Looking to rebrand? Here are nine recently learned lessons

Published Oct. 20, 2023, 7:33 a.m. by Marte Ramborg

A rebranding process is always tricky. There are many stakeholders, strong opinions, and a lot at stake. And when you are a communications agency, you know your employees care more than average. Spoon recently rebranded, and here is what we learned.

Bottom-up is a good start

Our process started as a response to employees demanding that we update our brand to reflect what we are and do accurately. The communication landscape and client needs are changing, and our competencies and services constantly evolve. And at a point last year, we had to admit that what we presented to the outside no longer matched our inside. Because many employees felt it was time, we can skip the initial crucial phase in any effective organisational transformation: establishing the need for change. That saved time and energy.

Create a brief

At first, we underestimated the need for a clear brief for ourselves. We started the work but didn’t have a clear and shared vision for what we wanted to accomplish. We always want our clients to avoid this mistake, and we made it ourselves. The shoemaker’s children always go barefoot, as they say. We got back on track after taking a step back and creating the brief.

Use the hive mind

With 140 employees, all in professional communications, you’d be silly not to involve them. Everyone participated. And, yes, it is possible to design a process without it taking too much time. A survey, some mini digital workshops, one physical workshop in every location and, voilà, you have valuable insights and suggestions with which to work.

Listen to your stakeholders

We used our client survey and insights from our client managers to ensure we began in the right place: addressing the needs of our clients. Their success is a prerequisite for our success.

Create your core team

While insights can be collected from a large group, you require a dedicated and closely-knit task force to execute the work effectively. In our case, we have the brand strategy know-how, the ADs and the copywriters internally. They had the mandate to create the copy and the visuals. They also had a sounding board - we needed the new brand to land well in all countries.

Allow outside eyes

Although we were set up with all the skills necessary to create a brand, we needed outside help. A 25-year legacy and geographical spread in four countries is excellent, but it can also lead to too many considerations being considered. There were many iterations on the logo before a brilliant AD from our sister agency, OhMy, cracked the code for us.

Keep it simple

We focused on exploring the "What", "How", and "Why" aspects, along with our values and visual identity. The brand book is a comprehensive resource primarily designed for our marketing team but accessible to anyone interested.

Trust the process

Yes, we had MANY iterations. Many words were written that did not make it into our final brand book. There were clashes of opinions and two steps forward and one step back. At times, it is frustrating, but also normal, natural and necessary. When we launched the new brand, it had been stress-tested.

Measure success

It is too soon for us to say how our new brand lands with clients and potential clients. However, we've already witnessed its positive reception from another critical group of stakeholders: our employees. All the merch disappeared on the first day.

Bonus: Have a great launch party. But we’ll leave that up to you.

Do you have plans for a rebrand? We'd be delighted to assist you throughout the process and with the result. Feel free to reach out to us!

Curious about the outcome of our rebranding? Here is our elevator pitch:

Spoon is a strategic and creative communications agency. We use authentic storytelling to help our clients succeed. Our purpose is to enable meaningful conversations between people and brands. Stories that matter.

And here is our new visual profile. We love it. We hope you do, too.