Chapters

So, you’re here because you’re thinking about your brand. Something that you’re doing at the same time as plenty of other things, no doubt. Your brand is the lynchpin of your customer experience – something that’s never been so important in a world of increasing customer choice. 89% of marketers are calling their customer experience their main differentiator – and you won’t get far in experience if you can’t define your brand. In this book we’ve condensed the process into eight simple steps – so whether you’re overhauling your brand from scratch or just looking for a refresh, this is a great place to get started. We even include our own story to show how that evolution can play out in real life.

Love, leads and conversions,

The Yieldify team

Table of contents

    1. Start with questions, not answers

    Change is good, but too much change can be complicated and ruin your sense of identity.

    To keep things focused at the start of your project, keep your attention on…

    • Understanding your business as it is now;
    • Try to predict where it’s heading in the next few years;
    • The roadmap between those two points.

    And ask yourself some questions about your brand project…

    1. Why now?
    2. What do we want to achieve?
    3. How much do we want to change?

    If you’ve got through the first step and determined that isn’t change for change’s sake, you’ll have summarised your objectives while answering your kick-off questions.

    Your next step is to get your story on paper; you’ll refine this later, but it’s a great exercise in shaping your ideas. Think about how you would tell your customers four things:

    • what your business does

    • why you do it

    • where you come from

    • where you’re going

    The whole way through, think about four key principles:

    1. Tell the truth; use real examples to explain how your company adds value to your customers’ lives
    2. Make it human; how do you have a positive impact on real people?
    3. Be original; everyone wants to make their customers happy; what do you do that’s unique?
    4. Put your customers first; this goes without saying

    3. Do your homework

    When kicking off a (re)branding project, be aware of trends in your industry and elsewhere, checking out what’s new and what’s outdated. The more information you have, the better your decisions will be.

    1. Get familiar with how brands within your industry present themselves.
    2. Decide whether you want to get closer to them or stand out
    3. Catch up on your design reading. Blogs like InVision, It’s Nice That and DesignBloq share different perspectives about project methodologies through real-life examples, whereas platforms such as Muzli feed you with tons of visual inspiration coming from multiple sources.
    4. Collect your inspiration on moodboards like Pinterest

    4. Know your audience

    Knowing exactly who your customer is, what they like and what they don’t is crucial to your branding project’s success. You probably already have a very good idea of this, but if you’ve got this far it’s probably because you want to dig deeper.

    Start your research early so you can narrow down your research and make decisions that will have a positive impact.

    There are four key things in play:

    1. Define your customer segments; you might have more than one key segment to consider and research   
    2. Gather your quantitative data; from your existing customers to the new ones you may want to reach
    3. Get out there and talk to them! Quantitative data will tell you a lot but conversations offer you insight that’s crucial to branding
    4. Create marketing personas; this is a great way to organise your data into intelligible targets for your branding and marketing activity

    5. Develop patterns into values

    So you’ve done the research and got some ideas of who you are, where you’re going and who you want to talk to. Now it’s time to refine them and start to synthesise your brand identity.

    Get several members of your team together for a workshop – not just the marketing crew – and get brainstorming.

    1. Start with adjectives – is your brand youthful, traditional, innovative, challenging? This is where you get post-its on the wall – you’ll be surprised what some people say!
    2. Filter out the generic ones; trash anything that you don’t think would make your customer choose you over a competitor (given your research about your market and customer, you should know this by now)
    3. Group them together; which ones are about values, tone, language, heritage?
    4. Filter them again; your challenge now is to make sure what you’re left with is consistent. What’s left are the values and qualities that will underpin your brand.

    6. Form your identity

    While each company requires different pieces to compose a solid identity, there are a few elements that almost certainly have to be there.

    Once you’ve done your homework and decided what your brand should be, here are the key components you need to think about expressing that identity through:

    While each company requires different pieces to compose a solid identity, there are a few elements that almost certainly have to be there.

    Once you’ve done your homework and decided what your brand should be, here are the key components you need to think about expressing that identity through:

    • Messaging
    • Logo
    • Colour
    • Typography (fonts)

    Some brands go as far as defining what type of imagery to use, where and when to use specific colours, how to position certain elements on the page, and the list goes on. Your key goal at this point is to get the important stuff down on paper.

