I have to start by admitting that I don’t know much about rebranding, or ‘marketing’ as I think the kids call it. However, not knowing much should not be confused with not much experience; that I have loads of. I have been asked to be part of and often asked not to be part of rebranding teams.
My first experience of branding occurred when I carried out an Executive Search campaign for a global American technology firm. As part of the search, we agreed to put a small advert in the Exec Appointments section of the Sunday Times. Pretty straight-forward stuff. I knew the firm well, met and knew the exec team, and the job I had lived and breathed and hired into previously. However, the global Head of Marketing based in San Jose said that I was now a “custodian of our global brand and should be aware of the responsibilities this brings”. As this was in the years before children, I felt a sense of accountability completely new to me but was left in no doubt I must not screw up. Ok, time to shine!
I wrote the copy, got my MD to check it, and sent it off to my new contact in San Jose with a mock-up of the advert with their logo. I got a call that night at 11:45pm from the Head of Marketing … “David, I apologise for calling you so late but this couldn’t wait until your morning. You are familiar with our logo, the Pork Pie..?” Errr.. no? “We are very hot on version control and you appear to have contravened this with your use of our pork pie” Sorry, contravened? Version control?? My head was spinning, did he say Pork Pie? And what the heck was version control? I was regretting having that cup of cocoa before going to bed as I had been in deep REM sleep.
In short I had (I thought cleverly) used a logo off a Google search and dropped it into my ad copy, simple. Oh no, this was heresy of the worse type. They were up to version 7.2.4 and I had used version 6.8.6. Oh dear. Their logo “the pork pie” had changed subtlety over many, many years. Could I see the difference? Sort of. But it meant a lot to him and their well crafted brand.
Since then I have trod very carefully around brand, new websites, and what I hear is called collateral, as when firms are in rebranding mode, it does appear to have three affects on individuals;
1) People get very excited about it. It’s akin to getting a new car or the latest iPhone but much, much more exciting
2) People know better than the experts. This is very reassuring for people in Marketing, PR and Brand Management that they can draw on lots of opinions that they don’t need
3) No two people have the same opinion, this again for people in the know is very helpful around decision making and deadlines.
Grovelands got a call from the Telegraph on the back of our Recruiter Fast 50 ranking, and asked about creating a video snapshot of Grovelands. This worked beautifully as we were about to embark on a rebrand, new website, new identity, values, the lot! I liked the fact that more work went into planning, communication and content ahead of the video shoot, than went into worrying about the lighting and angles. This was good. I often bristle at corporate videos and even the phrase sends shivers down my back, but I think we have captured the essence of what we do. I hope you agree.
So I thought I would share the video and the brand evolution with you, as for a business with not quite the resources of Facebook or Apple, I think we’ve done ok. A lot of work has gone in, we have had a bit of the three affects I mention above, but our Marketing team have been a beacon of light keeping us on the straight and narrow and corralling us when we go off course. Let me know your thoughts and comments, as always they are gratefully received.
The evolution of our logo