Tag Archive: rebranding

  1. Completing a Company Rebrand: The Story Behind CHS

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    Children’s Home Society of Florida (CHS) has had a singular mission for over 115 years: to help kids in need. And they have done just that, from helping to usher in child labor laws and rallying for the creation of the agency that would become the Department of Children and Families, to their current fight to revolutionize the foster care system. This organization of 2,000 team members impacts the lives of over 50,000 children and families every year. We don’t know about you, but that sounds like an organization worth our agency’s help. And while CHS certainly came to us with a legacy, we soon found they also needed a brand vision for the 21st century.

    Partnering with CHS, Findsome & Winmore’s marketing pros set out to work on a new logo, color palette, website, print collateral, and even office interior.  However, it was the influence we had on their culture that perhaps made the largest impact. If you aren’t a marketer (and perhaps, even if you are), you may be wondering where to even start on such a project.

    We took some time to discuss the nuts and bolts behind CHS’s bright and bold new look with Andy MacMillin, Findsome & Winmore creative director, as well as understand the behind-the-scenes creative and strategic rebranding process. Hint: it’s much more than just picking a pretty font and your favorite color.

    The Building Blocks to Rebranding CHS

    company rebrand

    What challenges were CHS facing that made them seek us out in the first place?

    company rebrand

    CHS first approached us to redesign their website. After speaking with CHS CEO, Mike Shaver, it became clear that upgrading their website without truly evaluating their overall brand identity would be a missed opportunity and possibly the wrong approach. Digging into the organization’s branding challenges led us to the conclusion that a full rebrand was the right choice for CHS.

    What was the first step of the company rebrand?

    CHS is a rather complex organization. We knew that we’d have to do some research to fully wrap our heads around the situation, so our first step was really just listening. We set up interviews with many of the key players, but it wasn’t just upper management that had a say.  The Findsome & Winmore team spoke to a cross section of those who make CHS tick. Additionally, the team interviewed a handful of CHS’s clients to get an accurate perspective of what CHS means to the people they serve.

    This interview process was incredibly important in highlighting not only what CHS currently was as a brand, but also what it needed to be moving forward. Interviewing a variety of people who experience CHS from such different perspectives also allowed us to uncover existing issues and beneficial traits of which the CHS team were totally unaware.

    What was the biggest challenge of this company rebrand?

    Our interview process revealed an organization that could benefit from a unified message. It’s not just that they were regionally separated in offices throughout Florida, but it became apparent they were seeking philosophical and cultural singularity. The challenge, therefore, became one of “taking the division out of the divisions” and providing the organization with a strong brand identity that could help unify and provide clear direction for the future.

    company rebrand

    Our new direction for CHS’s brand had to be rooted in a deep sense of pride and purpose in order to chart a path toward unifying all facets of the organization, from Broward County to Pensacola and CEO to teen mentor. We chose to focus on answering one simple, fundamental question: “What do they do?” With an organization as broad in scope as CHS, helping countless children, families and entire communities throughout Florida with a wide breadth of services, this was no small feat.

    However, the team and I knew that impactful brands must go beyond mission statements and a list of services to connect to their audience on an emotional level. So, we had to answer the question in a more fundamental and conceptual way. Ultimately this took the form of a simple, clear, singular promise: “We do good.”

    Shapes play a big role in the redesign. Explain this stylistic choice and the strategy behind the greater overall design of the brand and site.

    company rebrand

    The idea of utilizing basic shapes, such as stars, circles and squares, originally came about when I deconstructing the brand into its most basic elements. With CHS’s mission to improve the lives of children in mind, I harkened back to the old building blocks and colorful shapes of childhood. The elemental idea of CHS providing the building blocks for a better future for kids eventually evolved into the shapes that form the organization’s new logo and are featured prominently throughout the brand.

    As CHS deals with difficult, often tragic cases of child abuse, neglect and poverty, the look of the site and overall theme of the branding had to focus on the positive to provide an emotional balance. This was accomplished in the many small details inserted throughout the branding but is most identifiable by the prominent use of the gold star, a universal symbol of pride, accomplishment and approval for all children.

    All of these elements–the shapes, colors and promissory tagline–come together as a constant reminder to the CHS team that, regardless of position or office, they’re all working toward the same goal.

    Where do you pull creative inspiration from?

    company rebrand

    Children are the heart and essence of everything CHS does so that was my primary source of inspiration. Understanding childhood experiences and interpreting them into a brand identity that has the ability to connect with kids, families and communities in a positive and reassuring way was the goal we strove to achieve. But like any branding situation, you must look to the organization and understand it from the inside to know what’s possible and, in that sense, the insight given by the team and client interviews helped to drive a great deal of the creative direction.

    What are you most satisfied with about this rebrand?

    company rebrand

    This entire rebrand was based on our team’s desire to solve a problem for CHS. Though CHS was only looking for a new website, I and the account team were able to identify deeper issues within the organization that shaped the thinking and approach to the project. Ultimately this enabled us to create branding that the client felt truly spoke to their values and sense of purpose –something they are especially proud of accomplishing.

