As a niche IoT agency there is perhaps no greater feeling than signing a brand spankin' new client. And even greater is the ability to start from scratch. New brand + new logo + new website + new strategy = a designer's dream. It isn't often that a designer gets this opportunity.
Thus, the biggest thing to remember in this moment is to not get too far ahead of ourselves. We have to take it easy, focus heavily on strategy, and stay true to our process.As it often is, our process is a work in progress. We've refined and chiseled until we've gotten it almost perfect. And as we continue learn more about our robust and diverse clients, we are able to serve them even better. When it came to Wireless Watchdogs, we wanted to knock it out of the park.
When it came to Wireless Watchdogs, we wanted to knock it out of the park.
Wireless Watchdogs is a mobility management company that has been serving their customer base for over 20 years. When you've got that kind of experience, you need an agency who knows their stuff. As it turns out, that happens to be us. **Insert pat on the back here**
When we started our work for this client, their main need was a new website. The brand they had previously represented an outdated and out of touch company. This wasn't true to who they really were. So before we could delve into the website and collateral design, their brand needed an overhaul. With an in-depth brand analysis and logo redesign, we provided them with a new look that will stand the test of time. So I'll stop talking about how awesome we are and just show you. Let's dive into our logo redesign process with Wireless Watchdogs.
1. The Conversation
The magic always truly starts with a conversation between us and the client. Here at ThreeTwelve, our sales team becomes an expert on each client before we even begin signing contracts. This leads to an initial conversation between the sales team and the rest of the crew. It is important that we gain an aerial view of what our client offers their customers as well as where they stand with their goals.
After the design and development team has been debriefed, we join together with the client on a discovery workshop. This meeting includes some really important nuggets of information:
- Long and short term business and marketing needs
- Revenue goals
- Customer retention
- Close rates
In some ways, this is a recap with the sales team and project manager but for the design and development teams, this adds details that they didn't yet have. It is also an opportunity for our project manager to properly document the goals so we can look back later to ensure we are meeting the needs of the client.
- A list of top client competitors
- Competition differentiators
- Potential customer objections during the sales process
- Success of competitors
- Sales process and marketing tactics of competitors
Not only does this give our team insight into what we have to work against, it gives the client a chance to look at their competitors in a new and deeper way. Documenting these details allows our entire team to take a look and competitors and learn from their successes and failures. In the end, competitive analysis allows us to make sure our client stands out among the rest in their market.
(Check out more details on Hubspot's Persona Creation here)
When creating personas, we are giving our client's customers a face, name, and even context. This allows us to later go deeper into our user journey's and visual elements that will attract our target audience.
This meeting sounds like it has nothing to do with design but in the end it is quite the opposite. We shy away from asking our clients questions like: What colors do you like? What website designs do you like? What styles do you lean towards? Because in the end, we have to position ourselves as the the experts and our client is relying on us to make the right decision based on the needs of their customer.
In the end, we have to position ourselves as the experts and our client is relying on us to make the right decision based on the needs of their customer.
And the needs of their customer relies heavily on who the customer is. Are we dealing with men over women? What age group? Income bracket? We don't want to stereotype the customer, we just want to make sure that what our designs are appealing generally to the majority of the people who experience it. Some things are just no brainers – certain age groups may need larger text, men prefer certain colors over others, etc. What we are trying to say is knowing the customer is a key factor of the final product.
2. Design Research
When curating a new brand, research is key. We need to see what other companies in this industry are doing. In essence, our brand needs to fit in and make sense in it's industry while also standing alone and unique. An example of brand research here would be finding logos of other mobility management companies.
In addition to getting this visual encyclopedia of the competitors, now is the time to look into the client's audience and making your design decisions based on scientific studies about color, typography, and messaging.
Now that we have this overarching view of our client and their competitors, it is time to use all the knowledge we've gained and put pen to paper. Our client really wanted to stick to the dog theme so these are the icons we stuck to sketching out. It is important to sketch out at least 50 ideas to give yourself time to warm up and think outside of the box. You want to be able to get past some of the more obvious ideas that come to you first.
After you've completed the sketches, it is time to narrow some of your ideas down. We don't recommend showing sketches to the client because it is hard to really imagine them in context when they aren't yet digitzed. Of course, that is up to you. If you have a super hands on client, they may be excited to see how much work you've put into the logo without even going digital yet. Not showing the client also helps get away from the idea that these have to be picture perfect. It doesn't require a skill in drawing, just a skill in representing an idea so that you can remind yourself later.
Now that you've gotten your ideas out on paper, it's time to narrow down and digitize your favorite concepts. This is such an important step because some sketches really just don't translate once you get them into illustrator.
In this phase, color exploration isn't necessary. When you start playing with color, it can really muddy up the design. Plus you want to make sure that your logo works in a monochromatic format since that may be how it is sometimes displayed.
This is a great time to start getting some client input. Show them the digital versions while having a conversation about why you made the decisions you did. Let them know the differences between the logos and which you'd recommend.
Once the client has voiced some of their favorite of your designs, it is time to start using color and bringing everything to life. If your client already has collateral, show them your favorite options in context.
Be sure to discuss these final versions with your client as well. They may have questions and you may need to explain the different connotations that each logo gives.
It is also important to remember that your client will need time to sleep on this. Sometimes this can take a couple of weeks so that they can ensure the whole company is on board. The logo is perhaps the most important piece so it's ok if the client takes their time!
6. Final Touches + File Prep
The client is happy as a clam and we are too! It's time to clean up our files and prepare everything our client might need in their journey of marketing-induced fame. We like to include all of the following:
- .ai (packaged)
For all versions we include all of the colors they may need. Consider outline, fill, white, black, their brand colors. Also remember to outline all your fonts so that you aren't in danger of losing brand consistency!
Want to see more work for Wireless Watchdogs? Check out the case study here.
Love what you are hearing? We'd love to share our process with you. Contact us for more information about a brand audit and our brand strategy services.