Work with What You Have

Work with What You Have

“There's no such thing as a rebrand.”

Successful branding does not make something from nothing, it builds on what is already there. What’s good. What works. That’s why we rarely use the word “rebrand.” That implies that you’re switching brands, when the truth is that you’re not. You’re still the same, you just look a little different.

We work with companies to build varying degrees of change. On a sliding scale of makeovers, we start at when Hilary Duff got new teeth, and go to full Tootsie.

For companies that need more of a Hilary Duff, or a branding refresh, this strategy works every time.

Define and refine your core values.

What do you stand for? More importantly: How is that different from your competition? Chipotle is a staunch advocate for “Food with Integrity,” and as they weather crisis, this value has been tested. Disney stands for family. A brand refresh should not only reflect your core values, it should bring them to life through design and messaging. Without this foundational step, your refreshed brand will be superficial, and that lack of depth means that you will need to revisit your identity far sooner than you realize.

This step informs all subsequent actions in your brand refresh.

Break down your current visual identity.

What are the component parts of your mark right now? Where did they come from? Often, design choices are made in the beginning that have nothing to do with your work or your values, more to do with your personal preferences. This explains the range of businesses around here with University of Kentucky Wildcat Blue logos – from strip clubs to nursing homes. Strip down your visual identity to parts that do not reflect your personal preferences. Look critically at those parts. Kill your darlings.

Form is function.

Keep this in mind while you look critically at your current identity. A visual identity should work for you. It’s not decorative, so don’t think about it as a pretty object. What is working for you right now? Cut out everything with no functional value.

Resolve confusion.

They’re called Frequently Asked Questions for a reason. Often, your identity will elicit confusion if it doesn’t work well. Tally up those confusion points, and cross-reference them with the current identity. How can you resolve these issues through updated design? Simplify.