From No-Go to Logo - Refining Your Brand Image in 6 Simple Steps
A well-designed business logo is the key to conveying your brand’s values and can have a big influence on your potential customers’ impression of your brand. Your logo is a point of recognition for stakeholders, a ‘shop-window’, which is why it is so important to get this right. Logo redesigns can be necessary to adapt to changes inside and outside of your business. For example, a logo which was designed in the 1990’s, may not be as appealing or convey the same messages as a newly designed logo today.
So, you’ve decided it’s time to refresh your brand? Let us walk you through our process.
1. Establish Your Brand's Key Values
When working with Wakeboard UK, we established that because the organisation is a non-profit and is focused on promoting boat wakeboarding in the UK to develop and support competitive wakeboarders on a national and international scale, it was clear that the logo needed to communicate their values of Team GB athletic pride and wakeboarding. We wanted their audience to know from the logo that British wakeboarding is the forefront of what the organisation is involved with, and promote equality, tradition, determination and strength.
From this stage we then moved forward to think more about what Wakeboard UK’s target audience would want and expect from their logo…
2. Understand Your Audience
It is important to understand who you are trying to capture the attention of and establish what will help to attract and inform your audience of what you do. You should identify what your customers love about your brand and how you can reflect this in your branding.
When evaluating Wakeboard UK’s segmentation and targeting, it was clear that the logo needed to appeal to both new, existing and professional members of the community, whilst maintaining consistency with other British sports teams with a colour scheme of red, white and blue. It is important to understand your audience and their interests because if your logo doesn’t speak out to them, they may interpret your business service or products in a different way. Finding a balance between tradition and culture, whilst fitting in with a bold community of athletes in Wakeboarding, we defined a strong and striking middle ground, using a wakeboard silhouette which is both identifiable and professional, combined with a slightly more abstract font for prospective stakeholders.
3. Competitor Analysis
To create a brand that is both eye-catching and industry appropriate (and believe us, that’s not easy!), it’s important to assess existing brands in your market place, to fully understand where your new brand will place amongst competitors and even collaborators.
With the Wakeboard UK project, we had two main audiences to consider. Combining imagery from both existing Wakeboarding brands, as well as imagery from existing British Sports teams, we created a mood board of brand strength, providing inspiration and creative stimulus for a full rebrand.
4. Establish What Type of Logo You Want to Use
Different logo styles suit different situations. For instance, a new business with a short name may choose to use a wordmark logo because this style is font-based and uses the whole business name. On the other hand, a lettermark may be more useful for a business which has a long name because it is condensed into an acronym. For firms that are going global, a logo symbol may be appropriate to prevent translation problems as this logo style is an image. For businesses wanting to be unique with their logo, an abstract mark can work well. Equally, a combination mark can be used by developing a logo with a lettermark or a wordmark combined with another image. Illustrated characters or using mascots as your logo is another way for your brand to stand out amongst the crowd. Emblems that have a font within an icon or symbol can also be used.
5. The Design Phase
Simple: A simple and streamlined logo will communicate your brand values far more effectively than by using a complex design which could confuse your audience. By making your logo simple and bold, this also makes your logo more memorable.
Versatile: Logos get used in a variety of ways – on apparel, websites, banners, brochures and business cards etc. Therefore, when designing your logo, you need to be mindful that some platforms or applications might not offer the ideal scenario for your logo so you will have to adapt it. To ensure that your logo can easily adapt to any situation, make sure that it appears clearly on a black or a white background.
Timeless: When designing a logo, you should aim for it to still be effective in 10, 20 or more years so that it maintains consistency by not needing to be changed or adapted frequently.
After the first design phase for Wakeboard UK, we then narrowed the potential logos down to three logos for phase two of the redesign. We then evaluated the simplicity, memorability, distinctiveness, versatility and timelessness of the logos to select a primary logo which will be used for stationary, digital footers and sponsors and an additional logo which will be used for apparel, stickers and merchandise. To ensure that Wakeboard UK’s branding was consistent across all of their platforms, we identified two primary colours and three secondary brand colours alongside a primary and secondary font. These designs and logos were then applied to apparel, stickers and different colour banners to illustrate their versatility and applicability so that the rebranding and fresh new logo was ready to launch!
6. Launch Time
For larger businesses, often an internal launch is required to ensure that everyone is prepped and on the same page before the logo and rebranding is revealed to the public. A brand style guide is always recommended and can be used to inform employees of the logo details, colour scheme and changes so that the rebranding remains consistent on all platforms.
These brand guidelines also come in handy when working with other businesses, or preparing for major events, such as the 2019 Wakeboard Nationals! Head over to Wakeboard UK on Facebook to see the new brand in action.