3 Things You Need to Know Before Rebranding.
Updated: May 6, 2018
First of all, before I dive into what I've learned about the rebrand process, let me just say - Whaddup people! Welcome to our first blog post! It's been quite the journey getting here.
I'm pretty much the worst at writing & have been my whole life, (in fact, I sucked so much so, my high school English teacher wrote my college application paper for me...shhh, don't tell) but I appreciate your interest into Give Ten Co. & want to keep y'all up-to-date on what's happening around here!
So this week we officially rebranded from Contrast Collective to Give Ten Co! *yay* (If you've only ever known us as Give Ten Co., here's some history about us.)
We formed Contrast Collective in October of 2016 because of a deep love and partnership with Solidarity (www.solidaritynpo.org), a non-profit in Fullerton, CA, that provides after-school programs, workshops, immigration services, and much more. I (Hannah) was working as their Graphic Designer at the time, and after being inspired by a friend, began to think about creating a social enterprise (a business that helps raise money for a non-profit) that partnered with them.
I thought about how cool it would be to form a collective of artists who committed to giving 10% towards a specific Solidarity program called Workforce Development. This program teaches workplace skills to young adults from low-income neighborhoods, something I was very passionate about. I reached out to several artists I knew within the Solidarity context, and the feedback was super positive. Thus, we joined together & called ourselves "Contrast Collective" in order to set ourselves apart than others in the freelance world.
A year and a half went by, and our little collective started to grow. I moved to Augusta, GA, with my military husband in 2017, and started to network with the Augusta small business community. I began to realize that as my clientele expanded, something had to change.
But change is super scary, so I fought it hard for about a year.
Eventually I came to a conclusion. Even though I absolutely adored the Solidarity community & everything they stood for, we needed to loosen up our options for giving. I wanted Contrast Collective to be a space where clients could rally behind our cause, and unfortunately, my Augusta clients simply had no idea what Solidarity was or why they should care about them.
So after a lot of time discussing my hopes and vision for our collective with close business friends (S/O Rachel of rachelfrisell.com) I decided we needed to rebrand to Give Ten Co. We would still be a bunch of freelancers who gave 10% of our proceeds to a great cause, however each artist would choose up to 3 charities in their local communities to partner with (& then the client would get to choose which one to give to!) Also, the name "Give Ten Co." was sooooo much easier to say than "Contrast Collective," and would be much simpler for new-comers to understand what we do.
Instead of focusing on a single cause &"setting ourselves apart," we're much more inclusive & are now focused to simply share the love in our local communities by giving 10%.
This move gives us much more opportunity for growth. As we potentially move to new communities, gain new committed artists, and grow our clientele, we can continue to make an impact, while connecting our clients to local charities we each individually care about.
ANYWAYS, I hope you learned a little more about our reason behind rebranding. Now! For the rebranding tips!
1. It's a lot of work.
I think this is probably pretty obvious. However, if you're thinking about rebranding, I want to give you a solid idea of how much work it actually is. Here's a breakdown of everything I had to do and how much time it took doing it...
+ CREATING A NEW NAME
- This is most likely the largest part of your rebrand process. Either your current name isn't having the impact you'd hope, or it no longer aligns with your mission. Our name change was a little bit of both.
- Coming up with a new name is a lot harder than you would think. Nowadays, EVERYTHING YOU COULD EVER THINK OF is typically taken already on social media. & something so important for your biz is to have consistent social media handles across the board. You also have to balance coming up with a creative name (one that might not be taken already), and also coming up with a name that will make sense to your current following. Luckily Contrast Collective doesn't have a huge following yet, so changing over to Give Ten Co. didn't confuse our followers much.
- We had a surprisingly easy process of finding a new name. I brainstormed for probably 5 hours on my own, writing down different adjectives, attempting to figure out what we stood for & what we could be called. Then, I randomly went to coffee with a friend and the topic just came up. She's pretty much the coolest, and after several minutes of brainstorming, she said,
"What if you focused on the giving back part, like 'pay it forward' or "give ten.'"
