Branding or rebranding your business can be tough. Exciting, exhilarating, inspiring, motivational – it’s all of those things. But it’s also challenging.
To brand your business well you need to be focused. You need to dedicate time and energy working out how you want your business to come across and once you’ve decided, you need to see through your intentions.
When you’re mid rebrand it’s so easy to get lost down a rabbit hole.
If you’re not careful you can get sucked into a world of over-inspiration, feeling more overwhelmed, confused and uncertain as you go. You’re checking Pinterest obsessively, seeing far too much that you love and feeling more and more inadequate at every turn. You’re twisting, turning and changing your design in an attempt to meet your ever changing brief and you feel, frankly, exhausted.
Sound familiar? Perhaps painfully so. I’ve certainly been there myself, on more than one occasion!
The good news is that however lost, overwhelmed and despondent you feel there is a way back. Whether you’re paranoid your designer is about to block your calls forever or you just need to wrap this up and move on, you can get this right. Work through my tips and you will get things back on track. Scroll down for salvation…
Overcoming overwhelm and getting back on track with your rebrand
Nothing beats a bit of prior planning. When the world is caving in and you can’t see the wood for the trees, take yourself away from the situation and give yourself a good few hours to work out what’s right for your business.
Resist the temptation to ‘fix’ your answers to reflect what’s going on creatively and instead think about what you need commercially. Download a copy of my Planning Workbook (it’s free), take yourself off with a cup of tea, or let’s be honest, you’re probably feeling like a stiff gin by now, and work through each question step by step.
Create a written brief that you can refer back to throughout the creative process. I know this is a bit like shutting the door after the horse is bolted (goodness, I’m not certain I’ve ever used quite so many cliches in one blog post) but use this opportunity to plan and refocus and you can nail this rebrand in days. Disciplining yourself to write down your key brand words/ values will keep you on track and help you ensure that you achieve what you set out to. You can download the brief I use here.
Learn about colour psychology. This is the most game-changing tool you can have when you’re rebranding. It’ll bring a hugely welcome level of objectivity to a very subjective process. There’s plenty on colour psychology on my blog and also in the book. And if you fancy coming to London in November you could join us for the Colour for Creatives workshop which I promise will help you pull together your focus.
Work out which seasonal personality best reflects your business and understand what that means in terms of fonts, colours, pattern, textures and tones. So often the root cause of overwhelm during a rebrand is a lack of focus. And that’s often because you don’t stick to your core brand values. But it’s often also because things just don’t work and you’re not sure why. Colour psychology will give you a discipline and focus that you’ll find utterly invaluable. You can download the worksheet here.
Create a mood board that reflects how you’d like your brand to look and feel. Not a ‘sample’ board of precise colours, fonts etc but a general mood that encapsulates the look and feel. This is so essential because it’s your visual ‘brief’ – your way of not only finding inspiration but also ensuring that what you design reflects what you set out to achieve. And achieving what you set out to is non-negotiable if you’re to create a truly powerful brand.
If you’re working with a designer, you may find that they’ve already created a mood board, so you may not need to. Instead, ask yourself: How does the work I’ve done in the planning workbook change my brief? How does what I know now impact on what I’ve asked my designer to do? It may not do – in which case, review your mood board and give yourself a kick up the backside to just get on with it and stop procrastinating. So often, the ‘new ideas’ that inevitably come mid-rebrand serve little more than to confuse you. They are often not better ideas, just different – and that’s where going back to your brief and staying focused is essential.
If you find your brief has changed dramatically. Maybe your business has changed, maybe you just understand more about what you want, work with your designer to start over. This will cost you more money, but if you need to get it right, you need to get it right. The whole point about branding your business is about presenting yourself in the best possible light to your ideal clients. Doing so will help you grow your business, so see this as an investment.
Review your designs against your mood board and your brief. Keep asking the key question, does this achieve what we set out to? If you’ve strayed from your original intent, is it better and more relevant for it? Or have you just got drawn into a design fad along the way? I’ve created a resource for reviewing creative work here and you’ll also find a more in-depth blog post on the subject here.
Finally, get yourself a copy of my book, How to Style Your Brand, which will walk you through the entire process from start to finish…