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spring cleaning for your brand
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Ahh...spring is in the air! Usually when spring rolls around everyone is quick to shed their winter coats, find the nearest park, and do some deep cleaning in their home. If you're familiar with pop culture or into bingeing Netflix, you've probably heard about the show Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. The whole premise of the show is that Marie helps people clean their homes to gain back their space--and sometimes mental wellbeing.
The show does a great job of illustrating how important it is for us to maintain control of the spaces we live in, and the things we accumulate; what you may not realize is that this is a very necessary exercise for our brands as well! Often times in the day-to-day of our businesses, we can accumulate things like business cards, merch, signage, posters, flyers, ads, social media images, videos, and so on until we look up and realize wow...what a mess!
I recently partnered with Jodi Wilkinson of AchieveBio to help refresh her brand and streamline her messaging. I thought this would be the perfect project to demonstrate the power a little TLC for your brand can do for your business, and how it can save you a lot of money in the process!
Prior to my first conversation with Jodi, I took some time to look over her website (which she is currently updating) and her social media to get a feel for her business. Jodi has a very unique niche in the bio world. Her business partners with employers and she helps them recruit the best talent available.
As I looked through her website and then moved on to her social platforms, I could see a few reoccuring themes. It took a little investigating to see she worked in staffing rather than in the life sciences. She had outdated and vastly different graphics. Also, some of her social pages looked like they were abandoned.
So when Jodi and I got on our initial call and she told me she was open to (but slightly hesitant towards) doing a rebrand, I wasn’t surprised. However, I think she may have been a little surprised when I mirrored that and replied “I don’t think you should.” I told her my observations and let her know there was a much cheaper and more efficient way to clean up her brand than to scrap everything and start over. Here’s the process we followed:
1. Update the Logo
One of the best ways to keep your brand current is to update your logo. Some of the major advantages to updating your logo versus doing a full scale rebrand are:
- It's significantly cheaper*
- It helps you retain the brand equity you’ve already built. It’s like getting a fresh haircut. People know it’s you, but they can tell you look better.
- You can spread the reinvestment cost over a larger time frame. If you have a drastically different logo and colors you’ll need to replace ALL your branded material when you launch the new look. An update allows you to take this on in smaller chunks.
*Different designers pricing may vary
The major goal for AchieveBio’s logo update was to simplify the logo by taking out the molecule chain above the letter i, and adding the tagline below. Adding the tagline might seem like a small irrelevant change, but it actually solves a glaring problem right away.
Adding the tagline Recruiting For The Life Sciences tells you RIGHT AWAY what AchieveBio’s mission is and what they do. No more reading copy on the site, or finding the About Us tab on social media. Boom, the service right there, right away.
2. Define the Brand Standards
Defining your brand standards may seem like an afterthought for most businesses, but it’s a critical part of building brand equity and helping potential customers see consistent, memorable content. In today’s social media/internet driven landscape, we consume content through more channels than ever before. So this makes having a roadmap or rules guide for visual content so important to make sure people know that your content comes from YOU, whether they experience it on your website, your social media, your videos, or in your store.
For AchieveBio, we redefined their color palette, fonts, and graphic styles. One of my favorite changes we made was adding in a gold accent color to reflect the level of talent they recruit for their clients. We also created a simple pattern featuring a DNA strand with gold accents to show how the talent they recruit will fit into their team.
One of the best reasons to define your brand standards is to take a step back and think about why you use the visuals you do. With some thought and strategy, you can begin to tell your story in a powerful, yet subtle, way. It’s important to not ask yourself, “Does this look good?”, but “Why are we doing this?”
3. Update Social Media Channels
Before my first conversation with Jodi I could pretty easily tell which social platforms she used, which she was comfortable with, and which one was somewhat of an afterthought. Depending on your business and what you do, it’s probably not important for you to be incredibly active on EVERY social platform, but it’s good to make sure people can find you and that you look professional on each.
Sometimes I tell my clients to think of their social profiles like a funnel. If a potential customer lands on one of your pages, where do you want them to go? In Jodi’s case, she works in staffing so LinkedIn is her most used platform. Knowing you want to engage with your followers on a single platform is helpful, because anytime you post on other social platforms you know you should be driving the traffic to the platform you're most comfortable with.
As an example, when a new job is available, the best process for AchieveBio would be to post the job on their LinkedIn page and then share that link on the other platforms to drive all the traffic back to LinkedIn.
We updated each AchieveBio social platform with the new logo and a new cover photo, based on the new brand standards. Now each page looks consistent and professional. We also touched up slogan and tagline copy, and updated all the information to be as current as possible.
4. Implement the new Brand
One of my favorite parts about being a designer and helping people with their brands is seeing the sense of pride and excitement my clients have for their businesses. I talk to a lot of business owners who are ashamed to hand out their business cards because they don’t like their logo, they're outdated, or they don’t feel professional enough.
I always tell my clients that when you're confident in your business and feel professional, people will notice and take you seriously. That’s why I also tell them to spend a little extra and go for brand assets that will leave an impression on people. I was once with a client and when he handed someone his card they responded, “Wow! This is a card with a weight to it. You must be a person with weight to your name.”
Our main goal for the business cards were to keep the design simple and professional. Sometimes the saying Less is More really rings true. We implemented the newly updated logo and the brand pattern. This draws the brand together in the real and virtual worlds.
It may seem like getting new business cards, apparel, or even notepads with your logo are novelty, but you can’t put a price tag on the confidence they can create.
"Wildfire did a fantastic job of providing us with an updated and modern look for our logo, revamping our brand image and giving the company a consistent social presence throughout LinkedIn, FB, Twitter and our website.”
To recap, here’s the list of things you can do to upgrade your brand without completely overhauling it:
- Update your logo
- Create brand standards and guidelines
- Optimize your social media
- Update your brand collateral (splurge a little!)
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A SMALL QUIZ WITH BIG RESULTS
not sure if you need a
refresh or an overhaul?
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