Archive for April, 2015

Brand implementation: phased or with a big bang?

Posted on: April 16th, 2015 by Babiche Stegeman-Snip 1 Comment

Just like there are many roads leading to Rome, there are many ways to modify a brand identity. Apart from a logo, a brand identity consists of a name, fonts, colours, iconography, and in some cases a tagline. Organisations can have multiple reasons to decide to rebrand, like mergers, repositioning or a name change.

When it comes to the implementation of a new brand identity, there are many strategies available. The two extremes are the phased implementation and the big bang implementation. Obviously, there are all sorts of gradations between these two.

Brand implementation spectrum, from phased to Big bang

Phased implementation vs. big bang
The main feature of a phased implementation is the application of the new brand identity on the basis of replacement. Stationery with the new brand identity, for example, will not be ordered until the organisation runs out of the old stationery. Phased implementation is usually linked to a specific period of time, during this time frame the old and the new brand identity will co-exist.

With a big bang implementation, the old identity will cease to exist from one moment to the other. It will completely be replaced by the new brand identity.

Strategy determination
In addition to the lead time of a rebranding or implementation project, there are a number of factors that can help you decide which implementation strategy to follow.

Costs. A new brand identity always entails costs. For example, you have to design the new brand identity carriers and to create guidelines. The replacement of the brand carriers themselves is usually charged to the organisations’ operating budget. After all, even without a new brand identity, you will need new stationery eventually.
The expenses of a big bang implementation, however, are many times higher compared to the costs of a phased implementation. This is partly due to the early amortisation of stock. Furthermore, the time frame in which the costs are incurred is relatively short, while with a phased implementation the expenses are allocated over a longer period of time.

Brand impact and target audience. During a phased implementation the old and the new brand identity co-exist. This can be confusing for your target audience. On the other hand, it can be equally confusing when a brand suddenly stops to exists, as is the case with a big bang implementation. Therefore communication with your target audience is essential, regardless of the strategy you choose. In one of our projects, CEVA Logistics (former TNT Logistics), we have rebranded the organisation with a big bang strategy. At the moment of the revealing of the new brand identity, the speech of the CEO was watched at all CEVA offices worldwide via a live stream. During the project, even the project members did not know what the new name of the organisation would be until the moment of revealing. Therefore the impact was huge.

Logistics. Logistics are always important to take into account. In some cases, brand identity carriers require a longer production or preparation time. This is the case with, for example, carriers that consist of more than one branded element or of elements in which legal requirements must be complied with. Think about a medicine box, with a strip of pills and a medical leaflet. A solid coordination is fundamental in these cases, especially when a big bang implementation strategy has been chosen.

Internal brand experience. How does your personnel cope with the rebranding? The success of a rebranding is largely dependent on how much your organisation is able to let go of the old brand identity and to embrace the new one. It is sensible to adjust the strategy by implementing the new brand identity gradually, or just in one go. Within the organisation, there is often resistance against changes. Therefore it is important to explain why the organisation, in turbulent economic times, invests in a new brand identity. A solid internal communication strategy can determine your rebranding success.

Association with initiated projects. In some rebranding cases, there are existing projects that have such a large effect on the organisation that a rebranding can be incorporated. In one of our recent projects, for example, it turned out that the launch of the Electronic Health Record (EHR) was the ultimate moment to launch the new brand identity. This IT-project had a huge effect on the number of applications that ceased to exist due to the EHR. Because these applications did no longer exist, there was no need to rebrand them, thus realising a major saving in the rebranding project.

Unfortunately determining the appropriate strategy for your organisation is not as easy as checking some boxes. Every organisation is different, as are the reasons for rebranding. A careful consideration of all the factors is important, one factor often outweighs another dependent on the specific characteristics of your organisation. In order to help you determine your implementation strategy, we have summarised the pros and cons of both the phased implementation and the big bang.

Pros and cons of brand implementation strategies

As stated before, there are two extremes on the implementation spectrum. We have experienced that in most cases a strategy will be chosen that lies somewhere in between. It is possible to use the big bang strategy on some of the brand carriers while using a phased implementation with other carriers. No two organisations are identical and the same goes for implementation projects.

