5 hints to make rebranding smartly

From the inside rebranding is like a triller and you are in it. When updating company brand we formed a list of knowledge extracts and design principles. Hope they can help you to lower the suspense in your rebranding movie or just to take a look at the problem from within. As we were 2-in-1 in this story, a client and a design agency, we combined both points of view on the process. Our studio past through the collision of wishes, doubts and insights and here is the output.

#1 Choose your name carefully

There are so many aspects which represent you to the world, but the core of any recognition is the name. So imprint your essence in it to tell other who you are and what you exist for. It’s a clear and simple thought until you realize you’re not alone on Earth as well as you’re not single on the Internet. Ooops, the best name for your brand is not available on Facebook. Or it means something weird in Finnish.

How to keep identity and save uniqueness? The secret is you don’t need to save or keep this stuff. You should form it.

When we launched a design studio, we thought about our personal yellow “Hello, world!” greeting to everyone. The Heyllow brand appeared as a combination of hello + yellow, which was obtainable everywhere on the Internet. Keep in mind that some business industries have informal traditions and standards of naming. It can be an additional word such as studio, agency, bureau, lab or something like that. We believe that following trends of naming can help companies be more open and understandable for customers. So we became Heyllow Lab.

Since then we were growing and the problem of naming was growing with us. Although people associated Heyllow Lab with something positive and yellow, our clients and fans had problems with pronouncing and spelling of the logo all the time. Bad mark for those who struggle for recognition.

#2 You always have a choice to change everything, part or nothing

When you come up with an idea of rebranding, it’s really a big question how far you are ready to go in this direction. Via serious metamorphosis you can lose the connection with your customers. Or you really desire an ultimate rebirth?

In our story we chose to change everything while changing nothing. That’s how Heyllow Lab transformed into Halo Lab. Halo turned out to be a perfect metaphor of what our design studio did for clients — we made their business perceptible in the open space of the Internet. We left the corporate yellow color and added a new one. Blue. Lucky coincidence, all the colors have extraterrestrial names!

#3 Rebranding is a live process (not mechanical)

Brand is a system of connected elements. Avoid conflicting parts and search for suitable units. In good (re)branding all the visual and verbal components naturally interact with each other. Creating brand you always think how it all works together. The good news is that existing pieces help to find new ones.

How does it work out in our story? Well, as we’ve already said, the halo concept is the main idea of our new brand and it strongly affects the style. For instance, we had a tagline “Creating stars in the digital universe” as a starting point to design logo. First, we converted a word “star” into a visual symbol and then inserted it into letter O. Bingo! The halo form as a sign from above achieved. That’s what we mean saying “rebranding is a live process”. No odd things.

#4 Be perfect in details

Your brand is going to be replicated so many times! So concern about all the elements especially small visual parts. They are a good marker to check whether your (re)branding is completed or not. Here is a couple of key indicators which help you to estimate the quality of design part even if you’re not a designer:

  • Brand is not a chaos, it’s a consistency of details. Reveal basic constant elements which form your design (circles, triangles, squares, stars, etc.) and check how they work all together. Distance, width and so on. Beauty is hidden in technical perfection.
  • Keep the unity of style. Naturally, you should care about the whole style. But how to determine for sure whether everything is ok with it or not? Here is a lifehack. Check your font or fonts. Do they have common elements with logo? Or how do they complement each other in details? In our story when we were choosing fonts we realized that there were two basic elements in our logo — a circle and a star. So we picked up two fonts from a bunch of fonts we purchased via Typekit. One of them was roundish and reflected the halo style, the other reminded sharp shapes of the star. Look at the head of “t” and compare.
  • What belongs to you but others use it more than you do? Yep, your name and your brand. So concern about how they work in other environment, especially your logo. It can get to your client’s web site or how about advertising outdoor sign? There is an easy way to check whether the logo is ready for any conditions. Just place it on black and white. Still looks OK? Gratz!

#5 How about dynamic branding?

Dynamic branding is an identity that is changed, but a brand is still recognizable due to basic elements which remains the same. Whatever it is, a wordmark, colors or shapes. It’s the way to fresh temporarily your identity without complete changes because of seasons, special occasions, etc. Also through dynamic branding you can occupy new areas for representation.

Obviously, it’s not an easy stuff to operate with, but in our story we decided to spread the fluorescent glow as a key indicator of our brand outwards just logo and style. So basing on that element we created a series of posters about what we do. Think, it’s the first step towards our regular dynamic branding.

So, what‘s the point of all of this?

It’s not a whole guide of how to make brand out of nothing or how to run rebranding from A to Z. However we believe that these points are milestones of the process which predetermine the destiny of your brand. Just remember that any brand is a potential key to hack the world. So do it in a smart and smooth way.