Why do companies rebrand?

What is a rebrand?

A rebrand is a moment when a company or organisation takes a fresh look at their public face and personality: how they look, how they talk, their logo, colours, typeface, imagery, and communication touchpoints, such as their website. A rebrand is a big moment for any organisation. So why do companies rebrand? Let’s look at some of the main reasons you might be considering it.

To professionalise your brand

Many brands we talk to at this stage are like houses that have been built without planning permission. They started off one shape and then tacked an extension on the side, a shed on the roof, and dug an unstable basement. In brand terms that means the brand has evolved without any coordination. Someone has designed a logo for a product or service, someone else has written the blog content, someone again has briefed an agency to add website content. It’s just how it happened. But it’s not joined up, coherent or efficient.

To mark a change in your brand’s journey

Companies considering a rebrand are often at an inflexion point. Perhaps they’ve got a new owner, or just a new marketing director. Maybe they’re launching a new product or service. Maybe it’s an anniversary, or there’s a need to counteract some adverse publicity. In all these situations the question is how big a change? Should it be an evolution or an evolution? A tweak or a complete refresh?

To stand out from other brands

This is perhaps the best reason of all, and the reason brands exist in the first place. Successful brands are those that are clearly differentiated and memorable. Through the way they talk, the way they look, and the way they act. One of the things we’re constantly saying to clients and potential clients is ‘Don’t sell the category, sell yourself’. It means that once a customer or client has decided they need the product or service you offer, they have to make a choice between you and your nearest competitors. Sure, much of that decision is rational but much of it isn’t. Creating an emotional connection liberates you from getting ‘down in the weeds’ of product minutiae. It’s about having a distinct personality, being yourself and expressing it clearly.

 

 

Why would you even need a rebrand?

There are lots of reasons for the timing of a decision to rebrand but whenever it happens, there are strong commercial imperatives

  • To be remembered
  • To be seen
  • To stand out from the herd
  • To cut through and sellRebrand

What kind of company needs a rebrand?

Every kind of business can benefit from continuing to refine and develop a clear personality. Even – or especially – complex, technical, and B2B businesses. Often direct-to-consumer businesses are streets ahead in their appreciation of the importance of their brand. But the same people who commission professional services at work buy Crunchy Nut Cornflakes in their home life. B2B clients are still human, and there is still emotion connected to their decision to choose your brand.

What does a rebrand cost?

Companies can spend any amount of money on a rebrand from thousands to hundreds of thousands. The most cost efficient way to approach a project like this is to set clear parameters, expectations, and outputs. The vaguer your briefing to a supplier, the more time they’re going to have to spend figuring it out and the more it’s going to cost. Our advice is to start with your brand voice. Our process is to uncover an organising idea that sits at the core of your business and then express it in motivating and inspiring language that can be used across touchpoints. We provide this core service at a flat fee. Once you have this, briefing a designer for a new logo is much easier. It means they have a target to aim at, rather than it being a case of ‘I’ll know it when I see it’. Brand Voice Agency can help with everything from research and strategy, creating an organising idea and expressing it in guidelines, all elements of design including logo, colours, typefaces, imagery, full visual guidelines and expression of them as a website and any other touchpoints.
We’ve helped every kind of brand, from those needing a sensitive approach to men’s health, to those needing to add humanity to management consultancy.Talk to Brand Voice Agency today, to uncover your distinctive brand voice. Email contact@brandvoice.agency

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How much does branding cost?

Branding is one of the most important investments your organisation will ever make, but how much does branding cost? Before you brief an agency, a designer or any other external supplier, it’s worth doing a little homework. All too often, costs can run on, and scope creep can make branding much more expensive than you’d ever budgeted for.

The first question you should ask yourself is, what exactly do we need?

Things you might need to create your brand:

  1. Logo
    Every brand needs a logo. But how do you brief a designer to create one? How will the designer know whether it’s right? How will you judge whether it’s right? Subjectively? In a customer focus group? Against a checklist of requirements?

