3 Rebranding Best Practices with Examples
The idea of rebranding can be a daunting idea, we get it.
Your brand has already been created, what is the point? It can be a big investment with seemingly no (immediate) payoff. It’s an understandable assumption that we hear often — after all, your consumers don’t pay you because of the way your logo looks, right?
They are paying you for the products, services, and/or expertise you have to offer.
Yet, this is a very common misconception of rebranding — or even branding for that matter. Of course, your consumers won’t be paying you directly for your logo.
A logo is the face of your brand, and arguably your most important long-term strategic investment. The visual mark is what your customers will come to recognize the company by and how it takes shape in the market.
Your brand identity should work for you
Starbucks. Volkswagen. Target. UnderArmour. MasterCard.
When you read each of these brand names, we can almost guarantee that you also visualized their brand mark.
That is the beauty of a truly well-done and iconic brand — it is easily recognizable and distinguishable amongst the rest, and that’s often due to the investment and strategy put into creating a truly unique brand identity design such as your logo and brand toolkit.
For these large well-known brands brand recognition isn’t a challenge they face. They’ve worked hard to become market leaders in their space.
And that has a lot to do with the work of their brand and identity staying relevant and consistent.
Branding is equally important for small and large companies
What if your company is just starting out? Or maybe your business has had to recently pivot due to the pandemic? Or your branding hasn’t been updated in so long you can’t remember exactly when? What should you be looking for when turning to a brand identity agency to help you build the critical visual assets you need to grow? How do you know you can trust someone else with the company and business ideas that you have put your heart and soul into?
Here are some best practices that we apply here at Anthem, and what I have learned as a professional designer who has worked on many branding and rebranding projects.
3 best practices for rebranding your company
While rebranding can be very intimidating, it doesn't need to be once you understand the parts that make up the bigger picture. Here are my favorite three tips for making any rebranding project much more approachable, and frankly, more appealing!
Provide a thorough company brief to your agency partner
No detail is too small here! Be as meticulous as you can be.
You never know what detail about your brand is going to give the designers a creative spark. If you created the company in your mom’s basement in your pajamas at 2 a.m., there’s no shame.
That random fact about your company could be the key to unlocking a truly unique brand mark and contribute greatly to your overall brand story and ethos. Ever heard of that computer company, Apple, for example?
Give your agency all the deets. You have to remember that creatives are right-minded people, and our brains are constantly connecting ideas to visual cues.
Let the creatives do the heavy lifting
This company is your baby and you probably have a million ideas of how it could live in the world. Creatives love to hear all of that info — pass it along! As visual storytellers, those details help us shape the art direction in the most impactful way.
Remember when you engage with an agency to make sure your entire visual system accurately embodies the company and its values, that it fosters connection with your target audience, and to stand the test of time.
Custom typography has a key role in your visual system
That’s a lot to fit into one brand mark and it has a lot of work to do on the company’s behalf.
Let’s be honest, any average Joe Schmoe off-the-street can type a company’s name in the computer, change the font, and call it a word mark. A brand’s logo typography should go much further than that.
The word mark itself is another fantastic place within a brand book to customize to the company
This can be done in a multitude of ways, some common adjustments could be:
- Changing an existing shape of a letterform
- Adjusting the kerning (the space between the letters of word/name)
- Altering ligatures (the ways different letterforms connect with one another)
- Implying letterforms
The capabilities with customization of your wordmark are literally endless — so make sure in one way or another, your agency is providing you with a custom mark that stands out amongst the rest, and clearly not created using Word Art.
Peep some of these custom word marks we’ve developed that are pure eye candy!
Alter Brewing Company
Do you notice that the letters read "Alter" whether you read it upside down or right side up? Genius use of typography and subtle design work for Alter Brewing Company that will help the brewery visually differentiate itself in the craft beer market.
Oh, my heart swoons over the custom, hand-drawn serif/vintage-inspired typography that sings elegance for the Rêverie Fields brand. It pairs fantastically with the illustrated wreath that is both feminine and dreamy for this Boulder-based flower farming shop.
With parts of the serif letterforms missing, while still implying connection, this wordmark for Pact inspires individuality and authenticity — the primary goal behind Pact and their everyday clothing.
This craft brewery that hit the scene in Littleton has a very organic yet deliberate approach to brewing — so we mimicked just that in the letterforms themselves.
The custom type references Comet Brews' dedication to artisanal craftsmanship, with its classic old-school vibe that evokes a feeling of nostalgia.
Examples of successful rebranding/branding
So now you know the three best practices that make up a successful rebrand or initial branding. Here are some examples of those tips applied so you can see how our approach is then used in context throughout our creative process.
As I mentioned, the most successful logos are the ones that combine visuals within the brand mark itself, like FedEx for example, making the craftsmanship that much more valuable to the brand. It’s this approach we used when the team at Camber Outdoors came to us to partner on their rebranding initiatives.
Camber Outdoors promotes leadership opportunities for women in the active outdoor industry. They came to us under their previous moniker Outdoor Industries Women’s Coalition, and were looking for a compelling new name and brand mark to match.
We developed this logo for them to communicate their positive energy, emphasis on professional development, and community leadership. The icon combines the beloved Colorado state monogram, which doubles as the initials of the brand, and an infinity symbol that symbolizes a clean, never ending, and promising path.
Sunflower Market was established in 1978 and is a family-owned and operated health market in Woodstock, NY.
We partnered with their crew in the midst of a store remodel and expansion to explore the next evolution of their logo. We modernized their logo with a simplified sunflower icon, and custom expressive typography that reinforces the natural goodness sunflowers are known to resemble.
Designers will work with letters by breaking them down to their individual parts as if they are an interlocking puzzle — we call this type anatomy. When building Sunflower Market’s word mark, as a further nod towards the sunflower, we transformed what us designers call the “ear” of the “r” into the center of the sunflower icon. Take a peek at the highlight ear in pink below.
As we further developed their brand toolkit, we also designed a secondary sunflower design element that could live all on its own without the need for type. By mimicking the shape of the “r” in the wordmark, we created a stem and center of the flower to be paired with the pedals. Clever, huh?
Ok, in all honesty, this logo makes me design nerd-out HARD CORE. I did not design it myself but it is from the beautiful, genius minds on my team here at Anthem.
Designed to empower chiropractors to spread wellness, Mahalo Wellness offers CBD products to help patients feel stronger, calmer and fulfilled. More than just CBD oil, Mahalo inspires gratitude and combats lifestyle predicaments so patients can live their best lives.
The creators of Mahalo came to us in search of a cohesive visual system that communicated the rejuvenation and wellness possible with their supplements.
We created three icons to embody “Balance. Rejuvenate. Optimize.” — the core values that makeup Mahalo Wellness.
The icon itself is in a circular holding shape emulating a drop, and the three icons that make up the core values of Mahalo Wellness were combined in a unique way that communicates a great deal, while still maintaining cleanliness and reflecting the holistic benefits of the Mahalo lifestyle.
The icon is almost symmetrical, with the wave and the leaf mirroring one another on either side of the palm tree, there’s just enough variance in the line work to keep the viewer’s eyes continuing throughout the icon.
Paired with some custom, sans serif and lowercase type to communicate approachability, this logo is a prime example of multiple visual cues being combined within a mark in an effective way.
Looking for an agency partner to help your company rebrand?
Our branding team will take the time to get to know your business, its goals and audience, and so much more to help create a lasting and impactful visual identity.
Contact us to learn more about how we may be able to help you.