From figuring out my brand values to the design process and the big shifts that have happened as a result.
No matter how professional your branding, at some point it’s going to reach its use-by date. When that happens, it’s time for a rebrand.
Rebranding doesn’t necessarily mean throwing everything out and starting from scratch. It’s more about making considered changes that align closely with your goals and the types of clients you want to attract.
Obviously the rebranding process is something I carry out regularly for my clients. But taking my own business through each stage of the process was quite a different experience. Looking through the lens as both a business owner and a designer was both challenging and eye-opening.
So I wanted to share the stages I followed to rebrand my business, along with tips for you to consider before you embark on your own rebrand project.
The ‘why’ behind the rebrand: Realising the potential for more
If I’m honest, I knew my brand was looking tired well before I made the decision to rebrand. I was working with fantastic clients and my business was turning a decent profit. But there was a misalignment between the quality of work I delivered for my clients and how my brand was showing up in the world.
The final push to rebrand was when I realised I had become somewhat embarrassed by my old branding – and had become reluctant to promote myself as a result.
As a designer, I’ve undertaken the rebranding process numerous times for my clients. So when it came time to rebrand my own business, I had a clear framework to follow.
Even still, I found the whole exercise enlightening. It allowed me to look at how far my business has come, while ensuring my brand accurately reflected the quality of work and professionalism I now deliver.
STEP 1: Working out my USP
In simple terms a Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is a one-to-two sentence summary statement of who you are, what you do, and why you do it better than anyone else. It’s a chance to tell potential clients “Hey, this is why you should pick me.”
Having a clear USP also makes it easier to communicate with anyone you might bring on to collaborate with your business, such as a designer, copywriter, PR, photographer or marketer. It gives you a jumping off point for discussions about your brand’s identity and marketing strategy.
Getting your USP right is like taking the perfect selfie. You want to show off your best angles, while keeping it real. And just like taking a selfie, you might have to have a few goes before you get something worthy of sharing.
I started by reflecting on where my particular strengths lie as a designer, and the value my clients get from working with me.
Top of that list is the breadth of my design experience. I’ve been working for almost two decades as a designer – long before Facebook was a thing.
I’ve seen countless trends come and go. And I know what goes into creating timeless, professional design that won’t date quickly.
This experience also brings with it a lot of trust. My clients can rely on me to deliver what I set out to do, and to be there with them as their business grows and evolves.
Admittedly, the process of writing my USP wasn’t quick. But I knew how important it was to get right. After all, it’s not just a tagline – it’s what sets you apart and grabs your audience’s attention.
After tweaking and rewriting I have something that sounds like me and speaks to the people I want to attract and work with.
STEP 2: My brand personality and values aka the soul of any business
With my USP in place the next step was to look at my brand’s personality and values.
Think of these as your business’s handshake and smile – it’s the first impression you make and the lasting feeling you leave people with. When people interact with your brand, it should feel like a natural extension of who you are and what you do. The real you.
Why bother? In the crowded online space, your brand’s personality and values help you stand out. Showing up as the real you allows people to decide whether you’re the right fit and if they want to work with you.
For this step, I sought help from my colleagues for insight into how I was perceived. It did feel a bit strange asking people to describe my personality traits. But these conversations were so beneficial in discovering the soul of my business.
A theme emerged around words like ‘experienced’, ‘reliable’, ‘knowledgeable’ and ‘creative’, becoming the values you’ll find on my About page.
Other terms like approachable, positive, mature and collaborative set the foundations for my brand’s personality.
Brand values and personality aren’t just about the visual aspects of your brand. They should reflect how you want people to feel when they engage with you and your team. They give you a filter to pass business decisions through. And they ensure that you show up consistently online and at every client touchpoint.
STEP 3: Laying the groundwork: research and preparation
Jumping straight into a rebrand without good research and preparation is like planning a party without deciding on a theme or guest list.
I made sure to put time aside to understand my competitors, look at market trends and identify areas where my business could stand out.
Even though I’ve been in business for a while and have a solid client base, I still found this step helpful in understanding the current challenges and opportunities my clients (and prospects) are facing.
STEP 4: Getting into design
With the groundwork laid out, I’d come to a point in my rebrand where it was time to put pixels to paper screen and get to work on my new logo.