  2. Colours
    As with your logo, what parameters are in place to judge 
    which colours are right? Have you done competitor analysis? How much do you want to stand out? How much do you want to fit in?

  3. Typography
    This is often where many client’s eyes start to glaze over. If you’ve spent your career in financial services or healthcare, you may never previously have been asked for your opinion on a ligature or a sans serif, or ever debated the relative merits of Garamond and Caslon. So how will you know you’re getting this part right?

  4. Imagery
    Should your brand’s imagery be optimistic and human, or subtle and abstract? Illustrative or 
    photographic? Bold and challenging or soothing and reassuring? Will you need to see all the options to know what’s right?

  5. Brand voice
    In our opinion this should be number 1, not number 5. But all too often, organisations’ checklist follow 1-4 and and stop there. However, thinking about your brand voice first, gives you the answers to most of the other questions. If you’ve uncovered and articulated the personality at the heart of your brand, it’s much easier to brief a designer to create a logo, colours, typography and imagery that expresses it. And much less of a moving target for them to aim at.


You might know what you need, but do you know what you need to budget?

Before you brief anyone to create or update your brand, do you have an idea of what you’re happy to spend? The truth is that you could spend anywhere between a few hundred and few hundred thousand pounds, depending on who you brief and how long and complicated the process turns out to be.

How much does branding cost,
is a different question to
how much can branding cost

Across the marketing and design industries, the average agency hourly rate is £97, while more expensive companies will charge £131/hr for junior people and up to £310/hr for their director’s time. So you can see how costs could very quickly rack up.

Alternatively, you could go cheap and cheerful and get a local designer to knock you something out for a grand or so.

But remember, you’re going to have to live with the result for a long time. It’s your public face, your calling card, your identity. So it has to be worth taking seriously, if not crazily expensively.

At Brand Voice Agency, we try to position our costs somewhere between the two extremes.

That’s why we think it’s useful to offer flat fees on certain projects, and to discuss client budgets in an atmosphere of collaboration and transparency.

If you know you can only afford £3,000, tell us. It’s a small budget and less than we’d advise most organisations to set aside. But not every company is the same size or at the same stage. We’ve helped clients like this, and we’re yet to turn anyone away (after all, we see trusted relationships as an investment in our own company’s future).

We’ve costed our Core Services on a flat fee basis, so you can develop your brand voice for as little as £2,500. Once you have this fundamental building block in place, design elements can be created far less painfully and expensively. After all, a designer with a clearly defined and tight brief is going to charge many fewer hours than one who’s given woolly, open-ended direction.

Brand Voice Agency are able to help prevent other costs mounting up exponentially. We can provide every kind of service to express your brand from logo, colours, typography and imagery to web build, videography, photography, website copy, advertising, blogging, social media etc., etc. We’re happy to change for these services in any number of ways, from hourly/daily/weekly/monthly fees to pre-agreed, all-in flat costs.

In our view the best way to answer the question, “How much does branding cost?” is through dialogue, collaboration, and trusted relationships. The honest answer is that it could cost pretty much anything. But talking to a partner you trust in a spirit of honesty and teamwork is the best way to find a solution that suits you, not only in terms of the quality of the outcome, but the level of investment you can justify.

We’ve helped every kind of brand, from those needing a sensitive approach to men’s health, to those needing to add humanity to management consultancy.
Talk to Brand Voice Agency today, to uncover your distinctive brand voice. Email contact@brandvoice.agency

See our prices

Who needs a brand voice agency?

We’re often asked who needs a brand voice agency. In other words, what kind of clients come to us for help?
Well, every kind actually. But three sorts in particular.

who needs a brand voice agency

Three types of client who need a brand voice agency

  1. Startups looking for funding
    We say it until we’re blue in the face: “The investor pitch is the customer pitch is the investor pitch”. In other words, the best way to engage investors is to present what your eventual customer will see. Show them the excitement and vision of your brand. Sure, there’s going to be a lot of money talk. But the best way to persuade an investor to part with some is to first get them excited about your brand.
    That’s why we work with a lot of startups to help them distill the essence of their offering into something snappy, memorable and motivating. Get the words right, and it gives a designer more of a target to shoot at.
    Startups who start with brand voice, end up with investor pitch decks that are much more considered, persuasive, and slick.

