Redesigning a small business brand part one: who are you?

by | Oct 19, 2018 | Strategy

The below video clip went viral recently. It shows the crew of US TV show Kidding working behind the scenes to create a seamless montage showing the passage of time, all in camera.

I saw this and thought, oh, yeah – that’s exactly what developing a brand feels like.

If I’ve done my job properly the end result will be elegant, and might even look effortless. Months of work and deep thinking end up condensed into a few well-chosen elements that convey all the values of the organisation, almost subliminally.

This article is my version of that behind the scenes video, exposing the process so that, hopefully, people who are interested in these things will be able to appreciate afresh the work my team and I did on the new PracticeWeb brand.

I also want to share some concrete advice for others about to go through the same process, whether they’re accountants who are working with PracticeWeb on a new website, or fellow designers stuck at the head-scratching stage of their own project.

Emerging from the cocoon

PracticeWeb has been around for years and has a large number of loyal clients but the thing is, we’ve changed.

We don’t do what we used to do (decent but basic off-the-peg websites, in volume) or work like we used to.

Across the board, we’ve refocused on quality over quantity – best-in-class web design, sharper content, and a greater concentration on tailored products for clients ready to invest in standing out.

Not only did our previous brand not reflect all of that but it was also – and here’s the first glimpse behind the scenes – a quick interim design we were supposed to use for a few weeks and ended up using for more than a year because we were all too busy to concentrate on getting it done right.

It looked fine, but didn’t have any meaning, and the process of trying to make-do-and-mend highlighted the extent to to which our brand needed fundamentally rethinking. Three shades of green, a few ‘modern’ forms and a nice font don’t amount to a brand – you need to really know what you are about, and find a way to express it.

For those reasons, and because we want to stand out, it was clearly time for a rebrand.

Next time I’ll describe the planning stage of the rebrand process – all the steps you have to go through before you even think about firing up the Mac.

Click here to read part two.

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