….without going crazy and spending too much?
So we are over 10 days, 10 nights, and an uncountable amount of coffee, coke, ice cream and pizza…and after some last minute testing and enough sleep I felt other teams like us can benefit from our experience of a “rebranding sprint” we made with our startup. There is no magic formula of course, but i also have some practical tips and tricks thrown in the mix
So fasten your seatbelts…ready? Here we go step by step!
1. New name=new domain
Don’t waste time on finding the best name and realising that you can’t use it online. Check them instantly for a free domain and also for a trademark if you need it. We made a brainstorming with the team and came up with more then 60 sparkling ideas (helped by some caffeine ;), but only those got onto the shortlist which had a free domain.
Bigger domain sites like Domain.com and Godaddy.com even give you some extra ideas. But be careful with them, they are also using your ideas to suggest it to others. So if you found something cool and it’s free, reserve it quickly, don’t let others get hold of it.
2. Outsource the Logo design
So you found the name of the century, but how to match it with a nice logo? If you have a designer of your own, you may still consider the possibility of outsourcing this job. Why? Your designer may be busy with more important things (like your website) or usually you just can get more ideas in less time with crowdsourcing the logo design.
We actually used Squadhelp , one of the biggest crowdsourcing platforms, where you can work with a lot of talented designers and paying for only one idea, which you like the best! We got more than 200 ideas and versions for our logo in just one week and found more than 15 different ones which we really liked. Actually we had a fight for the best one ;) Hope you like it!
Be aware that this only works if you can really describe what you expect as a final work, basics like colour or font preference, and also some ideas about the style. We even had a harder job with this, as we also needed something that looks good on a mobile App icon as well. And don’t forget, you also have to give them regular feedback about their work to be able to make better versions. If you are an active contest holder they will be more active and creative as well!
3. Plan for the Sprint
Name and logo ready, hard work starts. You have all those stuff where you have to implement it – website(s), Apps, social sites – especially if you are rebranding an old version and not just branding a newly started project. Prepare a plan with tasks, deadlines and responsibilities of each team member. You can do this even in an excel spreadsheet, but why not use something more effective like Trello. It’s a free tool for collaboration on bigger projects, really user-friendly and available on all the platforms u may need.
This is how it looks like when in use:
*I call it a Sprint as part of the SCRUM, a development methodology lately used frequently by application developer teams to be more effective in reaching their goal. You can read more about it here.
4. Landing page facelift
One of the biggest changes made in a rebranding sprint is usually the (re)new design of the website/landing page. With the new logo and colors you may need a huge facelift, or maybe you even have to start it from scratch.
Help your designer with wireframes, mockups and let him/her focus on the beautiful design. You can draw it on paper or be more effective with GoMockingbird – an online tool which is free up to 1 project and 2 collaborators. It has preloaded widgets to help you work fast and later you can modify it, and your designer will see these in real-time when preparing the design.
Here is our final result: www.tappointment.com How do you like it?
5. Social “maze”
Yes it’s a maze, and to not get lost you have to follow some really basic rules to have a well-polished and efficient social presence. So maybe you think it is “just rebranding”, a change of logo and cover photo, but if you didn’t do it so far, here is my advice:
- Choose your platforms wisely: think of the target group you may need and what really works in your country.
- Be sure to have a strategy ahead to when and what to post, engagement and activity are the most important factors.
- If you are brave and want to do them all – use a publishing tool, like:
Hootsuite helps you to publish and even schedule posts (be sure to check the posts as some of the platforms could miss pictures and links)
Friends+me is a great tool for Google Plus lovers (like me) to schedule reshares on all other platforms.
If you already have active company profiles, be aware that some of the social channels can have limitations on name changes. On Facebook you can change it only twice as I remember, and only if you have less than 100 active followers. Linkedin will change the name, but not able to change the name in the URL!
Some tips from social evangelists to help you get started:
U can learn almost everything about Google+ from PlusYourBusiness.
Here you can find some tips about how to set up a Facebook Business Page.
And a great post about how to use Twitter for business and marketing.
6. The vicious circle of implementing and testing
And last but not least, implement all the above and test, test, test… and implement the tested versions. But I’ll let a real engineer write a separate post about this.
However in a small team like ours the testing process is made by all the members.
So happy planning, executing and “bugkilling” for everyone