What are the 7 Deadly Mistakes of Brand Design?

Category: Business Advice

It’s been decided your company needs to rebrand. Maybe it’s to update an outmoded branding scheme. Maybe your company is changing directions or targeting a new demographic and needs their brand to reflect that. Whatever the reason for the re-brand, companies can be blindsided by the following 7 mistakes. No one wants to make mistakes, especially not during such a crucial design process. So when you and your team decide it’s time to rebrand, we offer you this shortcut to success. Avoid these 7 deadly mistakes. 

 

1. Don’t confuse your logo for your brand.

Your logo is your visual marker. It’s how your customers and potential customers discover, recognize and remember your brand. Your brand is much larger than a logo. It encompasses the customer experience of your product and services. Your brand is a set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.

Pro-tip: An awesome and effective logo must be simple, timeless, versatile and appropriate for your brand. 

 

2. Don’t lose sight of your story.

Since your brand is your story, during a rebrand it’s key for your designer to understand your story. They need to know your history, mission, values, and what success means to your company. In short, they need to who you are and understand the changes that are instigating your desire to rebrand.

Pro-tip: If your company finds itself in the middle of an identity crisis, and rebranding is offered as a solution be suspicious. Put rebranding on hold until the story of your company and your vision for the future is shared and understood by the key players who will be leading the rebranding effort. 

 

3. Don’t get distracted.

When you and your team offer critiques and feedback for the logo redesign make sure it supports your story. Getting distracted by other logos you’ve seen and admired, wanting to incorporate your favorite color/animal or a cool art piece you saw on your way to work can be distracting from your true end goal: an effective logo! 

Pro-tip: Every time you or your team members offer a suggestion ask, “Why?” If you can’t articulate how the suggestion supports your company’s story, it’s easy to move on and stay focused. brand. 

 

4. Do hire the right designer.

While you are the expert on your company and your company’s story, your designer should be an expert in rebranding and logo design. To make sure you are hiring a professional who can lead you through this tricky process, be sure to ask the following questions before you begin: 

  • Can you talk me through your rebrand process?
  • Have you worked on rebrands before? Can you show me any case studies?
  • What timeline and budget should I expect?
  • What will the deliverables be?

Pro-tip:  If you are already in the middle of the design process, and your giving feedback but your designer is not responding to it appropriately, let them know how you are feeling. Remind your designer of goals and the story you are trying to tell with the logo. 

 

5. Do understand the scope of your project

Rebranding is not just slapping on a new logo to your old letterhead and business cards. You will need all of your online and print media to align with the new logo. Talk to your designer to figure out what assets you’ll need to translate your brand across mediums. 

Digital assets may include:

  • Branded Icons
  • Social media branding
  • Digital ad templates
  • Presentation template
  • Web Friendly Files 

Print assets may include: 

  • Sales materials
  • Onboarding items
  • Promotional materials
  • Employee welcome kit
  • Swag
  • Apparel

Pro-tip: Think beyond the status quo. Just because you didn’t have branded icons before your rebrand doesn’t mean you won’t need them now as your brand evolves. 

 

6. Don’t lose heart. 

Rebranding is about design, but it’s about so much more than design. When asked who your target audience is, you should never say “everybody.” When asked what makes you different from your competitors, you should never say “we don’t know.” As you go about the branding process, don’t lose sight of what makes your company or organization unique.

To avoid complacency with branding, ask yourself or your team the following questions:

  • What characteristics should your audience be able to attribute to your brand? 
  • What are your pain points with your current brand? 
  • Who are your direct competitors?
  • What differentiates you from your competition?

Pro-tip: Think about your history, your milestones, and the emotional connection you want your audience to have with your brand.

 

7. Don’t stop before the journey is complete. 

Hooray! You’ve got a new logo. The hard work of design is over, but the journey of transitioning to your new logo across all your assets is not. You will want to have a style guide that provides guidelines on how to use (and protect) your new branding. Without it, you may get stretched/skewed logos uploaded to employees’ LinkedIn pages or other problematic usages of your new logo. Make sure everyone who needs it has access to appropriate logo files for print and web use, the correct colors and fonts as well as guidelines for how to use the logo and how not to. 

Pro-tip: Legendary designer Paul Rand said, “Design is the silent ambassador of your brand.”  A style guide ensures your ambassadors are always put their best foot forward.