Leveraging Successful Differentiation / The Consistent Patterns of Process
As BrandCraft develops as a branding studio, we continually look to evolve our process, to improve our practice, service and output. Rebranding projects make up a large part of our work, and after recently receiving more and more interest from companies looking to rebrand, I thought it a perfect moment to more deeply consider this aspect of our work.
Design studios think they know everything
The design process is a series of decision making tasks. If we choose to believe that we know the clients industry, competitors, customers and visions without doing necessary research and auditing, we cannot make well-informed decisions in the creative phase. Corporate rebranding projects must involve internally and externally focussed audits to ensure we fully understand the company DNA, their service, it's customers, its stakeholders. We have to probe and see what areas we can leverage, and where we can create differentiation.
Branding vs Re-branding
Branding projects differ immensely against rebranding projects. Branding is creating, giving a company a face. Rebranding is updating the company's face, analysing, dissecting and putting back together(!) As the rebranding process involves deeper understanding of a pre-existing company, it will subsequently require more in-depth research than branding. Often this is because a company will require rebranding, without knowing why their current brand is no longer enticing-in, or retaining a customer following. To rebrand we must first understand what specifically about the brand is no longer working.
Internal - To begin a rebranding project, we research every aspect of the client’s business. We interview the client about the company, we like to speak to a range of stakeholders. As well as understanding the company we make a brand audit to understand how and where the current brand is used. Brand touchpoints from web to print and uniform; logo lockups and variations; corporate names; colour and typography usage.
External - Once we have researched the client and current brand, we look into the client’s competitors to help understand their context, and where the brand sits within it’s industry. How the competitors became successful, how are they different, what do they do well, what do they do badly, what areas can we exploit, what can we learn from them to understand how we can differentiate from them.
Before putting pencil to paper
We collate all information and visuals recorded, we analyse our observations and evaluations with the client through moodboards and workshops.
About the author, Adam
Adam is the design director of BrandCraft. BrandCraft is a branding and design consultancy based in Hong Kong. We specialise in branding, visual identity, corporate identity and rebranding.
Adam is a branding consultant and has worked with clients in the UK, USA, Hong Kong, Tokyo, South Korea and China. He has had self-initiated art and design projects exhibited at various galleries and museums including the Victoria & Albert Museum of Art and Design and regularly writes about branding and design theory.
Read more about BrandCraft