Rebranding a branding firm: Practicing what we preach

September 22, 2012

Branding firms work hard to make sure that a client’s brand achieves its goals and differs from competitors. But branding firms must also practice what they preach and actively manage their own verbal and visual messaging. This was the impetus for CoreBrand taking a close look at our own brand earlier this year.

Branding firms work hard to make sure that a client’s brand achieves its goals and differs from competitors. In order for brands to maintain success they must keep a pulse on how they can remain relevant by continually evolving their core verbal and visual messaging. Many internal and external factors that impact client brands such as market dynamics, consumer behavior and competitive activity also impact branding firms. This was the impetus for CoreBrand taking a close look at our own brand earlier this year.

In addition to ensuring that our brand remains relevant, two key factors influenced our decision to evaluate our brand:

Our commitment: Treating ourselves like a client
We approached our brand refresh initiative as we would any client project employing the same guidelines and processes. This meant pulling together a team of experts across all four disciplines — research, strategy, creative and brand management — to provide the knowledge base and expertise required for success. Our core team was committed to:

The first step: Conducting unbiased self-reconnaissance
We began this process by evaluating our own brand and asking ourselves three core questions:

  1. How are we different from our competitors?
  2. What’s unique about our services and how we deliver them?
  3. Is our own brand image projecting the right message and making the desired first impression on clients?

When it came to gathering our own brand intelligence it was important that the information gathering supported and encouraged complete objectivity. To ensure unbiased results CoreBrand collaborated with an independent marketing consultant who conducted both internal and external stakeholder interviews. Interviews were conducted among representative staff members, current clients, previous clients and clients we pitched but did not win. These stakeholder interviews helped us to clearly understand our strengths, areas of opportunity and understand what, if any, verbal and visual equities we have in the CoreBrand brand.

The end result: Creating the measurable difference
In the end we did get the answers to our questions, which were instrumental in informing our new brand platform. This brand platform was the catalyst in developing and creating our new tagline and refreshed brand.

We spent days brainstorming concepts for a new tagline and were so excited when we came up with one that the team felt captured the true essence of our brand only to find out that a variation of the tagline was being already used in the branding space. While we chalked this up to great minds think alike, it really was an indicator of the importance of due diligence and remaining optimistic that we would come up with an even better alternative. Our new tagline sums up what CoreBrand stands for: Creating the measurable differenceSM. Whether through our proprietary brand metrics and valuation methodologies or research, strategy, design and client service, we strive to ensure that our clients’ brands have a clear point of difference.

Our new brand identity and refreshed image builds upon our almost 40 years of brand heritage. We have taken our core elements that have established recognition and awareness and evolved them to create a CoreBrand image that is fresh and relevant. Our new logo represents an evolution of the forward and upward motion of our previous flag icon. As a symbol of connection, the new icon expresses the positive change and measurable difference we bring to the work we do in collaboration with our clients.

Additionally, our brand voice has been redefined to help capture our core personality traits — curious, collaborative and confident. This voice is reflected in all written and verbal communications and is being communicated to our team through internal workshops and written guidelines.

In summary: Practice what we preach
Even though we live and breathe branding every day it is important to acknowledge that we, as a branding firm, require the same level of attention. We are not immune to the many aforementioned variables that also strongly influence our clients’ brands.

I have to say that the rebranding of our brand was an enlightening and positive experience for all involved and was well respected by our clients. Not to mention the fact that creating the measurable difference sure feels good.

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