How a Good Graphic Designer Can Go a Long Way in Helping You Re-Brand
Rebranding is a tricky proposition. There are countless examples of when a rebrand has turned the fortunes of a company around. You only have to look at Harley Davidson, Burberry, McDonald’s and Target to know how powerful a change of brand focus can be. On the other side of the coin there are many examples of rebrands that have proven disastrous. Some notable examples are BP, Cardiff City football club, Kraft Foods and Royal Mail.
It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that the rebrand of your company is all about jumping in and changing logo. The reality is that the process begins a long way before your graphic designer comes to your logo. There is a process that a good graphic designer will go through with you in order to ensure that your brand aligns perfectly with your target audience, and presents the best possible image of your company.
In this article we will take a look at how a good graphic designer can go a long way to helping you to rebrand effectively.
Who Are Your Audience?
Before you come to ideas about how your brand will look after the rebrand you have to understand who your audience is. Most graphic designers aren’t actually very good at understanding how to produce a brand that matches the personality of your business. They may be very good at graphic design. They may be very good if you provide them with exactly what you want.
A good graphic designer will help you to understand what you want and need. They may well have materials they have developed in order to pull ideas and information out from you; to feed into the design process. They will be consultative in their approach and ensure that you are at the centre of the design process. After all, you know your business environment and company much better than they do.
Times Are Always Changing
You only have to look at a company like Pepsi to see how their brand has changed over time to understand how an audience can change.
Even if your brand was perfectly aligned to your audience 5 years ago it may not be any more.
The consultative process to go through should be based on current trends and data. Business lives in a very data rich world these days. We have Google analytics, Webmaster Tools, data from PPC campaigns, customer survey data, sales statistics and much more. Your designer should be able to make sense of this data in order to capture the essence of your business in the brand.
Design For the Web and For Print
A good graphic designer will understand that your logo and branding have to work both online and off-line. For most companies the online environment is a crucial marketing avenue. The off-line environment remains important too. There is no point employing a company with expertise in printing if your branding doesn’t work well on paper.
The designer you engage should understand the purpose of your business. How are you going to be marketing? What are the core objectives of your brand?
It may even be that your designer needs to produce slightly different images for your online and off-line presence, all aligned under the same brand principles.
The Psychology of Design
Good designers understand that branding should produce an emotional reaction in potential and existing customers. Emotion is the key to building a loyal following and making sales of products and services. We are emotional animals, and our purchasing decisions are emotional decisions in most cases.
There is a whole raft of psychological theory around logo design and branding. Different colours have different psychological meanings to viewers. Different curvature and angulation have different psychological effects on those looking at designs.
Trying to eliminate psychology from the design process when you rebrand is like trying to build a car without an engine. A good designer will help you to get the colours, lines, blending and overall design right for your target audience, so that your rebrand has a positive emotional impact on them.
The Importance of First Impression
In order to stand out from the crowd these days your brand really does need to work. When you hand your business card to a prospective customer they should be impressed by the design and by the quality of manufacture. When they first arrive on your social media they should be impressed by your profile pages, and understand your business very clearly from the voice of your messages.
You only get one chance to make a great first impression. When you engage a talented graphic designer you will get someone who understands how your brand will pull together across all the different media so that all communications are unified. Your rebrand will set the tone for your blog posts style, adverts in print press, voice in social media, stationery, and so much more. The rebrand will unify your corporate communications and set the tone for everyone within the organisation.
An Investment That Will Pay
It is always tempting to look to save money in your business expenses. However, getting a quality designer to help you with your rebrand will ensure that the process is logical, comprehensive, and ends up providing a corporate image that will power results. It is an investment that will keep paying long into the future.
Get your rebrand right and your business could well grow very fast. Get it wrong and your business will suffer.
*This article was a contribution, courtesy: Jason Cromwell