I did a quick search on Instagram, Facebook, & the internets, and amazingly enough "Give Ten Co." was available! It probably only took a total of 6 hours to come up with a new name. However, I have another friend going through a similar rebrand process who has more of a following, and it's been quite the struggle bus for her. She's finally landed on a solid name, but it probably took her 4-5 weeks & pages upon pages of ideas for the solution to arrive.
- If you're thinking about rebranding & don't know where to start, I highly suggest the Brand Deck. I didn't use it bc I didn't know of it until after, but my friend loved it and found it very helpful to decipher & discover describing words for her brand.
+ REDESIGNING EVERYTHAANNGGGG
- Ok first of all, I'm a designer. So this is, like, my jam. I LOVE creating brands & systems & templates, so redesigning for the rebrand was super fun for me, and I probably spent longer on these than absolutely necessary. It also didn't cost me any $$$ because I was able to do it all myself. However, if you're not a designer & thinking about rebranding, you should plan on spending some money and hiring a professional.
Let me break down how much time it took, so you can get an idea for yourself, our how much you'll be paying your professional.
- Redesigning the logo. At least 20 hours. Probably not the item that took the most amount of time, but definitely the most important item to get right. This is the face of your business, so you want this more than anything else to have a clear look, atmosphere, and meaning.
- Redesigning the website. At LEAST 30 hours. Depending on the web hosting, some sites will be easier to edit than others. Our site is made through Wix, which gives me a lot of freedom as the designer, but also takes a long time to edit each small detail.
- Redesigning the copy writing. At least 12 hours. Re-thinking and re-wording how you describe who you are to the world is really important when it comes to your rebrand (as well as any business in general - rebrand aside!) I know I struggle with words, so I did some free trainings online, attempting to educate myself on how to write good website copy. You can be the judge of how well I executed - haha!
- Redesigning everything else/preparing for the rebrand launch. At least 30 hours. Everything from the Facebook banner, Instagram stories, Pinterest posts, business cards, EVERYTHING's gotta be allll changed over to match your new brand and that takes TIME. Hopefully by now, you've redesigned your logo & website, so it will be simple for you to use the same fonts/colors/layouts that you've been using everywhere else (at least it was for me!) If you're struggling and feel like you don't have a cohesive "look", perhaps check out my free PDF workbook called "7 Easy ways to Improve your Biz Branding," for some talk on how to make things consistent. You can get it by signing up for my email list: Get the Freebie!
2. Make sure your priorities are strait.
Ok, so this is something I continually had to remind myself throughout this process. I love re-designing things and will often be scrolling Pinterest or Instagram finding beautifully designed websites or logos & think, "We could change ___ to look more like that!" But change isn't ALWAYS better.
I think there are so many beautiful, solid brands out there that it's easy to get discouraged. Maybe you're thinking you need to rebrand bc you've found another site or Insta profile who portrays their brand in a way you really admire. Or maybe trends have changed, and now certain colors are in season, or you've discovered a new font you love (Helloooo, that's me ALL the time.)
Our personal likes & dislikes are constantly evolving, but it is important to portray a clear and consistent brand to our clients & followers. Because ultimately guys, we're trying to sell stuff. And in order to do that effectively, you need to be able to connect with your following. If you're changing things up every couple months, you're just going to confuse people.
So, if you're thinking hard about rebranding, maybe ask yourself some of these questions before proceeding:
- What is my target audience? Are they connecting with my current brand?
- What are my long-term goals? Do they align with my current brand?
- Is my current brand clear? Is it attributing to my business growth?
- Is my current brand bringing me joy?
3. Change is scary, but your business will be better for it.
Finally, if you've assessed how much work will go into rebranding, answered the questions above, and decided this isn't just a fad--its essential to rebrand your business in order to grow, then my friend, take the leap! I'm telling you, your business will be better for it.
If this rebrand is going to connect to your audience on a deeper level, give you more joy, and better align with your long-term goals - the only solution your rebrand will bring is business growth.
It's A LOT of work, & if this is your side hustle, it's going to take quite a few late nights to get the work done. A little advice... Don't rush it. Make sure you've thought of every possibility. Do the research! And when you finally launch your rebrand, make sure you're able to clearly explain to the world who you are & why you're important.
Wow! that was a lot. I hope it either inspired you, or made you ask the hard questions.
Until next time, my friend!
- Hannah @ Give Ten Co.