Brand refresh, every mug has an opinion
Get it right with a decision making model
In a collaborative environment, brand-change decisions are often hamstrung by individual perceptions, highly subjective opinions and nay-sayers. Without a decision making model in place, groups can make worse decisions than someone working in isolation.
Calling upon the rationale of individuals, personal agendas, perceptions and the like, slows and even prevents brand progression. Brand change decisions are best made systematically and with uniform context supplied to participants across the group.
In the case of deciding on a new company logo and colour palette, the following methodology should achieve a better decision, more quickly and with minimal heartache between peers.
1. Assemble a working group
Four to six team members will typically achieve better results than large groups. Involve the right people, meaning the group must be representative and balanced.
2. Establish context
Lay the foundations of context and rationale behind the brand change. This is essential to guide individual and collective thinking from the outset and keep the team focused. Try answering the following starter questions as a group, alternatively the marketing executive may present this rationale to the group:
- Why are we changing our logo and colour palette? ... our current logo is dated, to change attitudes, new competition has arrived, appeal to a new market, new ownership, our business has matured, we hate our logo etc.
- Why is it important that we make this change ? ... to remain relevant, divert attention from competitors, signify change and advancement, successfully enter a new market etc.
- What is the current state ? ... the logo is 8 years old, the icon is weak, the colours are dated for today’s tastes, our positioning statement doesn’t reflect who we are now.
- What is our desired future state ? ... slick logo which immediately infers we are very good at what we do and we are a premium brand, use of colours that reflect popular taste and our personality, better informs and appeals to our target market.
- What branding elements will best uphold the future state ? ... simplicity, clean lines, modern san serif font, striking icon, no jargon, originality, works well across many formats etc.
3. Define what a good decision looks like.
The focus is naturally not whose view is heard the loudest, but rather that a great decision has been reached. The lens with which people view the new logo designs must first consider the established context from step 2., as opposed to individual tastes.
Consolidate step 2. so that the group has a strong view or literally ‘boxes to tick’ to help qualify that a great decision has been made.
It can be extremely helpful to provide the group’s conclusions to the creative agency as part of the creative brief and indeed to include an agency representative in the working group.
4. Agree to a systematic decision-making model.
The Step Ladder Technique might start by presenting all logo and colour palette options to each group member. Then two members only, would meet to discuss their views against the established context for the brand change.
Then a third member presents their ideas BEFORE hearing the ideas that have already been discussed, and then a fourth member and so on. The group is allowed to adjust and adapt in increments and has a much better shot at reaching a healthy decision.
The Analytic Hierachy Process is a little more involved, but put simply the goal at the top of the hierarchy would be, 'to choose a new logo and colour palette'. Underneath would be numerically weighted factors or criteria, for example high visual impact, longevity, contemporary style, captures our personality and so on. Below are the alternative logo design options which are compared or matched against one another in relation to the criteria. The final decision is reached based on the results of this process.
5. Talk to the wider company about the decision and how it impacts them and the business
Naturally, once a decision is made, it is important to explain it to those affected. Talk about why you chose the alternative you did and how it affects the people involved. For example, it might mean a change of uniform, a new email signature, sales presentation templates will be altered etc. The more information you provide about benefits, risks etc, the more likely people will support the decision.
Obstacles like decision-making and not reaching consensus prevent brand change and hold organisations back. To get it right, there must be methodology not only in the design but in the decision making approach.
If your organisation is on the brink of brand change, please feel welcome to contact us today.