How Drew London Got The Drew London Client Treatment
We are a creative agency that has undertaken a rebrand. And with it, we learned much from the process.
We used the exact tried-and-tested process that we use with all of our clients. And to get the most out of Drew’s expert team, I acted as the client from initiation to approval.
But why the rebrand? Why the change? Why now? My business partner of 5 years, Stephen Walker, exited the business at the end of last year. This change gave us an opportunity to re-align, re-structure and drive Drew forward.
We are a culturally driven visual communication agency with family at its very core and we wanted to demonstrate that in our brand identity.
I wanted to share what I’ve learned, as a client.
First a fond farewell: The previous identity had held its ground for over 6 years, with the icon speaking about our process: Design, Discover, Deliver. But the passion for identity, along with the lack of supporting visual language, had run its course. Time for a change.
Previous Drew brand, with my grandfather; Major George Drew’s self portrait sculpture in the foreground.
One of the largest decisions as the client was the approval of my agency’s valuable time. My grandfather always said “for something to succeed you simply must invest in marketing”. This rebrand, from initiation to website launch, has been an enormous investment of over 400 studio hours. Nevertheless, I saw the investment as being somewhat risk-free, given that we have tried-and-tested processes in place which we know deliver enormous success for our clients.
Here are my top 6 learnings from the rebrand process:
- Stand in your target market’s shoes: Our process is empowering and immersive. It draws out the brand essence, vision, and values, whilst differentiating our offer in a continuously competitive marketplace.
- Try not to make purely emotional decisions: It’s far too easy to be subjective. To give you an example; when Kerry (our brilliant creative) presented a selection of secondary, supporting font options, one was ‘Gibson’. I immediately approved it because my late grandmother’s maiden name was Gibson. I made an emotional choice. I can report that the Gibson font didn’t stay, it wasn’t right for Drew after all.
- Remember the big picture: A brand is not just a logo, it's a sum of parts from a colour palette, visual language, considered typography, imagery, illustration and art direction.
- Sleep on it: Try not to make snap decisions. The creative experts will have spent time rationalising, envisaging, considering, tweaking and adaption their creative solutions. There can certainly be ‘Eureka’ moments, which are of course wonderful, but even so, ensure you take the time to consider the solutions.
- Do not delay your launch: We very nearly delayed ours due to the fact that I really, really wanted social links on our biographies. We are an agile agency and I wasn’t being very agile. If you wait for your site to be absolutely perfect it’ll never launch. Trust me, the social icons will be there at some point soon!
- Enjoy yourself: I loved the whole experience. Our process is fun and liberating. It’s exciting to see something that visually represents you and your services/products, coming together as something beautiful.
We wanted a brand that reflects the creative partnerships we forge with our clients, and the fact that we're by their side every step of the way. I feel as though I understand the process and our clients’ journeys even better than ever, and I’m grateful for the insight.