Rebrand your branded assets like a pro: 5 expert insights to guide you

Rebrand your branded assets like a pro: 5 expert insights to guide you

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Thursday, April 28, 2022 | Vivien Lin

Creating a beautiful visual identity for your new brand is a critical part of your rebranding journey. And to ensure you achieve the impact you desire, you’ve likely engaged an agency to help you choose the colors, shapes, fonts, and other design elements that represent everything your new brand stands for.

But finalizing your compelling design is only the beginning. To bring your new brand to life, you’ll need to apply that onscreen brand to all your physical branded assets. And you’ll need to do so in a way that’s consistent and appropriate for each unique setting and scenario.

Helping clients transition their branded touchpoints in the smartest, most cost-effective way possible is a significant part of the services BrandActive provides. To that end, Design Director Vivien Lin has answered 5 key questions to help you streamline your asset conversion process.

1. How does my brand’s design affect the rebrand implementation process?

Branding agencies typically design visual elements in and for a digital format — where every nuance is rendered in sharp, crisp detail. Ideally, your agency made each design choice with its implementation implications in mind. But if not, you’ll need to determine how to translate your brand’s digital design specifications into a variety of real-world environments.

BrandActive’s expertise spans digital and physical application production design can help demystify this process. As it pertains to physical assets, our studio team members work with you and your branding agency to understand each design choice and apply it in a way that works.

To ensure your design represents your brand as intended, it’s crucial to think through every aspect of each physical space in which it will appear.

For example, imagine your new logo features several dark colors and has changed from a rectangular shape to an oval shape. We’ll ask questions like:

  • Where does this logo need to be applied? Will the new shape fit onto existing assets or will they need to be redesigned?
  • Will the logo’s dark colors be visible on outdoor signs at night? If not, what illumination options are available?
  • Does the font stay sharp when the logo is scaled up to fit on the side of a building? Is it readable when reduced to fit small touchpoints?
  • Are there any design elements that require custom finishes? What are the pros and cons of these finishes? Will they hold up in all weather conditions?
  • Can every design choice be replicated within the desired ?

To ensure your design represents your brand as intended, it’s crucial to think through every aspect of each physical space in which it will appear.

2. What are the roles and responsibilities of my rebranding partners and vendors?

Your branding agency and vendors operate on opposite sides of the same coin to help make your new visual identity a reality.

The role of your branding agency

Your branding agency is concerned with helping you define the what and why of your new brand. They carefully consider your mission, values, and market goals to create a design that embodies these characteristics. And to help you achieve brand consistency, they’ll outline all the guidelines and parameters the brand should operate in.

The role of your branded asset vendors

By contrast, vendors must think through how to produce your physical touchpoints in line with your brand’s visual specifications. When addressing complex design needs, they’ll prototype solutions so you can test which ones best represent the brand. And they might recommend alternatives to your requests to help you achieve the look and feel you’re after. .

The role of a rebrand implementation partner

BrandActive’s team usually starts the project by determining the scope, cost, and timing for implementation, before turning our attention to logistics. We speak the language of both branding agencies and vendors and often serve as a translator between them. Our internal subject matter experts understand what’s physically possible and work closely with vendors and designers to imagine creative solutions. This is particularly important when the desired design elements are too expensive to replicate on a large scale. When compromises are necessary, we make it our mission to find an alternate option that supports the essence of your brand.

We also conduct thorough research and analysis to understand the full scope of the project, so you understand the end result, including any compromises made.  We take a complete inventory of assets that need to be converted and conduct site visits to gather specific requirements. Using the gathered data, our designers build standards, technical specifications, and guidelines which can be applied to net new and retrofit solutions. The goal is to provide recommendations — down to the most granular level — regarding how to convert every individual asset for the best possible result.

3. Which branded assets are the most challenging to convert?

Signs are surprisingly complex to convert. They’re also the most expensive — and often the most visible. That means the stakes are high to get it right. Your signs are often the first physical touchpoint your potential customer makes with your company. And if the signs don’t match each other or your overall brand, you risk confusing your audience and the public.

To get every detail right, you’ll need more in-depth expertise than a sign company offers. Rebranding signage requires you to think through:

  • Condition of the current sign. Is the existing structure viable? Do you need to replace it or simply reface it? If you’re changing the core shape, do you need a new foundation?
  • How the sign is affixed. Are you adhering your sign to an existing building? If so, is the structure made of glass, wood, or concrete? Are there any obstructions that will impact your ability to install the sign as planned? And what will be left on the building when the old sign is removed?
  • Location. What is the purpose of these signs? If they’re for vehicular or pedestrian traffic, are they visible from the road? Should any signs be moved forward, backward, or to the side for better visibility? Are they readable from a distance?
  • Wayfinding. Do signs need to be reimagined from a wayfinding perspective? Can your visitors find the information they need quickly and easily? Do your signs fit into your brand architecture and messaging strategy?

You may also have large-scale branded assets that present their own set of challenges and opportunities.

  • Fleet, from vans and trucks to helicopters and airplanes, may require special permits or weather-resistant materials.
  • Branded apparel can be challenging to embroider consistently if your logo contains small characters or thin strokes.
  • ID badges for employees, visitors, or contractors may have different sub-brands or color-coding for different roles.
  • And rebranding your packaging might lead to large amounts of waste, which is counterproductive if you have a general goal of

For each type of asset, it’s crucial to identify the potential issues and troubleshoot solutions as early in the implementation process as possible.

4. How can I achieve brand consistency with my rebrand — now and in the future?

The secret to achieving brand consistency is to not keep any secrets. It all comes down to documentation. During the implementation process, take time to establish clear guidelines regarding how your branded assets should be managed now and in the future.

BrandActive takes the guesswork out of this task by creating a branded asset recommendation book for every location your rebrand touches. That means if you’re a healthcare brand with 100 locations, you will receive 100 recommendation books — all with site-specific guidance regarding how to maintain the brand architecture, wayfinding messaging, and unique touchpoints at each one.

5. What’s the best way to streamline the process of converting my branded assets?

Exploring how well each element of your visual identity will perform in various real-world settings is a critical part of the implementation process. And there are a number of emerging technologies and tools that make converting your branded assets more manageable.

For example, one new tool plots the location of each sign and touchpoint on a mobile map in real time. This provides an at-a-glance, always up-to-date look at all your branded assets and helps to ensure you don’t miss any.

We’ve also seen many brands use rebranding as an opportunity to invest in the latest ID badge technology to streamline the employee experience. Advanced programming options provide easy access to buildings and offices for employees who travel to multiple locations within your company.

Researching the technologies and tools available to you is smart. But the best way to streamline the branded asset conversion process is to engage an expert who knows what questions to ask and which approaches work best in each scenario.

BrandActive has helped the world’s largest brands bring their visual identity to life on everything from baseball stadiums to helicopters. And of course, we’ve done so while keeping each client’s budgetary and timing considerations in mind.

So if you’re ready to start bringing your beautiful new design to life in the real world, just reach out. We’d love to help you, too.

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