5 Ways to Work Backwards Towards a New Brand Identity


Typically a business would consider their brand identity early on in business development. But there are some businesses that are too busy at launch to carefully consider their logo and graphic design. In my experience I’ve found that there is no direct path to designing a brand identity. Sometimes you have to work backwards to achieve the results you want.

Recently I started working with a new client. They have a great product that helps protect banks and financial institutions’ customers against identity theft and fraud. When they launched their business their goal was to get this product into their customers hands fast. So they slapped together a logo and brochure, made sure to hire the right sales team, and got the message out as best as they could.

When they came to me for help at the launch of their second product, their immediate need was a new brochure and information graphics. But I sensed that they had an underlying issue of not having set up a visual language that speaks truly to their company, product, and distinct brand message. After getting to know them better, and asking them extensive questions about their business, they realized the need to deeply consider their graphic design moving forward.

They weren’t ready for a brand overhaul, but we decided to salt-n-pepper in some new visuals that felt more authentic to their product and their audience. They were moving into a younger demographic, so we needed to use color and illustration to clearly show how their product works.

So we started backwards. We took the opportunity of an immediate project to start diving in and creating a new look for them that was more appropriate and they loved using.

If you’re busy doing the work of making your business, well, work, it might not be the right time for a huge brand design overhaul. But you could start small, or, as I like to say, backwards towards a more cohesive brand identity. Here are a few ways you can work backwards towards a brand identity that feels right to you:

  1. Consider a redesign for one of your collateral. Let’s say you head up marketing at a small public relations agency. You and your team know that your logo and collateral don’t fit the visual tone you want to get across, but right now is not the time to invest in that brand identity. Take a whack at a smaller chunk: a sales brochure or templates for images on your social media feed.
  2. Hire a designer who does great work AND understands the bigger picture. This is where you and I start working together. I know that you’ve got a lot going on. Running an awesome business is hard work! I also know that when you promote yourself, it needs to come from a place of telling your authentic story with a visual dialogue that is uniquely yours. While I learn about the immediate project, I’ll also take a bit of time to learn more about your business background, the audience you want to reach, and who your competitors are. I gather together this information so that while I’m redesigning your brochure I can be your twofold awesome partner: 1. I consider the immediate task at hand. And 2. I consider the bigger picture of getting new brand identity look out there.

  3. Take some time. Try some of those new brand elements in a few materials. Use them consistently for a period of time. After you use them consistently, they start to have staying power in the minds of your audience. And as more of that time goes by, the more your audience is going to get to know you and feel comfortable with you.

  4. Don’t switch things up too often. A well conceived brand identity feels seamless, not jagged. It might serve you well in the short-term to try some hot new design elements out giving you a boost in attention. However, that is just an immediate boost. Your community needs to get to know you all over again each time you design something new.

  5. Make sure the heart of your business is considered in your graphic design. One reason your logo and brand identity might not feel right is because you haven’t had the time to define the mission, vision, and values of your business. Those beliefs get to the foundation of who you are. Tap into those qualities and be sure to consider that message in all your design work moving forward.

Is it time to rethink a part of your marketing collateral? Do you feel like your website or brand needs some help, but not sure where to start? Do you feel confident in your branding and what it’s communicating to your audience? Or is part of your brand identity irking you?

Take some time to do a little audit. Email me if you’re considering a design facelift and need some help figuring out where to start. Tell me what you do and why you love doing it so we can start showing your business from it’s heart.