What’s it like to completely re-brand?

What’s it like to completely re-brand?   -   Feb 3rd 2016

As mentioned in an earlier article we completely re-branded BAHA (then the British Association of Hospitality Accountants) to HOSPA (Hospitality professionals’ Association) in the summer of 2011.

For a mere Finance professional at the time – although I had been Chief executive of BAHA for some five years at that point – this was a real learning experience.

Going through an initial decision to change a name and what to took a fair amount of time for a voluntary organisation.

Finding and choosing the name was interesting in itself. Getting the website URLs was interesting – and not all at once either.

We had three quotes for the project of creating a brand new name and Brand and the website.

We had to assess the quotations and try and compare ‘Apples with Apples’ – some reviews were face-to-face some were phone calls some were Skype calls.

Having a really focused Marketing lead project manager was a real benefit and resource at the time.

This person should be taking the essential brief and describing it back to you – and then using this to obtain the appropriate quotations back.

 Learning points I would single out are:
1.    Do not believe you can do it all yourself
2.    The project manager being ‘external’ to the ‘usual team’ is a huge benefit. (Business has to go on as usual in the company after all…)

We then chose our supplier for the project – Unstuck Design in Salisbury (who designed this simple website also). The others were in Cardiff and Glasgow. I should say that having a company that is physically accessible really does help. Going to meetings – easily – and looking people in the eye and understanding clearly what they are saying is a huge benefit. You can examine angles and concepts much easier than you ever will ‘on-line’ or in a conference call. I am saying this is a vital component – try and use a local accessible supplier or set to choose from.
We were provided with a set of 5 main logos and 12-13 variations on each of these. This was interesting and exciting. In our case we did use a Members and Sponsors Committee to help go through the process. A stake-holders’ committee if you like.

Having agreed the two main logos there also variations for use in various areas (colour, black and white, collateral, PDFs, website)

The web-site creation was also fascinating. Seeing the first drafts of the first landing page(s) was actually quite emotional at the time. Building the various levels and menu items – and understanding them was a challenge.  Starting smaller and building more later is always a good plan.

We went with our ‘Responsive sites’ later (where the website adapts for a mobile phone or tablet). I would really recommend going with this from the beginning.

Your designer and builder are also having to work together here. This was something I had not fully understood until this project. I thought web-site builders just built the website without realising you have actually have to have the design (and logos) first and then integrate them.

At all times you will need someone who knows what you are trying to do, someone who understands Marketing AND Web and a supplier who can describe and illustrate what they are thinking.

So all-in-all – what I am saying is – the people and relationships are vital. It is not just about coding a website.