Easing Into An Updated Corporate Identity

I just realized that my business cards are getting low and excitedly placed an order for the updated design today. Did I mention that graphics for the new version have been finished for over a month?

When reworking a pre-existing Corporate Identity, one of the most common misconceptions is that all of it will go into effect immediately. In reality, if you’ve been running a business for an extended period of time, chances are that you still have old materials to use up.

Updated 2009 Identity

My advice is to ease into your new identity at a pace that feels comfortable to you while avoiding the incurrence of unnecessary waste and debt. For instance, I’m still using up old mailing labels since the information on them is correct and the design has only slightly changed. Though, I am billing clients with my new invoice since I can immediately send it off in a PDF format via email.

It’s much easier for a small business such as mine to make the switch, but think of the logistical nightmare that a company like Pepsi must deal with when rolling out its recent rebranding. The undertaking of switching out the signage on store coolers, Pepsi-branded machines, delivery trucks, uniforms, websites and advertising along with corporate collateral requires a huge commitment and a massive, dedicated team (the rebranding is rumored to cost $1.2 billion over three years).

If you’re in the midst of refreshing your company’s image, here are a few tips to make the transition go as smoothly as possible:

Rome wasn’t built in a day. Start by changing out the logo on your website and produce new business cards immediately for very little investment. For business cards, I am a big fan of Overnight Prints. Besides being fast, consistent and affordable, you can order as little as 25 cards at a time.

Do you hand out a business card every day while your spool of branded CDs sits in the corner collecting dust? Are you constantly sending out invoices while your letterhead is buried in a supply closet? Pool your budget towards your most frequently used items and worry about the rest later.

Welcome to the digital age! Save major money on printing and shipping by using PDFs to send out your portfolio, resumés, invoices and rounds of work through email as much as possible. Almost all of my work is now done this way and client requests for hard copies via mail are extremely rare.

In these tight economic times, I am constantly hearing about creative professionals embracing the barter system. Perhaps you can offer a local printer a few hours of design time in exchange for their services. Think outside of the box. It never hurts to ask; your talents might be exactly what another creative is seeking right now.

Rebranding shouldn’t be viewed as a stressful experience. It’s a chance to freshen up your company’s image and to project it to the world in whatever manner you see fit. And, what could be better than that?

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