Since this is the inaugural post of my newly rebranded company, it seemed fitting to stay on topic and talk about something that a lot of entrepreneurs consider when comparing their logos to their (seemingly more successful) competitors. Actually, sometimes the inspiration doesn’t even need to come from competition and instead, you find yourself looking at the ever-evolving landscape of advertising, and you just feel like you need to refresh your brand.
In the 16 years of my former brand, PREnt Media’s existence, I considered many rebrands though only twice did I pull the trigger. Well actually, the very first PM logo shouldn’t count because I “designed” it in Microsoft Word and It. Was. AWFUL. One of these good ‘ole #TBT’s, I’m going to post it here for your amusement just because it’s important to remember where you came from.
In the last 3 years and since shifting gears professionally, I had this nagging feeling like I’d outgrown my original brand and could benefit from a new corporate identify. As an avid stationery and spiral collector, I went through several notebooks full of scribbled notes and half-baked sketches of what I wanted my new brand to consist of. And despite having invested several years with the previous brand, I knew that it no longer fit where I felt God was taking me professionally. I’ve built a strong online following and rapport with not only entrepreneurs within my circle, but in their circles as well. And the constant in all the networking conversations was that people weren’t hardly mentioning “PREnt Media” as often as they were saying, “I’m working with Summer G!” That name recognition has led to countless opportunities for myself and my clients, and so it just made sense to finally come out front and center in this rebrand.
I could probably spend another 3 or 4 posts exploring that last statement, but this isn’t about me (I promise). It’s about you. You, the passionate entrepreneur with endless vision and confidence in your business, yet still second-guessing your existing brand identity.
Note: While reading this, keep in mind that there are various levels and phases of a rebrand and that you don’t always have to tackle them all at once or in one lump sum. Breathe. 🙂 Especially when I work with small, new-ish companies, I often suggest that we develop the new branding campaign in phases, beginning with assessment, strategy and vector logo design. The new stationery, website and printed collateral are next in line and can even be scheduled on a payment plan if you should select SGCA as your branding consultant.
A few things to consider when determining whether rebrand is right for you.
1. You designed your logo yourself.
Listen, Linda. Listen. I’m not here to discourage anyone from attempting to learn graphic design for themselves. Heck, I’m self-taught and a proud graduate of YouTube University, Class of 2003, and I didn’t even need Sallie Mae! In fact, graphic design is a useful skill to learn, and I encourage anyone to learn something new everyday. But this aint that and if you’re a serious entrepreneur, you have much better uses of your valuable time than poking around in Adobe for the entire weekend. Besides, your brand is so much more than applying your favorite color(s) to a clipart or symbol you found in Google Images.
More importantly, branding entails so much more work BEFORE you even get to the graphic design stage including establishing your tone, messaging, market and desired demographic. So if you are responsible for your existing logo, and you don’t have professional experience in branding and marketing (much less graphic design), it’s probably a best idea to start planning for a rebrand.
2. You have one logo and nothing else.
If this you, there’s a good possibility that your marketing collateral and online presence are probably very inconsistent and not serving your goals. Sure, your logo is featured prominently on the 10,000 flyers you had printed, but when you look at your library of graphics and web profiles, they’re all over the place. Bad design is what happens when you don’t begin with a clearly defined brand strategy and an absence of a brand style manual. (A waste of money is also what happens because sooner or later, you’re going to have to redesign and reprint your materials so that they DO match.) And I haven’t even begun to address vector vs. raster logos which is truly another topic for another day. But I digress.
Don’t feel bad. A lot of people start off here because they’re anxious to begin generating traffic and transactions. Just keep in mind that you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Presentation is everything, especially in this age of information. One google search can generate countless images and links to your work. If those results reflect an amateur reflection of your brand, it could cost you an account. But as a professional that has invested in education and/or career development, you’re ready to put your best foot forward the first time. So if you want to feel confident about what others see when they visit your website, social media profiles and online ads, you’re probably going to want to finally invest in a rebrand that addresses all of those needs.
I know. That might’ve been a lost to stomach for a first post but it’s a conversation that I have almost daily with prospective clients and peers. The good news is the if you’re looking at your brand with a critical eye, it’s because you’re actually paying attention to changes in marketing and design trends and beginning to look at your brand as more than just a cool icon and string of text. It is SO much more and you will begin to really soar once your begin to understand how your branding works for you beyond your business card.
Leave a comment and let’s chat! I’m aiming to post here weekly and even include some videos if the Lord says the same. *bows head*