Great branding captures your brand story and brand voice, while reinforcing credibility across all touchpoints. Rebranding is a unique journey of discovery we’ve taken many clients through. And now it was our turn.
Appropriately enough, the boss was on his own journey – a surfing safari in the Philippines – when BAM! COVID lockdown kicked in and with it domestic and international air travel. What to do? And so the decision to rebrand Communicreations began to take shape. It was pretty clear our world had changed, and we all needed to reinvent along with it.
Under the influence of daily surf, we began looking to our activities for inspiration. And it was right there in front of us the whole time. What does surfing teach us about branding, you ask? We came up with four parallels:
- Seizing opportunity. Surfing is the pinnacle of understanding your environment. Recognize good waves from bad, and learn to spot great waves. Then paddle like hell to get yourself in the right place at the right time. Our Parallel: Nothing screams big honking flashing red warning sign like a pandemic-led shift. In crisis, there is also opportunity.
- Flow. You can sit around and not go anywhere. If you never take action, things will still happen all around you. If you do not change, nothing will change. Our Parallel: We could have sat still, but where is the fun in that?
- Balance. In a constantly changing environment, finding balance is Zen. You are managing unpredictable changes, and can’t simply sit back as you seek to find balance. It is a series of coordinated actions that require you to constantly work to find that magical inflection point. Doing the work makes it totally worth it. Our Parallel: Regardless of all that goes on around you, course changes are prudent so long as there is purpose and progress.
- Patience pays off. You can’t force nature. Patience when conditions are less than ideal. Patience while you wait for the right wave. Patience while you learn. Our Parallel: There is a right time for everything, and some things required time to percolate.
Communicreations began back in 1999 with a decidedly different landscape. Traditional marketing initiatives (see: print) were still king. Plus, internal and external motivations can (and did) move wildly when life happens. And so, truth be told, we’d been wanting to chart a new direction with a full rebrand for some time.
But why? Apart from an evolving business, we’d come to realize our activities weren’t lining up with where we saw our business going. Worse still, client’s perceptions were getting dated when we needed them to view us differently. We have been constantly branching into new territories, taking us further from our always-present design roots. Then there is the visual take; we needed a new look. That’s kind of the rationale trifecta right there when it comes to rebranding. It was clearly time for a reboot.
Rebranding represents an aspirational transformation. The result is to refocus in a way that is representative of where you want your business to go. A standard to aspire to.
Icon & Wordmark
Icons have long been a part of the branding toolbox, though of late there appears to be a trend amonst some better known brands to focus on the wordmark alone. There are cases where this works, but it’s not a trend we want to follow. There are so many branding spaces now that cater specifically to branded icons that dropping the icon means you are creating other brand challenges as a result.
Our new icon offers multiple takeaways despite its intentional simplicity. It is a monogram of the initials ‘CC.’ It features a WiFi icon created by dual magnifying-glass icons, conjuring the concepts of connectivity and search. The WiFi icon is overtly technical in nature. These traits line up with our space. You can also see the icon forming a target, strengthening the concept of accuracy, aim, ambition, aspiration, ideas and goals.
We’re happy to have made our mark, as well as finding one that is aspirational enough to be representative of our work.
Milestones represent a significant opportunity to contribute to your story. They portray a number of positive traits – longevity, success, stability, dependability, durability, etc. For us, it was a chance to reflect on a career of relentless customer focus.
Font technologies are improving the web and shaping how branding is approached. Our previous typeface – Helvetica – was influenced by the documentary film of the same name. It made sense at the time. We primarily functioned as a design agency back then, so our projects were traditionally print in nature. Helvetica was the hallmark of international typographic style in the 20th century, and many of the world’s top brands still use it.
Given we find ourselves in the 21st century, a more modern appearance was desired. Print reading differs from the online experience, and thus online readability is the dominant typographical consideration of the day for a business like ours that creates engaging web experiences.
After reviewing several options, Ubuntu was chosen as our new typeface for its clarity and character. It also represented a consistency with our core beliefs. The meaning of Ubuntu is a Zulu term meaning “humanity,” which is often translated as “humanity towards others.” That it allowed us to condense a long name was certainly a plus.
Blues convey a sense of professionalism, stability and trust. We went dark blue because, really, that is where we find ourselves at this point in our evolution as a business and a partner. The depth of the blue also provides excellent contrast to the secondary and alternate complimentary colours that borrow from the ocean.
Rushing a rebranding journey does not usually end well. There are likely at minimum dozens of updates
Brand touchpoints are when any time a person interacts with your brand. These include internal (staff) and external appearances.
Properly staging a launch requires an update of all touchpoints where your brand appears. In some cases, the rebrand will impact more than just your icon/logo. Though needs to be given to masthead images on social media. Changes to your brand voice need to be reflected in copy. Here is an incomplete version of our launch list for comparison:
- Google My Business
- Roughly 50 different business citation pages (for SEO)
- Industry Canada
- G Suite
- Email Signatures
- Internal Collateral
- Business Cards and Stationery
Clearly, there is a lot of planning and organization required. It won’t all happen overnight but a properly managed launch needs a game plan.
And we know a guy.
PRO TIP: Don’t shirk rebranding lessons learned and don’t trust them to memory. Keep a record of all rebranding correspondence on hand. The day will come where that will be useful to understand the decisions and directions that were chosen and why. Details that tend to get obscured over time.