One of the many things I learnt from my Dad was to look after your things so they last, and fix small problems before they become big expensive headaches. The same goes for brands, look after them right through from a cultural level to public relations, and of course the visual communication.

Now I know many good reasons why an established brand gets a complete redesign, such as company take overs or mergers, repositioning and so on, but I don’t know why some designers can’t seem to help themselves when it comes to evolving successful existing brands. They seem to rush gun-ho into a complete overhaul that appears to be strategically based only on their own self gratification, when all that may be needed is a tweak. Perhaps it is because to admit that the brand has worked well is to admit that the team who initially designed it are actually good, and some egos won’t accept this.

Recently I was asked to look at a rebrand for a well known company, and I have to say that in this case the new brand appears to be a mistake. Admittedly I say this from a position of a viewer who wasn’t briefed on where or what the company was trying to achieve. But as a punter looking at the new versus the old, it simply doesn’t look good (on a purely subjective level) and more importantly has made a classical established brand look like a left over from the 1980’s, surely that can’t have been the strategy behind the
new positioning.

Although I am not aware of the briefing process I was given the design agencies rational behind the new brand. It sounds very impressive, lots of emotive and designery words and little strategy. It is very easy to create a whole new design based on personal taste or current trends and then look at the completed design and post rationalise it. It is far harder to take an established design (especially when it is already beautifully crafted and successful) and take it in the required new direction whilst retaining the established styling and identification.

The only way to successfully achieve an evolution is by strategically asking why and if the need to change, and then by subtly and respectfully tweaking the brand to achieve the new strategic outcomes. Some brands I have evolved would at first glance appear the same as they started, a little tweak here and there may be all that is required. I have redesigned brands that I personally don’t like and would rather have started from a blank piece of paper, but I know they do their job and I let my ego and subjective view go.

So if you have a brand that you are unsure is working as hard for you as it should, contact us and we will be happy to have a obligation free chat. It may be that, yes your brand is already working as hard as it can.