Before you rebrand, you need to first understand what equity exists in the current identity (lessons learned from the recent University of California rebrand debacle).
At the end of last year, the Brand New blog reported on a series of events occurring at the University of California in which they launched a rebrand and then withdrew the rebrand after receiving a petition from over 50,000 supporters of the old identity.
This project was worked on by an internal 11-person creative team for three and a half years. I can’t imagine what a blow this must be to that entire team and to the University leadership who originally stood behind this decision.
But it brings up a very important aspect of any rebrand, which is understanding the brand equity that exists in the current identity. Your brand isn’t for you, it’s for your customers. If you don’t understand which aspects of a brand identity are important to them, you run the risk of this same story coming true for your organization.
Spend time understanding not only which visuals your customers positively associate with your brand, but also which values they attribute to your organization. When you clearly understand those two things, you can launch a new identity that not only carries over those important visuals of the brand but also captures the values and brand attributes as you move forward with the new identity.