Here’s a real life example of how you can slowly change your branding in line with a re-brand.
Last week my sister and i stayed at a B&B up north in the Scottish Highlands, and in the process of finding it I noticed they had two signs on display. One was a fairly old fashioned, dark blue sign with hardly even a logo (more like a name in an italic font), and the other a much cleaner, classier logo reflecting the local mountains.
One sign was pointing one direction, and one the other – so you could easily find the named B&B no matter which way you were coming. (I’ve stayed in a lot of B&B’s up north and some of them are extremely difficult to find, with poor signage or missing signage, so this was a nice surprise.)
As we drove up the lane, there was another clear sign for the house in what was clearly the new brand – and the top had been custom cut to reflect the outline of the mountains for which the B&B was named.
We drove further to see a clear car parking sign (again with the new brand), and when we got out of the car we saw a Reception sign reflecting the new brand font and style.
Throughout our stay we could see more reflections of the change. Seat covers in stag patterns, to coincide with the antlers of the new logo. Carpeting throughout that was clearly new, in a tartan pattern coordinating with the main brand colours.
At breakfast, we spoke with the owner who shared with us that they had recently (within the last two years) taken over a previous B&B, refurbished it, rebranded, and during that time have been slowly making changes reflecting the new brand.
We talked to them about the power of Instagram (and strongly recommended that they set up an account, so we and others staying there could tag them, and so they could be found more easily).
I’ve been talking to a lot of accountancy firms who are in the process of rebranding, or considering a rebrand. It used to be that when you rebranded you changed everything, instantly, and it was very expensive all at one swoop. What many businesses are doing now is more of a “soft launch”, which means you make a series of little changes to introduce the new brand alongside the old one.
That’s clearly what this small business is doing, and it might give you some ideas of how you can slowly integrate your new brand alongside the old one, over a period of time rather than instantly.
Here’s what I noticed even just in a one night stay:
- Multiple signs, most of which are now in the new branding, but still a few in the old branding for those familiar with it. These are clearly being phased out.
- Refurbishment of carpets, seat covers, bed covers, sofas, placemats, key rings, and other details throughout – some small, some significant. Some clearly in the new branding, and others being worked on.
- All mattresses were replaced (they told us this in the morning, but I can confirm we had a very good night’s sleep!).
- There were organic shampoos, conditioners, and soaps from a local company in the bathroom – showing a local connection and again matching the new brand style
- Their website is still in the old colours of dark blue, but some clear updates have been made to font and style, so the headers and font match the new logo.
- The photographs on the website are of a high quality, sharp and clear and giving a good impression of the whole place.
- The “book online” button is clearly at the top of the page on mobile. When I was looking for a B&B, i knew exactly when and roughly where i wanted to stay, and it was frustrating on some websites to have to click multiple times to get to the bit where i discovered availability. Clearly they had made some updates to make their website easier to use.
- Their Facebook page uses up to date photographs of the mountains and local areas (similar to the photographs used on the website). Looking over the past few months there are regular updates on what’s being done to renovate the place.
- On the day we stayed, they didn’t have an Instagram account, which I strongly recommended they have (and explained i own a marketing agency and what we’ve learned about Insta). When I checked today, I found their new insta account has been set up and has a few posts.
- Most importantly, Simon & Morven (the new owners) were incredibly kind, thoughtful, and personable. We were met at the front door when we arrived. They were willing to chat to us about what we were doing and where we were going. They took time from what they were doing to talk with us, and shared their own story. A new logo is one thing: but attitude enhances it.
Launching a new brand can be an instant thing, with everything set up and changed at one fell swoop. But a slow integration can be just as effective when done well.
Are you thinking of a rebrand? Drop me an email to ask anything about it – I’d love to help.
Oh – and if you want to stay up in the Scottish highlands anywhere near Ben Nevis, this is the place to stay!
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