In a competitive market place companies often wonder if they should rebrand in order to keep up with changing trends and maintain a fresh market presence. For a company of any size it is a massive undertaking and it drains both resources and budgets. So how do you know when you should do it? And how long will it take?
We recently worked with accountancy firm Gerald Edelman on an exciting rebrand project, which serves as a great example of the kind of commitment required from the company’s directors, partners and marketing team in shaping their vision.
When should you do it?
For a company like Gerald Edelman who are in a process of sharp growth and acquisition it was an ideal time to look inwards and investigate what they thought the company would look like in the coming years. It was also an opportunity to understand how they were presenting themselves and finding out if it was truly reflective of who they are and what it is they do today.
After much soul searching they felt that ‘accountancy’ wasn’t a fair description of what it is they really do. This was revelatory and liberating, and they really believed this was something worth talking about and sharing with the world. In fact, they felt so strongly about this that they even banned the word ‘accountancy’ from their job description. For them, their work is so much more about relationships and their passion for what their clients do.
So back to the question at hand. How do you know when you need to rebrand? All businesses need a time when they can reflect and look in-depth at their business offering, client services, new product lines, the changing market, future technologies and trends in the market place.
Embracing these opportunities to reflect can present fundamental changes in your daily operations. It’s probably time to think about rebranding or refreshing your brand if how you present yourself to the world, is no longer relevant to what you actually do. When approached whole-heartedly, it can also be a great opportunity to re-engage staff and existing clients with your core values and bring the ‘story’ into the future.
How long will it take?
Be prepared. This really can’t be done in a hurry. Many companies take over a year to deliberate on their core values, key messages and positioning. This is a process of internal focus and research, into understanding what it is, that really makes them who they are. We work closely with our clients through this process; questioning, probing, listening and translating what we hear into a visual language.
This process of internalisation and dialogue with the designers is essential to creating a brand that has meaning and longevity. And it is this process that does and should, take the longest. Because when the right thinking has taken place the confidence in what you are saying and the resulting work will be so much greater.
Gerald Edelman launched their brand with enormous pride and great panache at the Sky Garden on June 7th. As a company, they are wearing their heart on their sleeve and embracing passion and integrity in everything they do. And as their design partners we were extremely proud to see the brand out in the real world and hear the feedback from clients and staff in the room.
The result of the strategising and internal processes we embarked on with Gerald Edelman, is a brand which is brave and full of passion. Bold colours, large imagery and classic typefaces create an emotional experience which is unlike the conventional expectations of an accountancy firms’ brand…and that is exactly what they asked us to do.