BEHIND THE SCENES
rebranding Personal Brand Architect
Back in March when the world turned upside down and it looked like I’d finally be able to get through my backlog of client work and slow down a little (spoiler: that didn’t happen), I also thought it would be a great time to get to work on a project that had been on my mind for months: rebranding personal brand architect.
It felt like the context of a global pandemic, in which our lives were changing quickly and the cards were suddenly being reshuffled, was creating an opportunity to re-evaluate my business and really think about where I wanted to be going with PBA. It felt like the right time to think about what kind of work I want to be doing more of (or less of), who I want to be working with, and very importantly how I want to be working.
After 3 years in business and helping countless entrepreneurs elevate their brands, I had also been longing for a new brand identity of my own. In all honesty, the brand I had lovingly created at the start of my business just wasn’t pulling as I wanted it to.
It felt like a dress I had outgrown all too fast.
I wanted a brand that better communicated the impact my work creates, that felt less rigid and more bespoke, and that reflected the clear focus I’ve gained over the years.
I’m excited to share all the details of my rebrand with you here! I must admit, I’m absolutely in love with the results.
I hope you find this behind-the-scenes look both helpful and inspiring for your own brand!
rebranding – the starting point
NEW CLIENTELE WAS CREATING CONFUSION IN MY BRANDING AND MY BRAND MESSAGING
When I first started this business 3 years ago, I was serving a whole variety of clients, from medium-sized businesses to solopreneurs, with a whole palette of offerings. My focus was mostly on consulting for marketing, but over the years my business naturally transitioned to branding for entrepreneurs.
Then, at the start of 2019, I launched a new coaching programme for women who wanted to build their personal brands in the context of employment (as opposed to self-employment). It was an idea I had had in 2018, I saw a need for it, and I already had a demand for it, so I went for it. And it was successful.
But it created a problem in my business.
The more career gals (as I call them), I was helping build their brands, the more clients I was attracting that wanted a service I don’t (and don’t want to) provide: career coaching.
Remember: I was also already serving a wide range of businesses, and this new clientele was creating confusion in my branding and my brand messaging.
A BRAND IDENTITY THAT WASN’T CREATING THE RIGHT IMPACT ANYMORE AND FELT FAR FROM IRRESISTIBLE
Another point I wanted to address with the rebrand was to change the feel of the PBA brand.
Three years ago, I loved how the 4 squares in my old brand identity felt logical, clear, and solid. But over the years they started to feel rigid and formulaic, which is not at all how I work with my clients.
I still love the idea of the blocks as a symbol of building a solid brand, but I knew that my new brand identity needed to highlight more of the creativity that goes into creating a phenomenal brand. I also wanted to communicate the bespoke experience of working with PBA.
3 years in, I also realized that the impact I wanted to create with PBA had someone shifted from what I had envisioned at the beginning. With each new client, I began to understand more and more what kind of work I am fabulous at, what kind of clients I want more of (and less of!), and what those said clients needed to see from me.
A big part of my magic is helping entrepreneurs become irresistible to their dream clients. So logically, I was also craving a brand that would say everything my own dream clients wanted to hear and make my business irresistible to them!
THE WAY I DO BUSINESS HAS CHANGED AND IT PLACES NEW DEMANDS ON MY BRAND
The 3rd reason I had for re-branding, was that I didn’t feel that my brand was clearly communicating the expert status that I’ve worked up to over my career of almost 20 years. (Wow, 20 years! Admittedly a strange feeling to put that down in writing for the first time!)
I’ve helped companies and individuals create amazing brands that have had massive impact in their businesses and lives – but you’d have had no way of knowing that solely from what was going on in my brand identity or my marketing materials.
This actually wasn’t such a big issue for me when I started out because I was getting the majority of my clients through referrals. But the more I took my business online, the more important it became to have a brand that said ‘expert’ with clarity and confidence in the first millisecond of interaction.
MY BRAND IDENTITY WAS NO LONGER SUPPORTING MY GRAND VISION FOR MY BRAND
Finally, I also wanted to use this opportunity to tweak the tones and hues of my brand colours. Over the past year, I’ve taken a deep dive into colour psychology and I wanted to put my new knowledge to good use. I wanted to use my brand’s season to align the brand identity with the grand vision I have for the PBA brand.
SOME OF MY FIRST SKETCHES FOR THE NEW PBA
clarity & vision- the foundation of a successful brand
I knew that I would need to make a few fundamental decisions about my business for this rebrand to be successful. I wanted to re-establish clarity for myself, around what exactly Personal Brand Architect is and is not, and I knew that meant being really honest with myself and having the courage to make some bold decisions:
I decided to take the Career Climbers programme out of my offering. I put a massive amount of work into creating this programme and the free resources that go with it, and it’s also generating significant revenue for my business, so this was a hard decision to take. But at the end of the day, it’s muddling up my brand and confusing to the clients I really do want to work with.
I might decide to make this its own brand or a sub-brand at some point down the line, but unfortunately, there is no room for it at PBA anymore. I’ve also removed anything that could be interpreted as career coaching from my offerings.
This was a really scary move to make, but it was worth it. I feel like I’ve been freed from having to deliver on work that was outside my magic.
I prioritized what impact was the most important for me to be making with my brand. I cut out everything that I was not 100% committed to and kept only the non-negotiables. Above all, this is the impact I wanted to create: expert, elevated, visionary, inspirational.
I (quite radically) cut out elements that I had previously included in the PBA brand which might have resonated well with my career gals, but that were less important for the service-based entrepreneurs I have tailored my offerings to.
After much internal deliberation, I accepted that the PBA brand would have to be a ‘winter’ brand in order for it to communicate all the things. I decided to re-evaluate my brand colours, typography in accordance; that also meant embracing black as one of the foundation colours of my brand, instead of my beloved blue, because it’s not about me, it’s about the commercial impact I need this brand to make. I also gave my other brand colours blue, turquoise and yellow an elegant, ‘winter’ update.
inspiration for a new brand identity
This is the initial mood board I created to help keep this rebranding on track and stay focused on the impact I wanted to create.
You can also check out the Pinterest board for the rebrand here.
before & after – introducing the new personal brand architect
Now that I’ve shared the ins and outs of my rebranding brief, let’s get to the exciting part: the new Personal Brand Architect!!!
Here are some of the befores and afters for you:
fonts & colours
fonts & colours
Keep in mind; these are only some elements of the brand identity. There are so many other factors that have changed as a result of the rebrand that, while perhaps being less noticeable, are no less important.
But oh my goodness… isn’t that a huge difference?
If you weren’t convinced that your brand can really make all the difference, surely you are now!
Some of the other things that have been refocused through this process:
The clients I want to focus on
The tone and clarity of my copy
The services I offer
The focus of my Instagram account