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I want my new logo yesterday, and other dilemmas

25/04/17

What to factor in before commissioning that new logo. Think you’re in a hurry to roll out your new logo or visual identity? Better check this list of potential handbrakes first, to see how realistic your expectations are. 

 

You’ve been there before.

That moment when you grab a pile of materials to show a potential client, and then it hits: all your messaging is out of date. Then it snowballs. Actually, you don’t like the logo either. Or the website. Or the art direction.

Call it the Diderot effect, call it panic; call it what you will. It’s what happens when your brand is left to waltz into the sunset, sink into the darkness, and stay there for aeons without seeing fresh light of day. (Read more on brand upkeep here).

Next day, you call up that creative agency you checked out a few months earlier. You explain that you need new presentation materials; you don’t actually like your logo but you don’t have time to change it right now, because there’s a big trade fair coming up and…

… And if you’re on a budget, the agency talks you out of it. (Unless you have some budget to spend now, and more for later when you do it all properly).

Because a good brand is born from an inner truth. It’s not pasted on afterwards, like a bandage. And if you’ve let your brand slide a little too long, you’re better off starting at the beginning. Like getting your team together to workshop what you stand for. And how that might translate into better client service. You might then survey your clients to guide your refreshed positioning, and any related comms. (Your clients will be more impressed by this process than by any slapdash surface fix).

And only then, you and your agency might think about what those comms might look, smell, taste, sound or feel like. This, too, is a big investment.

How fast you can now achieve your refreshed logo or brand identity depends a lot on the following.

  • Resource – A rebrand costs money, regardless of whether you engage a small, mid-tier or large agency to do the work. Anywhere from three or five days to a few weeks to develop the creative, at professional day rates. (To get a ballpark figure, take your own day rate and multiply by any number of days). Then add in production costs, for any new print, digital or other assets you need to produce.
  • People – The more decision-makers involved, the more time you’ll need at your end to agree on a final direction. Think carefully about who should be involved in steering the creative process, and what you value from their input. When distinct ideas are watered down through too much input, you risk an uninspiring result.
  • Emotion – To avoid being led by your own zeal for the rebrand, go back to the brief and check that the creative options express your most important goals (not necessarily all the nice-to-haves as well). Being tied to an extravagant idea that you or your team had can be a roadblock.
  • Time – As the client, your input throughout the process is essential to achieving good results. Set aside the time to fill out our briefing document, respond to additional questions, meet face-to-face for presentations, and then review the work in your own time. Sometimes the project scope will change, and all parties will then need to stop, take some time and confirm this too.

When the new creative is all done, you’ll be dying to tell the world about it. And this time, you’ll be giving them an amazing real story – not a hacked-together one lacking real depth.


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