the chance to create a consistent brand for all of your marketing materials. This can be used for all of your print, digital and web applications. Business cards, letterheads, brochures, social media graphics, email newsletters and more will be considered throughout the process. A designer can help, whether you have an internal marketing team or need to outsource to a creative agency. Whoever you decide to work with, give them as much information as possible as to what you want the brand to look and feel like. If you aren’t one-hundred percent sure what you want for your new brand, give your designer some creative freedom. They are creative and insightful people.
The visual design process will take several rounds of edits until you are happy with the outcome. Molding a visual to your new company brand is a difficult process and might need to go through several rounds of critique and revisions depending on the number of people involved.
Step 5: Brand Guide
Once some initial branding elements are created, complete the due diligence of having your designer create a brand guide. A brand guide serves as a guide, of course, to anyone who is creating new marketing materials. It makes sure that, if followed correctly, all of your marketing materials will keep the same vision as the first time you created them. It includes items such as: proper usage of your logo, brand colors and typefaces, including your brand’s tone of voice and current visual marketing examples.
Usage of your logo includes the way it is displayed, the clearance and sizing restrictions, etc. The brand color page should include the Hex, RGB and CMYK color codes for each brand color used. The brand typefaces should include the name of the typefaces you are using and give examples of what a headline and body text should look like on marketing materials. A brand’s tone of voice is how you want your brand to speak to people through actual words and can include key phrases that are commonly used for marketing. Think of your brand as a person speaking to another person. What personality traits of your brand should come across to the listener?
Lastly, showing actual examples of your marketing materials can demonstrate what the key components are to your visual brand and should be easy to duplicate into new materials by showing all of the elements together. Keeping your brand consistent will let your users not only remember your brand more easily but can also create a loyal following if your brand’s personality appeals to them.
Step 6: Internal Company Sessions
When we were ready to roll out the new name, we had small meetings with our employees to explain the process behind our new naming process, our steps and how we ended up where we are. This can be especially beneficial for employees that don’t want the change. If your team can explain your process and your end result, people will warm up better to the idea. Breaking into smaller groups also allows them to ask questions easier. The main goal is to let everyone feel comfortable with the change and move forward. This is especially important for any company that wants their employees to be passionate about the change and speak positively about it with the outside world.
Step 7: Marketing
How are you going to market the new company brand? Will you send out an email newsletter or write a personal letter? Think about how you want to communicate your brand change to the public. Tell people why you changed your name and why you are excited about it. By showing excitement, you can generate a positive reaction in your audience which will make them want to learn more.
FREE TOOL: Sign up below to download our free worksheet that will help to get your company rebrand started. Reach out to us if you are interested in learning more about our design and rebranding services.