When it comes to rebranding, deciding on new colours and fonts might feel like the fun, creative part—and it is. But it’s not just about what looks good or is ‘pretty’. These visual elements are an extension of a brand’s personality and values.
In my case, I chose colours and fonts that helped articulate my brand’s values of creativity, organised, reliable and knowledgeable.
These choices will set the tone for how clients interact with my brand.
So, yes, the aesthetic part of rebranding is fun, but it’s also strategic.
STEP 5: Getting feedback from others
While I had the technical skills and ability to execute my vision, I still found it helpful to get outside feedback on my initial concepts.
Now I’d never suggest sending out your proposed logo design to everyone you know for feedback (while I’m sure your neighbour’s cousin is well-meaning, if they’re not your target customer their opinion isn’t all that helpful). But gathering input from a small group of confidantes is invaluable.
Again I reached out to some trusted colleagues to gather honest-yet-constructive criticism on my initial logo design.
The end result is a brand I’m proud of. One that not only reflects my values but that elevates my business to a new level of professionalism.
STEP 6: Prioritising customer experience
At the end of the day, your brand is not what you say it is, it’s what your customers say it is.
I’ve worked hard to gain my many loyal clients who appreciate my work. My rebrand wasn’t about turning my back on them but about becoming even more clear on their needs.
During my rebrand a key focus was to improve the whole experience for anyone who came into contact with my business – whether an existing loyal client familiar with my work or someone discovering me for the first time.
I want to make every interaction feel friendly, professional and considerate.
As I rolled out my rebrand and revisited my services, I continually referred to the insights I gained during the research phase. Doing this ensured that all of my services, offers and content are of benefit to my clients.
STEP 7: The Practicalities: Setting a budget and timeline
As with any business development, rebranding comes at a cost. While I did the design work myself, this meant time spent away from paid projects.
I saw the process as a marathon, not a sprint. Planning a realistic timeline kept the stress levels down and ensured I didn’t miss crucial steps in the process.
Again, my experience as a designer and web developer meant I had some sense of the time a rebrand would take going in. But there were still a few unforeseen hiccups (aka life) that meant shuffling of timelines.
STEP 8: Wrapping up: The journey never ends
You know how they say the builder always has the unfinished house, or the mechanic has the car that’s always breaking down?
That was me.
As a graphic designer and website developer, I was so focused on other people’s brands that I had neglected my own. This rebrand was my chance to show the true quality and professionalism of Camotion.
While rebranding was a big task, it was well worth it. It elevated my business to a new level and gave me renewed confidence in what I do.
Taking this step also allowed me to pause and consider my business direction. Although it feels like an endpoint, I know it’s just the beginning. After all, your brand, like your business, keeps changing.
My advice to anyone considering a rebrand is to take the time to understand your ‘why’, do your research, ask for feedback, and get ready for a transformative and exciting process.
And that’s it—a look into my rebranding journey, which taught me as much about my business as it did about myself.
My top tips for an effective rebrand
So, you’ve done your research, gathered valuable insights and now you’re ready to take action. But before diving in, it’s important to keep some key principles in mind. These are the tried-and-true tips that helped shape my rebranding success:
Understand your goals: Know why you’re rebranding and who you’re targeting. In my case, it was about reflecting the quality and professionalism of my services more accurately online.
Use real data: Gut feelings are great, but back them up with actual numbers. Market studies, client feedback, and competitor research can help you make informed decisions.
Get outside opinions: You don’t know what you don’t know. That’s why talking to business colleagues and gaining feedback can offer you new angles and advice.
Be you: Changing your brand isn’t about becoming something totally new. It’s about better reflecting who you are. Remember you are your brand.
Plan your big reveal: How you launch your new brand can make or break its initial impact. Think about the best time and place to unveil it and make a plan to spread the word.
Don’t forget your current clients: Your existing customers are important. Keep them in the loop and make sure they’re part of this exciting new chapter.
Keep checking and adjusting: After you’ve launched, keep tabs on how things are going. Use data and feedback to tweak when needed.
Integrate SEO into your brand: Rebranding is also a chance to revisit your online presence and make it more search friendly. Take the time to optimise your website’s SEO as you update its look and messaging.
Over to you
If you’d like to hear more about Camotion, you can contact me here.
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