    Doing Good for CHS

    Every client’s rebrand is different, which makes perfect sense when you realize that every brand has its own unique goals, vision, voice–all of which must be considered before pen ever hits paper. This rebrand is the perfect example of how brands are built from the inside out. Because Andy and the account team were able to conduct in-depth interviews with a full, vertical slice of the CHS organization they were able to reshape the brand into something fresh and new yet something that still embodies what CHS is all about–doing good in many ways, in many regions of Florida to help children, families and communities live better lives.

     

  2. Company Rebranding: 7 Telltale Signs That It’s Time

    Rebranding Your Business

    Like the first day of school, rebranding your company can be a mixed bag of emotions; equal parts fear of failure and the gut-tingling excitement for a fresh start with renewed hope for success. Though not something easily decided upon, it’s vital to never shy away from the prospect of company rebranding if it seems necessary or appropriate for the needs of your business.

    Telltale Signs That it’s Time to Consider Rebranding

    • Product and/or Service Change: No longer offering just one service to customers? Company rebranding can help your business break away from the perception that it’s a one-trick pony, repositioning it as a one-stop shop for multiple consumer needs.
    • Merger and/or Acquisition (or “Conscious Uncoupling”): If your organization is joining forces with another entity, acquiring another company, or experiencing a “break up,” it may be a good time to embody a new brand that reflects this change.
    • Crisis: In most cases, there is a light at the end of the tunnel (or crisis) when your company finds itself in a sticky situation; however, if the damage is too extensive, a rebrand can help shed a negative perception or event.
    • Revitalization and/or Relevance: It can be difficult for business owners to admit that their brand is outdated. To stay relevant in a rapidly changing marketplace, be honest with yourself and your customers by refreshing a brand that is no longer relevant or could use a reboot.
    • New Ownership or Structure: If you’ve just gained control of an organization, or if the core structure of your company has changed, consider rebranding to put some distance between where the company has been and where it’s headed.
    • Expanding to New Markets: A brand that is associated with a particular region or market can hinder expansion opportunities. In some cases, especially with hyper-local companies, company rebranding can make an organization marketable in multiple locations.
    • Legal or Trademark Concerns: In some cases, rebranding is less about preference and more about necessity. Creating a new brand should be a no-brainer if it means keeping your company out of a legal battle.

    With these considerations in mind, it’s a pertinent practice to regularly check the health of your brand. Never leave out the possibility of a rebrand if the circumstances are right. Having gone through this process ourselves, we find that Findsome & Winmore is all the more clear, inclusive and focused for it. As usual, it turns out those first-day-of-school jitters are nothing to fear at all.

  3. Rebranding: You Can Teach an Old Dog New Tricks

    Rebrands can be an exciting, scary and often times necessary “evil”.  It can shake up what you thought was the core of your brand and force you to reevaluate everything from who you were, who you currently are and who you want to be. When a rebrand occurs, sometimes you won’t be ready for it. Heck, you might downright be afraid of it and not willing to embrace it, but something brought you to this point to make you realize that maybe, just maybe, this is necessary.

    For me, rebranding is an interesting process. It’s definitely not easy, but it most definitely is fun and a great challenge. You get to tap into creativity and strategy all the while positioning a brand so that it speaks to its past (if it’s worthy of being spoken to), its present and its future. Who doesn’t want a brand that can stand the test of time?

    When starting on the path of a rebrand, make sure to keep the following in mind:

    1. Position is key.

    The first step in the rebranding process is positioning. Positioning aids in identifying an appropriate market niche for your brand and being known for that. Positioning will lead you to create your “brand positioning statement” which is an expression of how your brand fills a particular consumer’s needs and desires. With a brand positioning statement you are telling consumers how to think of you in terms of what category you are in.

    2. Who’s your target?

    Your positioning will lead you to identifying your target audience. This target audience should encompass your primary and secondary decision-making customers (and influencers) to whom you are trying to sell. Who do you want to sell to and why?

    3. It’s key to have keywords in play.

    Make a list of words that describe your business and focus on expressing your brand to your target audiences. These words aid in influencing consumers and should be used consistently in training and in internal/external marketing. Keywords keep your brand focused on its identity and maintain that identity in consumer’s minds.

    4. It’s all about the experience.

    A brand experience statement defines the overall feeling and ideal experience that you want a customer to have when encountering your brand. This statement helps influence the consumer experience and set expectations for how their interaction with your brand will go. Note that planning is only part of this process; it’s up to you and your employees to deliver on that brand experience statement.

     

    Lassie (a 76 year-old brand – 532 in dog years) is a great example of a rebrand initiative that is taking place utilizing some of the steps above. Dreamworks decided that instead of reviving Lassie with a movie or TV show, they would instead rebrand her as a merchandising star and market her to adults as a “national treasure.” As soon as early 2015, you’ll see a large rush of products that all showcase Lassie’s good looks and sweet mane. This is proof that you can teach an old dog new tricks and rebranding can occur at any point in a brand’s life cycle.

    Remember, a rebrand signifies change – not only in the look, but also the attitude which is the heart and soul of the brand. So before you can move on with a new look, you must lock down the attitude.

    Happy rebranding!