Re-branding can be a great way to reinvigorate your brand for the digital era, and boost your results. Some companies, like the iconic candy brand Smarties, have seen a huge increases in followers and engagement when adopting a reimagined approach to social media thanks to a brand redesign, so it's definitely worthy of consideration.
But there are some things you need to keep in mind. If you're considering a re-brand, here are three tips from Alicia Li, the Creative Director and the founder of the London-based design company Goodwit.
1. Create a visual brand board
Alicia credits visual brand boarding as an invaluable skill that she's used time and again while reimagining how a brand (new or otherwise) comes to life visually. She recommends that businesses who can’t invest in a designer themselves still do these exercises - they enable marketers to explore what feels “on brand” before they get to posting.
“These are simple exercises where you take the logo elements you already have, such as colors and type, and combine them in different combinations, using photos, illustrations and copy to 'flesh out' the tone of your brand.”
The first few visuals that you put into the world after a rebrand can feel the most revealing about your brand’s new direction. Explore how that will manifest on various platforms before posting for your followers.
Alicia recently worked with the UK animal welfare nonprofit, Treat Me Kind. Through working on a visual brand board, they were able to unearth what made sense for this non-profit’s various social media accounts.
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You have a logo, now what? Do you feel stuck after you have decided on a logo? How do you go from that to knowing what to create for your business card, website, or social media? You're stuck because your brand identity needs more content - you need photography, copywriting, and posters. One way that you can begin to explore and build a complete system from a log is to create a 'visual brandboard' — these are simple exercises where you take the logo elements you already have, such as colors and type, and combine them in different combinations, using photos, illustrations and copy to 'flesh out' the tone of your brand. Here's a brand board I created for Treat Me Kind, an organization committed to ending animal abuse. You can see how the brand board has informed some of the following design decisions I've made. Brand boarding is an invaluable skill I've used over the last 7 years for all types of startups and brands. Try it out for yourself — comment below for tips, or DM me your results!
If you're comfortable working with Photoshop, or easier-to-use design tools like Canva, start creating these boards and discover what visuals represent your newly polished brand the best.
2. Invest in new photography
Once you've got your logo, fonts and colors configured, you need to bring them to life, and for most brands on social, photography is integral.
“What type of photography makes sense given your new brand colors? How does text complement the photography? Do you always feature your product in photographs? Never feature it? What color scheme makes sense for your brand? Experiment.”
As noted earlier, Smarties used its rebrand as an opportunity to reinvent its Instagram presence. Colorful photography reconceived an almost 70-year-old brand for the platform.
3. Establish a new tone with evergreen content + experiment with the ephemeral
According to Alicia, brands can continue to experiment past the visual brand board phase with ephemeral content like Stories on Instagram after establishing the new tone of the re-brand.
Alicia suggests creating marketing collateral that has a longer shelf-life and visibility to showcase the new branding. And while a new logo or rebrand might not be news (unless you work for a large brand), you can still experiment with new creative elements, like a YouTube featured video or a Facebook cover photo.
Video, in particular, is a format that continues to produce results, yet isn't used by many businesses.
According to an Animoto survey, 93% of marketers have landed a new client from a video on social media, yet 75% feel held back when it comes to creating more videos. You can use your re-brand to create content you’ve been meaning to create, but haven’t been able to.
A re-brand is an opportunity for a fresh start.
What have you been wanting to change up on social media? Now is the time to do it. A re-brand can give you the inspiration and impetus to create content that brings your brand’s new face to life.
Continue to experiment with your posts, and take the time to play with the elements of your re-brand before posting with a visual brand board. And invest in photography so that you have fresh content to work with.