  2. Startups with funding, ready to launch
    A lot of clients come to us once they’ve raised funds and are ready to launch themselves into the market, usually starting with a website. We help them uncover an organising thought that can either inform design. Or if design already exists, add brand language to it, that makes the design more effective. Once we’ve done the groundwork of creating the brand voice, writing any kind of communication from the website, to social posts, to advertising is much easier.who needs a brand voice agency

  3. Established brands at an inflection point
    The
    clients with the most demanding projects tend to be the most established. Very often they’ve been around for five or 10 years. And usually, the impetus to reconsider their brand (and brand voice) is being driven by a new hiring, for example the arrival of a CMO. Other times, the existing management of an organisation has decided that it may be time to professionalise their public face.
    In these cases, we tend to find that the brand has grown like a house without planning permission, with a shed tacked on here, a wonky loft extension there, and an unsightly granny flat added round the back. Our job is then to help the company rationalise where they’ve got to and why, and what elements are worth taking forward. These kinds of clients tend to have a little more time to think about their direction than the other two sorts. And of course, better budgets too. At the same time, it can be challenging to unlearn old habits, and a lot of our effort is focused on stakeholder engagement. Listening to the different views around the organisation to ensure everyone has an opportunity to contribute.

who needs a brand voice agency?

Whichever kind of company you are, and even if you match none of the stereotypes outlined here, we can help you refine your core offering, and provide you with a brand voice that expresses your distinctiveness. To answer the question, ‘who needs a brand voice agency?’ we’d respectfully suggest the answer is EVERYONE.

We’ve helped every kind of brand, from those needing a sensitive approach to men’s health, to those needing to add humanity to management consultancy.
Talk to Brand Voice Agency today, to uncover your distinctive brand voice. Email contact@brandvoice.agency

What are the ingredients of a brand voice?

What makes your brand voice? Is it a certain tone? A focus on particular topics? A distinctive way of phrasing your services? It’s all of these things, and more. Try our failsafe recipe to create your own delicious brand language.

ingredients brand voice

Your recipe for a distinctive brand voice

  • Start by warming a large pan of research
    Who are you? Who are your competitors? What are they saying? How are you similar? How are you different? How do your key stakeholders write and present?

  • Mix raw ingredients into an organising idea
    Taking what you’ve learnt about your brand’s points of difference, personality and attitude, uncover an organising idea that sits at the core of your brand. What we’re looking for is a simple but inspiring
    sentence that you can build on.

  • Stir into a stock of phrases
    At this point, it’s useful to flesh out your organising idea into a few paragraphs of text. Some call this a manifesto, others a brand story. In any
    case, what you’re aiming to create is a ‘treasury’ of words and phrases. Agreed ways of talking about your brand, service, and products, that you can dip in and out of, whatever you’re writing.

ingredients brand voice pot

  • Chop into snappy lines
    Now that you have an
     organising idea and long-form voice, it’s useful to create some pithier expressions of it, in the form of headlines that can be used in advertising, webpages, email subjects, or anything else you need. We find these are often the best way to bring to life a distinctive tone. Write loads and see what feels right and what doesn’t. 

  • Sprinkle adjectives
    Now, stand back and see what it all adds up to. How would you describe the tone that’s emerged? Try and be original (everyone says ‘professional’, ‘approachable’, ‘friendly’). less familiar words like ‘zesty’ or ‘affectionate’ can really stand out, and inspire you to remember what makes your brand different.

  • Serve with a “do and don’t” list
    What you don’t say is almost as important as what you do say. So think about those industry or sector clichés like “solutions”, “thinking outside the box”, “state of the art” etc. How can you say them in your own voice? How can you stand out in a world where so much language washes over you in a generic tide?

