18/09/2018 | Company | 10 mins
We are delighted to have been chosen as a finalist for the Wirehive 2018 digital agencies awards. This year we have made the final shortlist of agencies vying for the "Best Rebrand of 2018" category, and its for the work we've carried out relaunching our own brand and website earlier this year. The entire team put a huge effort into making our own website a site that we feel now properly reflects us as a progressive digital agency. We're keeping our fingers crossed for the final this October and are very proud of the entire team for their efforts getting us this far. Whilst we wait with bated breath for the results, here's some (pretty detailed) insight into how we went about getting there.
As a digital marketing and web development agency it’s often hard to stand out in an increasingly crowded marketplace. Over the last 12 months we’ve been asking ourselves some pretty difficult questions around identity, what “really” makes us different, and the direction that we want to be heading in the short, medium and long term. It’s also fair to say that, since our last website, brand assets, and company identity were created we’ve change - a lot.
With a lot of soul searching and self examination it became very clear that our existing brand was no longer a good reflection of Urban Element. We’d fallen into the trap of pushing boundaries, and creating great websites and brands for our clients, but overlooking our own website, voice, and brand, leaving it disconnected from the audiences we wanted to work with. Time for a rethink.
Following our usual branding and website development process we launched our rebranded and thoroughly redeveloped website in May earlier this year. We are delighted with how the new site carries our current positioning and voice, and feel this is a hugely improved reflection of who, and where we are as a team.
Affirmation that the rebrand has been a success has been the great feedback we’ve had from clients and partners. And to put the icing on the cake the Urban Element is now a finalist in the Wirehive “Best Rebrand of 2018” for our relaunched website site.
When we initially sat down to discuss exactly what we wanted to achieve from a rebranded and new website the list was really very long. There was plenty of vested interested from all members of the team, so keeping a tight scope and focusing in on the more salient points was vital. Here’s how we approached the task.
Starting with the end point in mind...
Specific brand goals were set out during our consultation phase of the project. As a traditional B2B marketing agency we’ve tended to side on conservative branding in the past. With a fresher and more disruptive approach to our marketing services, it was important to reflect that within our new website rebrand. We decided to treat our own Managing Director, Natasha, as we would treat a usual client. Going through the same process as we would do for any of our usual clients. Key elements for Natasha were
We wanted to create an immediate impact through visuals, one that would set us aside from what is a fairly uniform approach by other agencies. Feedback from clients, peers, and the marketplace has been excellent. We are delighted with the aesthetics of the rebranded web site and assets, achieving this through;
The primary and complementary colours have been chosen to evolve the previous brand. The primary blue has been lifted, and an expanded palette carefully chosen to both work harmoniously whilst having meaning throughout the rebranded website.
As our service offering has evolved, so too has the audience that we’re now talking to. Whilst our historical audience of smaller B2B businesses is, in cases, still relevant today, our growing client of larger, global businesses within both B2B and B2C demand a repositioning our messages and language. The main stakeholders our brand needs to talk to has also evolved, from majoritively small business owners, to senior marketing decision makers within businesses. With this our brand language has needed to change, with visuals and messaging addressing both business goals and strategic marketing objectives.
During consultation we carried out extensive competitor research. We came to the conclusion that in a busy market place, there were considerable similarities between brands. Whilst we were happy to share some common approaches such as minimalism and clarity, we were keenly aware that developing a distinctive brand that differentiates us from the masses was key, particularly when the point of entry for projects largely starts with customers comparison shopping agencies. We have introduced a brave top down, almost “work in practice” approach to visuals and section breaks and narrative user prompts that are not used elsewhere.
Strong typography and fonts have been a key element of the rebrand. With user interfaces becoming more stripped back and instruction focused, and with logos and visual element becoming less fussy, we’ve attempted to encapsulate that within our rebrand.
Previous iterations of the brand have been very conservative and more appropriate to local business clients. Historically our branding, both in visuals and language has been mono-tonal, matter of fact and detail heavy. This had resulted in a reasonably stiff brand that gave the perception that we offered a safe, less daring marketing service. We feel that the new brand is brave and authoritative, a much better reflection of how “we” work in 2018. As we strive for larger clients, we see our approach to brand being the disrupter, rather than the disrupted.
The major public face of our brand is digital. Whilst our business cards, printed headers, and other literature have followed suite, its digital that has led our innovation. A thorough brand rollout of visual and content has been carried out across; our website, email signatures, all social media platforms, and our hosted collaborative tools that our clients interact with. The new brand has been communicated to clients and customers through email notifications, whilst the internal team are fully engaged with how to convey brand goal messages through their daily interactions with clients and the general public.
Many of our visual assets have been built using SVG formats for reliable scaling and performance. In order to minimise the volume of old brand assets in the wider digital environment, we have set up redirects on image URLs so that those being indexed and discovered are pointed to our new brand.
All platforms, whether open to the general public, currently used by our clients, or used by prospects have had a consistent brand applied. Our social media platforms, and senior team member accounts have been rebranded with company logos, hero banners, and where appropriate, team photography.
With our own marketing services firmly rooted in SEO we were very keen to make sure our visibility in search engines was optimised. We already ranked very highly for key industry terms so aimed to both consolidate our performing keyword universe whilst entering into new areas of searches that better suited our more expanded target audience. Amongst a full SEO rollout plan were;.
We also took the opportunity to carry out a full keyword research and SEO exercise, and to resculpt content to better serve users and search engines across devices.
We believe the rebrand has stayed true to our original brand values whilst having pushed well beyond the previous iterations. A thorough expansion of consistent assets and palette have opened up countless more visual avenues for our internal marketing team to build upon.
The rebrand is definitely more confident that the previous incarnations. Visual humour and a clear switch to warm, more assured content has delivered on both aims.
The type of conversations we’re now having with clients and potential clients have had a distinctively different feel. We’re now receiving more refined enquiries and have customers previously unaware of how we’ve evolved the team and service offering, now actively interested in how we can create more disruptive, braver activities for themselves.