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Content Strategy

4 minute read

branding exercises

Is your company considering a rebrand in the near future? Why not start now?

What’s holding you back from beginning today? So many times, as much as your company may be committed to the idea, you’re just not ready to engage in the process yet.

Sometimes its just a crazy-busy time of the year, other times you’re waiting for the partners or departments to get on board with the idea.

So while you’re waiting, why not get a head start?

Here are three simple exercises you can do right now to get your team ready to rebrand:

1. Evaluate your current brand identity system:

First, take an objective look at all of the key brand touchpoints with your audience. Have everyone on your team gauge how your current brand identity system working. Where does it work well, and where does it fall flat?

If you current system is increasingly out of style (link to good to go), this may sound like a waste of time.

Take heart! It’s not about judging the quality of the old design, but rather about identifying common needs and edge cases that your new designer will want to know about.

Put someone in charge of thinking about size requirements. Do you ever need to use your logo really small, or incredibly large? How does it translate to these extreme sizes? Do you wish it were more horizontal? Ask someone else to consider brand translates to social media? How common are those needs? And maybe you should focus on challenges specific to your brand. Do you ever feel that you system is too confining? Where does it work best? What are the biggest brand challenges you hope to solve with the rebrand?

Compile your team’s feedback. This research will be very helpful during the design process.

2. Assess the competition

Next, ask your team to take a close look at your market. Who are your key competitors? Do you see any common threads taking shape? Does your industry tend to favor a more traditional and elegant brand identity, or is it more clean and contemporary?

One of my favorite exercises is to sort all of the competitors on a single slide, and organize them by color. If your industry is like most, you’ll see that many of the competitors commonly rely on the same one or two colors. In banking there’s a lot of blue. In the cereal aisle, warm colors like red, yellow and orange dominate.

If you team more interested in blending in, or standing out?

If you find a color that isn’t commonly used in your industry, it’s a great opportunity for you to own a color (link to own a color post). You’ll effectively zig when everyone else zags. Of course for most industries, just because a color is available, doesn’t necessarily mean hot pink is the right choice for brand.

3. Think outside of the market

Finally, get your team out of the office. Your last job is to explore other industries for brands that you admire.

If you’re rebranding an institution, take a look at what tech companies and retailers are doing. How do they incorporate their brand identities into their physical spaces? B2B should look in fresh places too. Explore professional sports franchises and consumer packaged goods do to stand out. How might some of those applications work for your market?

And if that seems too far out there, look no further than your parallel industries—if you’re an architect, look at furniture brands—if you’re a financial institution, research what insurance agencies are doing to attract customers.

Challenge everyone on your team come up with 2-3 example brand identities for review, and boil it down to a shortlist of examples as a team. These examples will serve as inspiration for how to push your brand identity system in a fresh, dynamic new direction.

So maybe you’re not ready to hire us (link to contact) right now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get the wheels turning with your team. Armed with a better understanding of what you need, what your competitors are up to, and which brands you admire most, your team will be poised to rock this. That is, once you’re ready.

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