Readability of (illuminated) signage

Posted on: April 8th, 2015 by Babiche Stegeman-Snip No Comments

Suppose your company has moved into a beautiful new office building, with a new sign you proudly show everybody that you are the new occupant of the building. But now you wonder, does your sign (and thus your company) get noticed, and can people read it well enough? Often the effect of poorly readable signage is underestimated. When it is hard for passers-by to read your sign, it will probably go unnoticed. Unfortunately most of the time the owner is not aware the desired effect is not achieved. That is one of the reasons we often see illegible signage, while the solution can be very simple!

There are a few aspects that influence the readability of signage:

It will not come as a surprise that size is of importance. There are plenty of tables available that show what format can best be applied at different viewing distances. We often see that organisations do not evaluate their signage from the viewing point of the passer-by. It is important to know if the passer-by is a pedestrian or a driver that passes by at a much higher speed. For the latter the sign needs to be larger in order to be seen and read.

Everybody will understand that it is important that you can read signage in just one glance, whether you walk, cycle or drive past it. In order to make sure the sign is readable, the distance between the individual letters must be large enough.

signage with unsufficient spacing between the individual letters of te text

For example, the signage in the picture above would have been better readable when there was more space between the letters.

This principle is even more applicable to signage on your vehicle fleet. Our starting point is that text on a vehicle must be readable at a speed of 50 miles/h. In the past years we have regularly advised companies to use an adapted version of their logo, with adjusted spacing, on their fleet.

Colour and contrast
Different colours have different effects on the readability of a sign. For example it is commonly known that when it comes to illuminated signage, blue is a difficult colour to make properly readable. Although modern LED techniques have improved the results. The best colours for signage, in terms of readability, are white and red. But be aware that in illuminated signage, white has the tendency to outshine other colours, which in turn has a negative impact on the readability of the sign.

Naturally the colour of the background is of importance as well. Red can be a great colour for your sign, but when it is your intention to install it on a red brick wall it will go unnoticed. The picture below shows the impact of the background colour on the illegibility of the sign.

Background colour can be highly important when it comes to the readability of your sign

We know better than anyone that your brand colour, even when it is not convenient, cannot be adjusted. Fortunately there are many possibilities to make sure your signage can be easily read. And that starts with good advice, taking into account all the before mentioned aspects!

Trend watching: 3D effect

Posted on: April 8th, 2015 by Babiche Stegeman-Snip No Comments

Like many things even brand carriers are more or less sensitive to trends. One of the newest trends that we have encountered is a 3D effect using special film. In our opinion a great new way for displaying your brand identity.

Car wrap with 3D effect
The wrapping of vehicles has been done for many years. Wrapping cars in foil has become a business of its own. In the past 25 years manufacturers have been adjusting their films to the new needs of customers. The films have become more refined, partly because they are now more flexible then they used to be. One of the advantages is that it is much easier to deform the foil, which makes it easier and more responsible to deal with the curves of the vehicle.

Due to the flexibility of the new films new application methods are possible. One of these methods is called ‘Bulging Systems’. A newly developed concept that basically comes down to assembling a logo or text with a 3D effect. The 3D logo will be “entrapped” with a smooth foil wrap, creating a unique 3D effect which is subtle but striking and certainly attracts attention.

Bulging Systems used to create a 3D effect on a vehicle

Other applications of Bulging
Besides assembly on vehicles, Bulging systems is also suitable for other types of applications. Consider objects such as doors, walls, furniture and counters. So for the purposes of displaying your brand identity within office premises there are many possibilities as well.

By applying film on walls you can fairly easy and quickly transform your entrance, hallway, office or canteen to a space that has an atmosphere that is complements for your brand identity. By means of printing on film you can display every desired image on the wall. Combined with Bulging Systems a quite spectacular effect can be achieved.

Bulging systems can be used to create a 3D effect

Because Bulging Systems can be used in combination with foil in any desired colour or pattern, it is easy to combine with your brand identity. And this is only one of the trends in the field of film applications and corporate identity, we will keep you informed!