“Where do I even start?”
This is a question you surely have asked yourself many times—maybe when cleaning out your garage, or when throwing out old items from your closet. In a lot of ways, the feeling is not so different than taking the first step towards a brand refresh. In both cases, begin by auditing and assessing the situation.
When the BOLTGROUP team partners with your company, we don’t just get rid of everything and start over. To redo something for the sake of wanting something new isn’t what we believe. There may be key parts of a brand that are valuable to retain or refine, especially if there is brand equity built into them. We work with many companies and brands that have been around for a long time and have a rich history and heritage. Their brand equity has tangible value—it could be the brand name, the look of the identity, or some of its sub-brands or product lines. Oftentimes, loyalty and attachment are what have built up over time. Employees get attached to what they know, and it’s tough to let go of something they consider a part of their history. We always have to proceed with sensitivity and respect.
That said, this process should not be subjective. We believe in defining the foundation of the brand, then weighing the long-standing brand elements against the current-day foundation elements. If one of your brand pillars is “groundbreaking,” but your logo cues to 1977, that doesn’t make much sense.
So, we take a full audit of all existing brand materials. There’s a long list of items we request—everything from your mission and vision statements, to your current business papers, forms and signage, web pages, and social media activity. All of it. We create a war room of your materials at our office, so we can live and breathe your brand from a 360-degree perspective. We spend time with it, observing, looking, discussing. Then, the assessment begins.
We have a proprietary process that takes the subjectivity out of assessments. It involves a list of key segments we evaluate. We go through and make observations on each area. We pull examples to show you what we mean. We describe what’s working and what’s not with these examples in the key area being discussed. And then we grade that segment. We repeat the process for each segment of your brand ecosystem. We document everything we learn in a visual report with infographics, facts, and photos, and then share it with you.
The best part of the assessment, in my opinion, is that when things are not working, we don’t just point that out. We present solutions—recommendations and suggestions—with examples of how these elements could be better, so you have an idea of where to go next and a set of goals to work towards.
I won’t lie—it can be hard to hear that your brand is tired and a refresh is overdue. Most times, there are very valid reasons things weren’t done sooner— the economy, short staffing, etc. We get that. We never judge, but rather take the first step forward by offering an assessment of what your brand really looks like from the outside. We assemble all the pieces in one place in a way that has likely not been done before. This gives you an impartial view from a team not connected to your brand. But that’s not all—we also tell you how to fix it. And from there, you have a plan.
But the garage, your closet…you’re on your own with those.