Case Study: Why and How I Decided to Rebrand Germinate Creative

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In this 2 part blog post, I’ll show you why Germinate Creative has undergone a rebrand. Here’s why I changed things up, and how I started the process.

It was time for a change.
I work as a change agent for my clients. At times they reach me for help with their logo or website. Other times I suggest a rebrand, new packaging, or a face-lift on an annual report.

So, what about my brand? Was it serving my needs? Did it meet my mission… Wait, what was my mission?

With the hustle of working, living life, and getting in some yoga, I put my own brand identity and website on the back burner. My original logo, business cards, and website were designed with craft and care. However, I didn’t go through the process of understanding how my business mission needed to speak through my own brand. And, honesty alert: my website and marketing materials were getting a bit dated.

My expert skills were being hidden. That was not only unfair to me, but to the many clients who would benefit from my work. I was dipping my toe in the ocean of what I could do, when I really needed to plunge in.

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Starting with research: who, what why?
In order for me to represent my business’s brand with it’s authentic story, I had to go through my own creative process. I asked myself the big questions:

  • What values and beliefs do I hold in my business? What is my mission in serving my clients?
  • What type of clients do I want to attract, and how can my brand speak to that visually?
  • If the brand was a person, what would it’s personality be? How would it look, act, and talk?
  • Who are my competitors, and how do I want to stand out from them?
  • What emotional associations do I want attached to my personal brand?

There were also some questions that are not so heady:

  • What colors am I drawn to? What colors do I absolutely hate?
  • What’s my budget to create business cards?
  • What time can I commit to this project?
  • Who can I partner with on skills I don’t posses, such as web development?

There were focused times of discovering my business’s purpose. I felt exhilarated with a sense of direction and change. I was really doing this! Along with that, there were also times where I sludged through the process. I spent more time than I’d like to admit looking at the thesaurus to find the perfect words for Germinate’s business essence: germinate, sprout, bud, develop, generate, live, originate, pullulate… wait, ‘pullulate?’ I cut myself off at those times, reigning in what was important: my brand must be clear, true, and durable.

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Drafting the blueprint: get me a good creative brief!
Finally, I distilled my research into a creative brief.  A creative brief is a document that defines and informs the design project. It has a bunch of important information: what the project is, who it is for, the business background and mission, who the competitors are, the visual direction, and more. (I’ll be writing more about the importance of creative briefs in later posts. Stay tuned!)

Think of the brief as the blueprint to the work at task. I use creative briefs for all of my design projects. My brief included that useful information, along with the visual direction for the brand, what colors I wanted to use (or not use), and imagery I wanted to incorporate.

With all of that work done, I was ready to design my visual identity, logo, and website. I finally had a mission: to help existing companies and organizations feel more empowered by being their partner in design. Sweet.

Next question: How could the design of my brand identity speak to that?

Ooh! What a cliffhanger! Next week, stay tuned for Part 2 about how I designed and launched my new brand, and how to know if you might be ready for a change, too. Want to learn more about rebranding your business? Get in touch.

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Client Kudos

TRUSTID has a complex story to present, and Maria has always made it easier and faster to grasp. We deliver a highly complex solution, and her design sense and communication skills have made our story clear, logical and easy to understand to our prospects. Maria has been so easy to work with. On time and on budget while exceeding our expectations each time. We are completely pleased with her work.

Patrick C., Chairman and CEO