The Creative's Guide to Rebranding, Part 3: Brand Asset Creation
Last time we chatted about how to really nail down the heart of your brand. Now it’s time to create the assets that will reflect your brand appropriately.
This is where we operationalize all of the insights you developed in the Reflect & Position phase. If you have a very clear idea of your renewed brand values, mission, and ideal customer personas, it shouldn’t be too painful, and dare I say, it should be fun. Creating all of these assets at the front end will save you a lot of time and headache later on once your rebrand has gone live.
I’m about to hit you with a lot of information, so here’s what I’ll be covering:
- Brand Word Bank
- Visual Brand Attributes
- Keyword Planning
- Content Plan
- Email Signature & Templates
- Image Creation
- Website Update
Brand Word Bank
Come up with a word bank of phrases and words that you’ll want to use frequently. Some of these could be your taglines, some could be descriptors you’ll want associated with your products or services, some could be Call-To-Actions. Utilize your brand values here to guide the creation of this word bank. The point is to have a ready-made list of copy to pull from to ensure you stay on-brand.
Visual Brand Attributes
Select your brand colors and fonts. Don’t pick too many of either-- you want your visuals to be recognizable and associable. You might consider your brand values here too-- if your values include courage and bravery, reds will play to your favor, but if your values include serenity or rejuvenation, softer colors like pastels will serve you better. Do a little research on the psychology of color if you want to get scientific about it. You’ll likely also need a new or updated logo. Unless you yourself are a designer, you probably want to leave this in the hands of a professional.
Next, create a visual moodboard. You can use Pinterest or Designspiration, or you can do it old school and clip from magazines to create a physical one on a corkboard or your wall. Your mood board will serve as inspiration for your own photography or graphic design. Here consider both your brand values and your ideal customer personas-- what sort of images would they enjoy and appreciate? Perhaps they like a good visual quote, or maybe they’re really into florals, or it’s possible that they relate to minimalism the best. Refer back to this moodboard, and continue adding to it, as you create visual content. If you’re hiring a designer or photographer to help you, share this mood board with them to guide their creative process.
Lastly, take note of any visual motifs you want to bake into your content plan. Particularly on Instagram, consistent brand colors and visual motifs ensure strong branding. A motif can be anything, from flowers, to vintage cars, to cute notebooks + pens, to lattes (a little overdone but I won’t judge you). It could even be a particular style of photo, like flat lays or stride-by shots.
Keeping your ideal customer in mind, brainstorm appropriate keywords to use for SEO and hashtag purposes. Remember that you’re speaking to someone, not anyone. What sort of thing would that someone search on Google or Instagram? You should have thought about this while developing your ideal customer personas so this shouldn’t be too difficult. Utilize tools like Google AdWords or Google Keyword Planner to identify some of your keywords, along with your website’s analytics dashboard to see what people have been searching to arrive at your site. SEO is beyond the scope of this article but I trust you’re resourceful enough to determine how to implement your keywords.
When it comes to hashtags, you’ll need to do a lot of research within the Instagram app itself. Identify relevant industry hashtags that vary in popularity and specificity. Use ALL 30 of your allowed hashtags. Most of your hashtags should have fewer than 500,000 posts under their feed. It’s okay to use a few large popular hashtags that have 1 million + posts but your chance of being discovered in that feed when someone searches it is very low since there’s such frequent turnover. You’re better off targeting a lot of smaller hashtags with 10,000-100,000 posts, because you’re more likely to make it into the top posts and you’re more likely to be seen, period. Just make sure it’s an active hashtag that someone would intuitively search for.
Update your bio on your social platforms and website to reflect your rebrand. It’s helpful to have bio options of varying length, so come up with at least a short and long version. For guidance on creating an effective Instagram bio, check out this how-to.
Now is when your ideal customer personas really get put to work. Thinking back to what sorts of things your ideal customer would be searching, what they’d be frustrated with, and what their aspirations are, develop a content plan that caters to their needs and questions. Identify what content types will resonate with them (video, downloadable worksheets, blog posts, newsletter, etc.) and come up with a long list of concepts and/or titles. It’s helpful to have a brain dump list, Google Doc, or Trello board, where you can dump any potential ideas you have or topics you want to cover. Then map out your content calendar for a few weeks or months, keeping in mind the frequency with which your ideal customer looks for the sort of content you’ll be providing. Take into account your own capacity too-- consider spending your time on fewer pieces of high quality content, then set aside some time to create a good amount of lower effort fun fluff pieces.
Email Signature & Templates
Update your email signature to reflect your rebrand. You might want to include your new logo and/or brand colors, along with any sort of quirky tagline that speaks to your brand identity. Take some time to also create some email templates if your line of work necessitates a lot of emailing. Gmail’s canned responses feature is super helpful for storing templates. This will save you a lot of time if you find yourself typing the same things over and over again to different recipients. Don’t forget to put your brand word bank to work while developing your templates!
Identify organizations, brands, and individuals you want to collaborate with. This could be online publications or communities you’d like to contribute to, peers that you want to partner with for a webinar or social media campaign, or maybe brands you want to work with on a giveaway. Collaborations can take a lot of different shapes, so get creative here. Once your rebrand has launched, start reaching out to potential collaborators. Collaborations are vital for building and expanding your audience, and strengthening your credibility and social proof.
Start creating visuals that reflect your visual mood board, including some that fit your motif(s). You may want to create some for your website, and also some starter visual content for your social platforms so that you have a backlog of content to pull from until you get your feet under you post-rebrand-launch. This could also include visual quotes, utilizing your brand colors and fonts.
Utilizing all of these assets, give your website an overhaul. The copy should reflect your values and utilize your keywords and brand word bank. The visuals should reflect your mood board. The FAQ (if applicable) should address the questions and concerns your potential clients or customers would have.
Alright people. That’s a lot of information, but I promise, you is smart, you is kind, you is important. You’re more than capable of tackling your rebrand like a boss.
And to help you kick rebrand ass, I made you a nifty checklist.
Creative Community Developer at Snapfluence.
I'm the Oxford comma's biggest fan.