Since our very own rebranding of Parallax in 2013, we haven’t looked back. Like any company starting out or ready for a change, we had to make some important decisions about who we were and where we were heading.
Our brand was something we didn’t value as much as we should have. We didn’t have any rules – it was more like a visual asset than true branding. A lot of businesses, particularly young ones, often find themselves in a very similar position.
We attended workshops and explained collectively how we felt about our brand, how our customers perceived us, and what we and our customers should be thinking. A lot of discovery work was done to establish a firm foundation, adding a lot to our business plan. We spent time defining our values and how we wanted to be perceived both internally and externally.
The pros of rebranding
A defined purpose and values
This really helped us understand what our brand means to us and our customers. It helped us hire more suitable staff and target the right sort of clients. Most importantly, it gave us a sense of purpose. We’re far from ‘just a logo’ anymore!
More pitching confidence
We always thought our old visual identity made us look small-time. The new brand gave us an unbelievable amount of confidence pitching to new clients. Since becoming Parallax we’ve won some of our biggest projects.
Beautiful and contemporary visuals
We think our logo and visual language looks stunning. It matches a design style that is perfectly suited to digital, and it’s flexible enough for us to build on – something we plan to do very soon, so watch this space.
Staff morale and ambition
We got all our staff involved. I think all but one or two fully bought into the values and the new name. It was a great way to boost employee morale and make them ambitious to take us – and themselves – to a new level.
Design awards and exposure
Our brand and website has been featured on a lot of design galleries and award websites, giving us a lot of exposure to the international design community. We were featured on Smashing Magazine, Awwwards, and many more.
More perceived value
One of the issues of our previous brand was getting low-value leads through. Although we had a screening process, we’d still get clients looking for the cheapest agency. Now we attract the clients that have the budgets to achieve their ambitious goals.
An excuse to have a party
After a lot of hard work it was a great excuse to celebrate with all of our staff, friends and clients. It also allowed us to catch up with a lot of key clients and update them on our plans for the future. It was a great networking opportunity.
A big learning exercise
Rebranding is a steep but efficient learning curve. It’s something that has, no doubt, made us better, and has opened everyone’s eyes to what branding really is.
The cons of rebranding
We knew a rebrand would be a big job, but we had no idea how big. The amount of internal hours everyone clocked up was the equivalent to a full month of billable work for the entire team.
Doing a rebrand well is never going to be cheap, especially if you do it properly. There are many different fees, and though they were expected, they added up to a considerable total. You’ve got to consider agency, print, domains, furniture and signage fees, to name a few.
You can never be 100% sure that it’s going to get you the desired effect. So many rebrands happen and get negative publicity. Fortunately, while ours went down a treat, there were still times when we were quite nervous.
Software licences, email changes and domains all gave us a few headaches and incurred fees. We’re still using aliases instead of emails sent from our new domain, simply because it’s so difficult to move across.
Loss of brand awareness
When changing everything, some loss of brand awareness is inevitable. We’re just not sure how much. We tried to get the message across loud and clear on social media and by email, and we also kept our old website up for a while too. This wasn’t ideal, but it’s essential.
Our new name is a commonly searched word which has caused some SEO issues. At first, we really had to work on it to get us back to the levels we were prelaunch. As we’ve grown, this has become less of an issue. But it’s still worth considering when choosing your new name.
Weighing it up: was it the right decision?
Our rebrand was a long process, involving a lot of hours and people, causing internal debates, and at points becoming the dreaded design by committee. It was one of the biggest projects we’d ever done, but it was undoubtedly a very positive move. From a business development point of view it was great too, helping us win new clients and continue our growth.
For any rebrand, it’s all about the long term value versus the short term pain. If your current brand isn’t connecting with people the way you need it to, that pain is worth it every time.
A version of this article was originally published on Creative Review.