It had been 4 years since our last brand update and it was time for us to take stock and review our identity; a rebranding exercise was due. Sounds easy enough, right? The reality is that rebranding your own branding agency isn’t a walk in the park, it’s hard work and possibly more difficult than any other rebranding job.
So what is it like for a design agency to do its own rebranding? What are the challenges of being both the client and the agency at the same time? Were we going to be our own worst nightmare client? Were we ever going to be happy with the results?
We had to rethink what we stand for, where we’re going, what we set out do, and if we are achieving our goals. We had to think and question what’s important to K&i. It wasn’t about the imperative yet hardly-noticeable update on the kerning between the K&i, or the added ampersand icon. The real work came into repositioning the brand.
So what was our process? We started with several strategy meetings and brainstorming sessions looking at why and what we needed to change. These are some of the things we looked at and questions raised:
What are the issues with the current brand?
What’s our goal with rebranding, what do we want to achieve?
What are our core values?
How do we define who we are and what we do?
How do we want to be perceived?
What’s our key messages?
How should the brand feel?
Once we redefined our brand, we put together an immediate and a 2-year plan of action. Touchpoints such as website, social media and various stationery items have since been updated, along with the logo and icon.
One of the main challenges with rebranding our own agency is that by being so close to the brand it makes it hard to see things from external eyes. It’s easy for designers to be overly self-critical and over-obsessed with details, so the challenge was to acknowledge this and make sure we’re seeing the bigger picture.
Developing a brand is not done over night and it is very much like a journey; never ending and always evolving. Brands don’t live in isolation, they need to change to stay relevant. Brands also needs to continuously ‘check in’ and sometimes re-evaluate that the core focus, the values that makes the brand, is still being communicated in the right way. That’s how good brands stand out.