When is a brand relaunch indicated? Should it be strategically planned well in advance – or be a spur-of-the-moment decision? What does it entail? Can it be done within budget? Is it actually necessary or useful to redesign a brand? Will the implementation be successful, and will the target group accept the new design?
This blog entry allows you to take part in a brand relaunch by Startfeld, a startup incubator in Eastern Switzerland.
A report by Andrea Geiser, Marketing Manager, Startfeld.
Background: Currently, Startfeld has been operating for six years and has now entered a new phase. The launch of the Startfeld Innovation Center was a big step for the whole team: It leases office space to startups, and it offers temporary workspace and rooms that can be rented by the public for events, seminars, etc. Startfeld has created a space for creative people from all areas, inviting them to collaborate in launching, and implementing, new ventures. Simultaneously, Startup has expanded its range of services. In addition to startup promotion, it now offers ‘SME renewals’. Established companies can benefit from the systematic support of their innovation process, individual assistance with starting and implementing projects to know-how, tools, and the mentality of startup companies.
Decision-Making: We asked ourselves how all of this could be integrated into the website and print products for our existing range of services. After some thought, we came to realize that these changes would have to be part of a brand relaunch in 2016. The new content and our physical location would have to go public once more with a completely new, fresh corporate design.
Implementation: With Festland AG, we found a partner that was, like us, in tune with the optimistic mood of the Innovation Center and was prepared to take up its concepts. From the outset, it was important to realize that it would be a process that would take months and would change continuously, and also that Startfeld is a strong enough brand to be used as a word mark in a number of different graphic options. It was decided to hold a launch event to introduce the new corporate design to the public. A first workshop to discuss the brand relaunch with the advertising agency took place three and a half weeks before the launch event 😉
Challenges: How should we communicate in the period before going live with the new website? How should we present the Innovation Center and its services immediately following the launch without using new advertising material or a new online presence? Would there be enough time until the launch event for conception, alignment, and implementation? We also had to address content issues such as whether to maintain existing pictorial worlds or continue working with symbolic images in future.
Solutions: A temporary website (www.feld3.ch) was created for the interim period until the new website was to go online. It would contain current content on the Innovation Center and would provide follow-up information on the launch event as a platform for pictures and a video clip. Concerning the corporate design, guests to the temporary website would see the new logo and the redesigned signage outside and inside the building.
Feedback: The feedback from customers, business partners, and the public was positive. The (necessary) decision for the entire brand relaunch to be a developing process is in line with the flexibility and working style of Startfeld and our customers, the founders. The advertising agency was happy to be given so much creative freedom. And the team is more than happy with the result.
Current Situation: The brand relaunch kicked off very successfully. We are now working at full steam to implement it further. The first print advertising material will be ready by the end of June. The new website is going live in August. The English version of the website as well as the printed publications will be completed in September.
Lessons Learned: Redesigning a brand is an opportunity to make a fresh new appearance on the market. It is absolutely worth it to bring on board professionals, whose expertise also provides an outside perspective. Some people work extremely well under pressure. Having the courage to change does pay off. While strategic planning is good, not every development in a company can be anticipated. The key to success is to allow changing processes to happen and address the developments that result from the changes.
Would you like to take a look at the object of this article? Go to www.startfeld.ch to see the old design and to www.feld3.ch to see the new one. The second domain will disappear in August when www.startfeld.ch will appear in its new design.