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In the last month, I made the delicate decision to rebrand my company One Nine Pro. Now, I use the word “delicate” because this is a process and decision that should never be taken lightly.
I wanted to share with you why I rebranded and made this enormous step for my business because I have a hunch that there are other business owners who are contemplating this same thing. Hopefully, I can help you decide whether or not it’s right for you.
I also hope to impart some wisdom by sharing the branding mistakes I made so that you can avoid them!
Believe it or not, even though the primary focus of my business is graphic design and web development, I actually started One Nine Pro as music production company. Then it was called One Nine Productions. I was recording and producing instrumental tracks, or “beats”, for artists to use.
Over time though, through my own little ventures, I began to develop skills in design and building websites. I figured, why not add these on as services to my business? Eventually, this was what became the main focus.
I began to think about the possibility of rebranding my company so that it reflected this major shift. My company was also about to start offering publishing services for authors. It needed a name and a brand image that was broader than just production.
So, I decided to make it simple. I shortened the name to One Nine Pro, with “Pro” being a subtle change from “Productions”, but implying that we offered “professional” services. This way I would have three main branches of the business: One Nine Pro Design, One Nine Pro Production, and One Nine Pro Publishing.
So I went through the rebranding process. I designed a new logo, built a brand new website, changed color schemes, etc. And maybe you’re thinking, “Ok, end of story…” But this was actually over a year ago since I did this rebrand… yet here I am doing it again!
Don’t Make These Branding Mistakes
The truth is you shouldn’t have to rebrand significantly for at least five years within your company (and I’ll explain why in a moment). So, why am I rebranding again after only a year? Because I made these primary mistakes, that you should avoid…
(Now I want to be clear that the process of branding is much more than just designing a logo. However, for the purpose of this post, I’m going to focus on the logo design aspect.)
1. Don’t Be Too Trendy.
Your goal should be to design a logo that is timeless. This means not just going with whatever the latest design trends are because trends come and go.
You may love your logo design now, but will you love it 2 years from now? Will your logo stand out amidst all the other brands that follow that same trend?
This is the very mistake I made with my first rebrand. I designed something that I loved at first, but it did not stand the test of time. Already after a year, I was ready to change it.
2. Don’t Half Do It.
In addition to trying to be trendy, I wasn’t all in.
What I mean by that is I tried to keep some similarities with my previous music production logo. My first logo had a logo mark element of a sound wave – obviously, this had to go since I no longer offered just music production services. But the element that I kept when I rebranded was the font.
This was at a point when I was redefining my company. Because of that, this was not the time to hold back. I think I was afraid to change too much in an effort to keep some sense of brand recognition. But that was a mistake in my case because I really hadn’t developed much brand recognition up to that point.
This was my opportunity to completely reshape things and create a logo that would be unique and timeless. Between trying to be trendy, but still trying to hold on to parts of the old logo, the end result was just ok. It wasn’t something I was willing to stick with for the next 5 to 10 years.
If you’ve been in business for a long time and you have build brand recognition, it may make sense to make only subtle changes just to freshen things up, but the point is that you need to do this very intentionally. Know exactly why you are doing it!
3. Don’t Rebrand Out of Boredom.
When you create a logo that is timeless, you’re a lot less likely to get bored with your logo over time. But even if you do get bored with it, that is not the right reason to rebrand.
Your goal is to develop brand recognition. When you see the McDonald’s golden arches or Apple’s “apple” mark, you not only recognize these brands, but you associate different feelings and experiences with each one. That is the ultimate goal for your brand and your logo – to create positive brand recognition. But you can’t get there if you’re always changing things up.
4. Don’t Rush It.
When you realize that you are going for a design that will last you more than 5 years, you realize that this is not something to rush. It doesn’t have to take weeks necessarily, but you should definitely sleep on it. Make sure you really love it. Get some feedback from others, especially from your target demographic.
5. Appeal to your Target Demographic.
I know I rushed my first rebrand. In doing so, I really did not take the time to consider how my logo would appeal to my target demographic. It is so important to take the time and consider this. You should not aim for simply an attractive logo, but one that is effective. By considering your target demographic you can develop truly effective branding.
6. Do It For the Right Reasons
So, this was ultimately why I rebranded: I simply made too many mistakes the first time around. I found that I was bored and dissatisfied with my logo, and if I had done things right the first time, I know I wouldn’t be in this situation.
I recognize that I do risk losing some brand recognition by rebranding again. I’ve consciously decided that the long term benefit is worth that risk, especially because I don’t believe I have built a significant amount of brand recognition up until this point. I determined to do it right this time, to consider my target demographic and go for a unique, timeless design. Below is the final product!
On a more personal level, I also felt that this rebrand was symbolic of the place I’m at with One Nine Pro.
It is a very new season for me. I recently moved from Port-au-Prince, Haiti where I was doing missions work and supporting myself primarily through this business. My wife and I have now settled in Charleston, SC, and I’ve hit the ground running! I have a newfound dedication to growing this business.
What motivates me is the opportunity to empower others on two different levels. First, I’m not just trying to build wealth for wealth’s sake. I want to be able to continue the work we started in Haiti, and have the money to empower the partners we’ve made there.
Second, I’m a business owner and creative entrepreneur myself, so I love working with other business owners and entrepreneurs to empower them in any way I can. The way I do that is by helping them reflect success in their brand, whether through designing their logo, building their website, or however else. For me, this newfound purpose in my work was a contributing factor in choosing to rebrand.
If you’re thinking about rebranding or if you’re already in the midst of the process, I hope that you can learn from these mistakes.
And if you’ve determined that you need to move forward with branding or rebranding your business, I’d love to talk with you more. Simply click here, and we can set up a time to chat!
Have you made any of these branding mistakes? Are there any other mistakes we should look out for? Tell us in the comments below!