When it comes to “branding,” the term might seem a wee bit vague. Chances are the first things that come to mind are logos, colors, and fonts! While all of these elements are integral pieces of creating your business’s brand identity, branding, and rebranding, runs much deeper.
Here’s everything you need to know about rebranding your business.
What Is Branding? Why Is It Important?
Branding, according to The Branding Journal, is defined as “the process of giving a meaning to [a] specific organization, company, products or services by creating and shaping a brand in consumers’ minds.”
Branding “is a strategy designed by organizations to help people to quickly identify and experience their brand, and give them a reason to choose their products over the competition’s, by clarifying what this particular brand is and is not.”
Branding is important for not only consumers but also employees, shareholders, and third parties.
One of the most important parts of branding, which is wildly overlooked in our personal opinion, is the word “meaning” in the above definition. Too often, a brand becomes about the “aesthetic” or the colors.
Having a stunning logo is great, but what is the meaning behind it? Need a story to illustrate just what we mean? We’ve got the perfect client for you.
The Story of The Golden Screw
Meet John Milikowsky, founder of Milikowsky Tax Law. John is a tax attorney who focuses on helping clients navigate government agency audits from Employment Development Department (EDD) to Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
John is one of our superstar clients at Digital Storyteller. (We actually refer to him as our ‘unicorn.’)
Here’s a before and after of the Milikowsky Tax Law logo.
Before Working With Digital Storyteller
After Working With Digital Storyteller
Now, of course, there’s a lot more that goes into branding than just your logo—but more on that later.
For now, let’s travel back in time with John to hear about how his new logo came to be, what happened when he sat down with us to explain the origins of his business, and how his skill set makes him a fantastic tax lawyer. Here’s what John had to say:
“It’s 1987 and I’m 10 years old. I’m sitting in a windowless supply room in the back of my parents’ lighting store on a stool and in front of me is an oil barrel filled with screws. Machine screws, wood screws, drywall screws, Phillips screws, you get the idea… a lot of screws.”
John’s task? Sort these screws into containers. Sort, sort, sort… In that entire summer, John never got through more than an inch’s worth of progress in sorting those screws.
“In the middle of that summer, I realized I had a choice to make… I could be furious, resentful, victimized by the mundane monotonous task set in front of me… or, I could do it well and fast. I could be the best at screw sorting.”
Not seeing where this story is going? Hold tight.
John describes his first few years of audits with his tax law clients. “They handed me their metaphorical oil barrels filled with numbers: profit and loss statements for three, four, five years, receipts faded with time, and transactions whose recipients had long gone out of business,” says John. “I came to appreciate that summer of sorting. That training in detail work, that patience for sifting through the most minute details.”
John’s passion is the detective work it takes to uncover the one piece of information that makes all the rest of a company’s business narrative fall into place.
Like finding a needle in a haystack, John is equipped with the attention to detail to find ‘the golden screw,’ if you will.
After unpacking this story with our team, we were able to create a logo with meaning, as opposed to simple colors and font slapped on a page. In his logo, the “M” in Milikowsky Tax Law is encircled by tiny screws with the golden screw crowning the “i”
What Are the Levels of Rebranding?
*Hint* A rebrand concerns more than just your logo! Knowing this as a business owner, however, you might be asking yourself, “How long will a rebrand take me?” and more importantly to some, “How much will it cost me?”
Well, the amount of money that you pay for a rebrand is dependent on the size of your company. For example, rebranding a mom-and-pop cabinetry shop isn’t going to cost the same as a rebrand of Walmart or Target.
Now, let’s dive into the different levels of rebranding.
The Brand Refresh
A refresh is the most simple level of rebranding, and might include:
- Brand Discovery
- Visual Identity
- Corporate Stationery
This timeline typically lasts three to four months.
The Brand Reboot
According to Ignyte, this level of rebranding is best for companies “who are dealing with the systemic issues that typically accompany business growth and/or age,” and, in addition to everything included in a refresh, might include:
- Customer Research
- Brand Audit
- Brand Strategy Naming and Tagline
- Brand Identity
- Marketing Collateral
This timeline typically lasts six to eight months.
The Full Rebrand
*Cough cough* Mark Zuckerberg rebranding ‘Facebook’ to ‘Meta.’ (Can’t say we are huge fans…)
Anyway, according to Web FX, a full rebrand involves “changing every aspect of your brand,” including:
- Company name
- Tone of voice for your company
A fantastic example of a full rebrand is Nike. In 1964, Blue Ribbon Sports (now Nike) was founded. Seven years later, “Blue Ribbon Sports did a complete rebrand and became Nike,” according to Web FX. Blue Ribbon Sports changed everything: colors, logo, name, tone of voice.
Think of the full rebrand as the ultimate glow-up for your company; you’re entirely new. As you could guess, this is the most expensive level of rebranding.
This process could take up to a year or more in some cases.
The Meaning Behind Your Branding
So, it’s time for some self-reflection.
Would you be willing to send your website to everyone you know right now, as is? If the answer is no, consider why not. What about your branding doesn’t satisfy you?
Branding is so much more than colors and fonts. Here are some questions to get you thinking about your branding:
- How does your current branding reflect you as a company?
- If you were a consumer in your target demographic, would you want to work with your company?
- How do people feel when they come to your site or visit your social media? Are you pushing out consistent content?
- How does your brand make people feel? Safe, excited, confusing, overwhelmed?
A Quick Bit on Font Psychology
Well, what is font psychology? According to this article by Canva, “font psychology [is] the study of how different fonts impact thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.” For example, Comic Sans as your primary brand font might evoke a very different reaction than if you were to use Arial, Roboto, or Montserrat.
By understanding font psychology, which you can do more of here, you will be able to choose the best fonts for your brand.
The Value of a Rebrand
Many brands consider rebranding when they realize that their mission, or their ‘why,’ isn’t being reflected accurately in their existing brand. The value of a rebrand, when done correctly, is priceless. Think: Do you think Nike would still have the global brand recognition that it does if it were still Blue Ribbon Sports, branding and all? Most likely not.
At Digital Storyteller, we begin every client relationship with a Brand Storytelling Session to get to know your business at its core. Because after all, we can’t accurately represent your brand until we truly understand who you are, who your audience is, and what your goals are. Get in touch with us today to learn more about your free Brand Storytelling Session deliverable.