    7. Just enough rules

    Once you have your identity on paper, it’s time to create some rules. These are the boundaries that you’ll be arming your entire business with to make sure that you’re all singing from the same hymn sheet.

    A great place to start is with your colour rules. You may have one or more main colours that define your identity, and several supporting colours to be used on different applications. But either way, this is the point at which you need to start laying down the specific rules that define what’s on-brand and what isn’t.

    On the last few years, some brands have been challenging the classic rules of static branding. From logo to colours and shapes, boundaries are being stretched with the use of fluid shapes and dynamic colours that build flexible brand identities, recognised on a macro-scale.

    In case you want to go down the conventional route, it’s good to make sure you don’t overload your guidelines with rules that won’t allow you to innovate and spread your wings on the long run.

    8. Test, test, test

    To make sure all the pieces work well together on your brand’s materials, it’s essential to test how they work when applied to real life examples. You’re likely to find some issues that will make you go back a few steps – and that’s a normal part of the process.

    Here are some things to try:

    1. Have more than one variant that you want to test; this maximises your time and makes sure you’re not putting all your eggs in one basket
    2. Mock-ups are a great way to test your ideas; whether it’s landing pages, brochures or sales collateral. However, make sure you work up versions that allow you to test your verbal messaging and visual identity separately too (some people might just hate teal so much they’re blinded to whatever’s written on it)
    3. Test with external as well as internal stakeholders; with your customers, get as broad a spectrum as you can from all your key segments
    4. Don’t take your feedback at face value; the useful information lies in digging into the ‘why’ behind their response; is it just that they have a personal dislike of a certain word or that they feel it’s resonant with a very different kind of company?

    Now it’s time to start implementing your hard work in every corner of your business – from bringing your internal stakeholders on board to overhauling your materials. Make sure that you have the right tools in place to give you the freedom you need – it’s one of the reasons we made the Yieldify Conversion Platform’s campaign designer flexible so our customers can make sure their brand is properly reflected in their campaigns.

    Using these basic tips will give you a good start to your rebranding project. Nevertheless, you should always keep in mind that this is a dynamic process – there’s no right solution for everyone, and it’s definitely not linear. Over time you’ll find the right one for you – and when you do, share the wisdom!

    Get the branding
    party started!

    Our Story

    Making a good first impression is as important for brands as it is for individuals. Brand equity can be measured in cold hard cash, so it’s little surprise that having a good brand image can convince your potential customers to learn more about your products.

    And the first impression your brand gets to make is through design; it has a crucial part to play in building trust, value and reliability.

    As your business evolves, your challenge is to make sure your brand is adapting at the same pace. We’re no different at Yieldify; we launched a new platform in February 2017 and knew it was time to re-think how our customers see us.

    We’ve come a long way since when we started in 2013, and this evolution has been chronicled in our branding. With colour being one of the main elements for brand recognition, our colours and imaging style adapted to our changing messages as we grew from small start-up to global business.

    In the beginning, we looked like most other tech companies, wearing the typical tech blue. But it didn’t help Yieldify stand out in a crowded market – so we added some new colours.

    Over the last few years, as we changed as a business, so did our colour palette.

    From an extremely multi-coloured brand, we narrowed down to golden yellow and grayscale tones, looking to transmit the confidence and strength of our main products. We also moved from vector-based imagery to real life photography, moving to a more human-centred approach.

    In February 2017, the launch of the Yieldify Conversion Platform marked the beginning of a new phase for Yieldify. For the first time, we were opening up our technology for our customers to use themselves, enabling us to help businesses of all sizes achieve great digital experiences.

    It was the perfect time for a brand refresh.

    With our new look, we wanted to highlight our pride in being a smart, simple solution that makes delivering experience-first marketing simple for our customers. We’ve decided to go back to our roots, without forgetting how far we’ve come. In the three years we’ve grown as a business, we’ve never lacked in energy and continue to be a fast-paced and evolving business.

    That’s why we introduced navy into our colour palette. It’s a smarter and more confident version of our original colour, better reflecting our personality and showing how our brand has matured.