Trading faces: Refreshing our brand

15 December 2016

When was the last time you had a good look at your brand? The combination of graphical elements, typography and style of content and really asked, “is this still working?”.

Social Investment Business had that moment. Recent changes to our priorities meant that our purpose was evolving. Our look didn’t reflect who we were. This needed to change.

We needed a refresh – but this was no easy task.

Our website, the focal point of any brand, was visually stale. After all, 12 years old is a long time in digital years! Our online home creaked and wheezed with antiquated design elements including too much text and a lack of mobile and tablet friendliness.

So how did we start on the path to brand redemption?

First, we requested for tenders with the aim to find a design agency that was capable, cost effective and, most importantly, understood what we were all about.

We devised a scoring system to help us compare our graphic design suitors and ensure that we chose the perfect partner.

We then worked with the agency to convert our abstract concepts, such as our values and mission, into a tangible visual format of colours and graphics.

We wanted to convey our connection to the social sector but also the clarity and professionalism of a funder.  The look and feel of our site needed to reflect this.

The collaborative to-and-froing of ideas, amendments and deadlines on both sides made good communication essential.

However, be wary of analysis paralysis.

As tempting as it is to channel your inner art critic, it’s all too easy to find yourself in a creative cul-de-sac when over scrutinising design features.

Assertive decision-making is key to ensuring your design period (and budget!) doesn’t get dragged out longer than it needs to.

What might have been: alternative logo concepts

Your brand should be engineered to reach out to your key audience. In our case, charities and social enterprises.

We chose a manageable sample of organisations we had worked with before and asked their opinion on the design concepts. Supplied with their insight, we went back to the lab to assign the finishing touches to the visual identity.

While it’s unlikely that everyone will love your new look, as long as there is a generally positive consensus from your key target group then things should be fine (so we hope!).

Ultimately, a brand refresh is more than just a lick of paint. It’s a message. What you want your charity or social enterprise’s message to say is up to you.

7 Steps to a Successful Rebrand
7 Steps to a refreshing your brand

(A special shout out should go to Owen and co from White Fuse for their input and hard work. Thanks for putting up with us!)

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The Social Investment Business is the trading name for the Social Investment Business Foundation, Registered Company No. 05777484 (England), Registered Charity No. 1117185 (England & Wales), The Social Investment Business Limited, Registered in England No. 06490609, VAT No. 927456693, Futurebuilders-England Limited, Registered in England No. 05066676 and Forward Enterprise FM Ltd, Registered in England No.11238102. Registered Office: CAN Mezzanine, Borough, 7-14 Great Dover Street, London, SE1 4YR.

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