  • Get the best people in the ‘kitchen’
    Probably the most reliable way to develop a successful brand voice is to choose the best people to help you create it. Brand Voice Agency are skilled in getting under the skin of a brand very quickly, and working in a collaborative way to help you uncover your distinctive tone and language as painlessly as possible.

We’ve helped every kind of brand, from those needing a sensitive approach to men’s health, to those needing to add humanity to management consultancy.
Talk to Brand Voice Agency today, to uncover your distinctive brand voice. Email contact@brandvoice.agency

ingredients brand voice

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10 reasons why you need a brand voice

Here are 10 reasons why you need to take your brand voice seriously. After all, Everything you say or write on behalf of your organisation adds up to your brand voice. You may not have planned it, but by default or design, it exists. However, the chances are, that unless you’ve seriously thought about it (ideally with some expert external help) it will be inconsistent and lack the distinctiveness every brand needs to succeed.

See ‘Why do you need a manifesto’

Top 10 reasons why you need a brand voice:

  1. To join up all your comms channels into one consistent personality
    If you speak one way on your website, another way on LinkedIn and use another style again on your social channels, customers or clients who read more than one will be confused. Are you informal or traditional, snappy or flowery, hard sell or seductive, humorous or earnest? If the answer is ‘it depends who wrote it’, you have a problem.

  2. To stand out against your competitors
    In every industry the market leader tends to set the tone. Their challengers often fall into the trap of thinking that sounding the same
    is the only way to be seen as legitimate and trustworthy. But the opposite is true. What can you do to provide a recognisable alternative?

  3. To avoid making generic statements
    In most markets the same stock phrases come up time after time. Everybody’s ‘celebrating success’, being ‘solutions oriented’, and committing themselves to being ‘sustainabily-focused’. Yadda, yadda. The question is, what makes you different? And if you don’t sound it, are you really?

  4. To find original ways to say familiar things
    Of course, sometimes there are ‘hygiene’ factors and must-haves that you need to cover to provide reassurance. But that shouldn’t mean pasting it in from a competitor. Every sentence you write or publish is an opportunity to be memorable.

  5. To maximise your spend and avoid splintered and ineffective messaging
    Good websites don’t come cheap (sadly, nor do bad ones). Advertising costs a pretty packet too. So what’s the point in spending company money on a style of messaging in one channel, if it’s not reflected in the others? Why run a social media campaign that links to a website that looks and sounds totally different? Or  relaunch your website without updating your LinkedIn page? 

  6. To remind yourselves what makes you special and different
    Even the most senior and long-serving people in an organisation can forget what makes their brand special. The day-to-day can take over, allowing tactical considerations to submerge any idea of an overarching narrative. A strong brand voice ensures you know who you are, new recruits do, and so do
    people who interview for roles at every level from the C-suite to the suite cleaners.

  7. To remind clients or customers why you’re special and different
    Most importantly, a strong brand voice ensures
    clients and customers both existing and new, know who you are and feel they’ve made a distinct choice that’s right for them.

  8. To simplify your offering into easily communicable human terms
    Emotion is a word we use a lot to Brand Voice Agency. Especially to clients who work in fields where they imagine everything they do is rational. Humans aren’t like that, and whether they’re choosing cereal, or Exchange Traded Funds, they’re ultimately guided by their gut. Your brand voice helps you speak to them, human-to-human.

  9. To stand for something
    At the heart of every distinctive brand voice is an organising thought. Once you’ve uncovered that, your brand voice flows naturally from it.

  10. To avoid standing for just anything
    As the saying goes, ‘if you don’t stand for something, you’ll stand for anything’. Your brand voice helps you remain distinctive at all times and create affinity with a loyal core of 
    customers. You can’t be everything to everybody, but the aim is to be the perfect fit for enough people to make your brand a consistent success.

