Access chats to the The Everyday Agency’s managing director Sunita Dhaliwal and Matt McKillop, co- founder and creative director, about the marketing and branding agency’s complete rebrand, undertaken after six years of business

Where should a company start when considering branding or a rebrand?

Like any new business decision you need to first start by looking at your business objectives. Take a close look at where you are right now and where it is you want to be considering short term and long term goals for growth, financial projections, market share, marketing, brand awareness and so on. This will help you to home in on the overall vision more clearly. You should be able to look at this vision and know whether the brand you have right now is able to take you there. 

If your current brand and vision are not aligned, it doesn’t always mean you need a rebrand – it can mean you need to look at your values, your mission and vision or simply celebrate the brand you have including your staff and clients. To explore this further you will want to check in with the WHY. Why does the brand not fit right now? Is it because you are looking to reach a new target audience or territory? Are you looking to attract better quality staff that are more in line with your core values? Or simply, it’s not future proof and feels a little outdated? Get to the very root of why you may want to rebrand and link it with your business objectives so you have a clear roadmap. 

Having this clarity from your business objectives and why you want to rebrand will begin the process. 

Why is branding so important? 

Your brand is not just about what you say about yourself, it’s mainly about what other people say about your brand. That’s why it’s so important, you could tell people as much as you want about your brand, but in fact it’s the end user who will decide what it means to them. 

Many businesses mistake branding as just their logo, the colours, the typeface they use – the pretty stuff. It’s so much more than the aesthetic elements that help to visualise it, your branding is how you bring the internal elements of your business into the outside world. Your brand is the very essence of your business and the only thing that if executed properly will create a longstanding company culture. You can replicate almost anything from a business from the jobs people do, the products, services and style, but one thing you cannot copy is a company culture. It’s 100% authentic, unique and it’s pure chemistry that pulls teams together to achieve a vision. The real sweet spot is when you as the customer feel part of that culture. You must have been in one of those businesses or come in contact with a brand where working with them or using their products or services is like dealing with family or close friends. It’s effortless, easy and you feel at home!

What branding work have you done with existing clients: tell us about the briefs and how you went about interpreting these?

We were especially excited to lead a rebranding project for master coach Lydia Kimmerling and her The Happiness Explorer brand. The process began with a full brand audit, looking at where the business was at, and where it aspired to go next. We workshopped a bunch of exciting insights and presented strategies about how the brand could evolve, its values, personality and how new services could fit within its portfolio. We got stuck into naming the brand, the brand hierarchy and then delivering the new brand identity. It’s all launching later this month. It was a brilliant collaborative process drawing on smart challenger thinking. 

Another great client we loved working with was The Facilitators Company who have a complex range of brands designed specifically for High Net Worth Individuals. Through a series of brand and creative workshops, we gave life to their 20th anniversary with a fresh look and feel. What was instantly exciting about this rebrand was their company values were excellently mapped out, but they hadn’t fully been communicated to their clientele. 

Have you measured the success of any of these projects, and how did they help the bottom line?

Brand tracking is one extensive option. A good way to measure the success for existing brands is to run surveys before and after your rebrand to measure engagement amongst staff and clients. 

For a lot of the challenger brands we work with, social listening is key and feedback from their fans is a great barometer. Brand defining content on social channels has been a really successful way to show how having a distinctive personality and tone of voice has driven awareness, engagement and eventually return on investment. Take independent House Music DJ store Traxsource as an example, they were looking for social content which was more in tune with larger music trends without losing their credibility as a voice of the underground. Their always on point approach, carefully curating social feeds like radio stations and packaging playlists with high end graphics and video content has become the formula for epic results. Sales have exceeded previous records and return on ad spend is $74 for every $1 spent. Their social footprint has also grown by 20% engagement year upon year.

Tell us about your own rebrand. What inspired it? What formalised process did you apply to the creative thinking?

To mark the sixth year in the marketing agency game we decided to turn some of our best brains inwards, taking a forensic look at our own brand. 

Going meta is definitely one way to approach it, slipping into the skins of our clients and potential clients, new to the brand. We instantly saw how worn out and narrowly focussed the logo appeared. While we’re not advocating that you follow every flick and sashay of fashionable fonts, we knew the brand needed a makeover. “Corporate”, “sensible”,” everyday” were words which sprang from our research. When we began this journey, we wanted to be seen as ‘corporate’ but now this was outdated and no longer aligned. 

Part of the challenge is deciding what to keep and what to throw out. So our internal brief was to pause and begin by exploring our reason for being. How are we making the world a better place? We are here to inspire brand culture for companies with purpose. We Blow Minds, Win Hearts and Inspire Change. We also reworked our company values to create a filter for everything we do; curious, crafted, connected, generous, balanced and brave. And so the brief was born and the design process began, casting the net wide with a variety of early iterations and then zeroing in on the really meaningful treatments. 

We were keen to keep our yellow signature colour whilst pairing it with other bold colours like the pink and earthy greens and maroon to transcend trend and stand out as a bold brand for years to come. The trick is how to showcase an array of colours without losing an iconic colour pallet. This signifies a chameleon nature that is interchangeable and in tune with its environment. Very much how we are as an agency, we move with the times, embrace change and we do not fear it.

The new brand shows fluidity with the shapes and provides movement, whilst being still and grounded in other areas which compliments animation. The retro shapes, geometric styles and formats then evolved into us creating our own type of art. Showcasing our fascination with variety and celebrating our creative flair. Using leaves and plants throughout is an overt nod to sustainability and protecting nature that both TEA and our clients are incredibly passionate about. Bland and indifferent we are not.

What makes great branding versus mediocre branding? 

Design can become a hugely subjective and hotly debated area, but taking your personal biases out of the mix and assessing great design is a vital first step. Mediocre branding is a logo which is a generic font, neat, tidy and bland. It’s interchangeable with its competitors, there’s nothing memorable about it or worse still, it is confusing as it reminds you of a completely different product. Great branding goes beyond colour psychology and a pleasing font. It’s about playing with semiotics and connotations to create layers of meaning. Adding a symbol to your brand is a classic move, as over time and with plenty of high reach and frequency promotion, the Nike tick or Apple’s apple become icons in the truest sense. Can it work as a stamp, a watermark or with animation? Take the humble emoji, in the age of reduced attention spans and lives lived on mobile, the use of the emoji is a visual language, which is now mainstream parlance and uses the same visual shortcuts of logos. How on earth could we communicate without emojis and branding in our world?