We’ve helped every kind of brand, from those needing a sensitive approach to men’s health, to those needing to add humanity to management consultancy.
Talk to Brand Voice Agency today, to uncover your distinctive brand voice. Email contact@brandvoice.agency

A range of services to communicate your brand

𝗜𝘁’𝘀 𝗻𝗼𝘁 𝘄𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗸𝗻𝗼𝘄, 𝗯𝘂𝘁 𝘄𝗵𝗼 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗸𝗻𝗼𝘄. That’s not a defence of nepotism or elitism but an offer of help. Brand Voice Agency are here to make your life easier by providing range of services to communicate your brand to customers, easily, inexpensively, and at the highest quality.

Full service

 

🎤Brand voice strategy and guidelines? Tick (naturally).

✍️Copy? Tick.

🎨Design? Tick.

But also:

👩🏽‍💻Web development

🔍 SEO

🎬Video shooting and editing

📸 Photography

☎️Media planning and buying

👍🏻Display and social banner production

📧Email strategy and delivery

Whether you’re in a marketing role in a client company or an agency, you can turn on any or all of these range of services to communicate your brand to customers whenever you need them. And even better, turn them off again when you don’t.

All our partners have long established, trusted relationships with Brand Voice Agency. In short, we’ve found the right people, so you don’t have to. It’s the result of our Founder having spent a long career in the marketing and advertising industry. Graham‘s book of contacts is enviable and he can assemble just the right bespoke team for pretty much any project within days or even hours. We only use grownups who get it, which means we offer solutions that are better quality, based on greater experience, and that we thus produce faster. We believe the right work comes out of having the right conversations. That’s why we make ourselves readily available via phone, email, Slack, Zoom, Teams, Google Meet – whatever suits you.

So if you need a new website, some advertising, a deep dive into your strategic positioning, or just a video to capture an event, give us a shout.

It’s not what you know but who you know – especially when you know people who know what you don’t.

𝘾𝙖𝙡𝙡 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙘𝙖𝙫𝙖𝙡𝙧𝙮: www.brandvoice.agency

LI 15-10-23

 

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Email Marketing 101

Email Marketing 101: Reviving the Charm of Pre-Internet Customer Service

Brand Voice Agency’s email marketing partner, Magda Kolesinski gives us a masterclass in her specialist field.

In the rapidly evolving digital age, it’s fascinating how we’re circling back to some good, old-fashioned principles of customer engagement.

Email marketing, especially for those just starting, is a perfect example. With the growing interest in this channel, it’s crucial to sift through the noise and get down to what really matters. So, let’s break it down, shall we?

To truly grasp the essence of email marketing, let’s take a little trip down memory lane, back to the pre-internet era. Imagine an ecommerce website as a quaint shop in a village. Now, in this analogy, email marketing plays the role not of the shop itself, but of the friendly, attentive store assistants. These assistants are the ones who greet every customer at the door, guide them through the aisles, and help them find exactly what they need. They chat, they listen, and they make tailored recommendations based on the customers’ responses. Their goal? To make every visitor feel valued, understood, and eager to return.

This is what email marketing in the digital realm is all about – fostering genuine connections with customers, akin to the personalised attention of a dedicated store assistant. It’s about making your audience feel like they’re being guided through your virtual ‘shop’ with care and attention.

With this vision in mind, here are three golden rules for brands just starting with email marketing:

  1. Ensure Your Emails Reach Your Audience This might sound basic, but it’s vital. Just like how a customer ignored by store assistants might walk out, an email that doesn’t land in the inbox is a lost opportunity. Make sure your email platform is fine-tuned so your messages are warmly received, not lost in the digital ether.
  2. Focus on Relationships, Not Just Sales The key is to gently introduce your customers to your brand world. Avoid the hard sell or the immediate push for discounts. It’s about letting them fall in love with your brand, much like a good store assistant would take their time to make a new customer feel welcome, instead of hustling them to the cash register.
  3. Personalisation is Everything Customising your communication is non-negotiable. Collect data about your customers and adjust your messaging to align with their preferences and needs. Just like a store assistant would recommend products based on a customer’s feedback, your emails should reflect an understanding and anticipation of your customers’ desires.

Before you jump into complex strategies and intricate testing, make sure these basics are solid. Your emails should reach your audience, speak in your unique brand voice, and deliver a personalised experience. This approach will not only draw customers in but also keep them coming back.

 

Magda and her business partner, Olga de Villiers

So there you have it – Email Marketing 101: a beginner’s guide to email marketing, inspired by the timeless charm of pre-internet customer service. Let’s bring that personal touch back to the digital world!

Find out more about It’s Personal Agency

Brand Voice Agency’s Full Service offering

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Trust real intelligence not AI

Why scrape the internet
when you can scrape our experience?

At Brand Voice Agency we believe that you should trust real intelligence not AI. AI is brilliant in some instances. I like spam filters. I love that my car nudges me when I stray over the white line.
Google is pretty handy, too.

So, on the surface, AI generated content sounds like a great idea. Instant content for free. What’s not to like?

Problem is, where does AI generated content come from? You might save time. You’ll certainly save money. But you may also lose sleep.

How do you know your copy content is accurate? How do you know it hasn’t plagiarised someone else’s work? After all, it had to come from somewhere.
How do you know a lawyer’s letter isn’t already on its way?

On the other hand, Brand Voice Agency offers highly experienced creative people who will come up with completely original concepts, copy and design.
The only prompt you need is a briefing session.

Once we get to work, we don’t scour the internet but our influences. We don’t scrape other people’s sites, but our own imagination. And we don’t base our solutions on what’s already out there, but on our experience of what works.

When it comes to your brand and how it’s communicated, trust real intelligence not AI. Because real intelligence is much more reassuring than the Artificial kind.

 

Main image Alexandra Koch

 

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Our partnership with Paragon PR

Announcing our partnership with Paragon PR

Brand Voice Agency and  Paragon PR have agreed a partnership to benefit both our client rosters.

Paragon are experts in getting their clients into “conversations that matter”. Established in 2012, the agency has offices in London, New York and Colorado, servicing financial, fintech, crypto, emerging technology, and other forward-looking firms. Paragon takes a messaging-led route to building strong, sustainable and results-focused brands. Their clients include the identity and risk management experts FastPath, the regulatory compliance platform Star Compliance, the trading platform Millennium, and the blockchain pioneers, XDC Network. Brand Voice Agency’s founder, Graham Pugh has a long established relationship with Paragon, having worked for them part-time as a Brand Strategist since 2021. This ensures that the partnership is built on personal trust and an established working relationship.

The partnership means we can introduce Brand Voice Agency clients to a rich and award-winning level of PR service, provided by Paragon’s extremely skilled and respected teams in both the US and London. Paragon is a repository of in-depth knowledge of financial services and fintech, as well as proven PR techniques honed over many decades. Whether you’re in financial services, fintech or professional services, you can connect to added scale and depth of support, and enjoy seamless access to the US market.

Meanwhile, Brand Voice Agency perfectly complements Paragon by providing a raft of services including:

💡   Advertising and social media concepts

✍️  Copy

🎨   Design

👩🏽‍💻   Web development

🎬   Video shooting and editing

☎️   Media planning and buying

👍🏻   Display and social banner production

📧   Email strategy and delivery

📸    Photography

It all adds up to a reassuring combination of experience, expertise, scale and reach that marks an exciting new chapter for both agencies.

Find out more about Paragon PR

Brand Voice Agency’s Full Service offering

 

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Give us a shout

We’ve worked with every kind of client from FMCG to B2B, from the highly technical to the everyday. We love getting our teeth into new brands and helping to update older ones.
Let’s chat about how we can help you find your brand voice.

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Brand Voice Agency is a trading name of Chapelseat Comms Ltd. Registered in England No. 8268219. VAT no. 164375203

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