When I first came to H&H last summer, I found a photo lab with a multi-colored, old-style logo on the side of the building. I almost turned around before the first interview. Thus, the power of branding.
Branding tells the consumer so much about a company. Are you traditional, modern, stuck in another decade, moving forward, upbeat, somber….the list goes on. Do you care enough about your company to invest in branding?
As a graphic designer and marketing person, I will admit, I am more sensitive to this than the average consumer. With our increasingly global market, however, the average consumer is no longer…well…average. Consumers have become savvy to the subtleties behind branding. They recognize branding at its worst and at its best. They understand that branding begins with the first phone call and carries through to the company website, customer service, email and face book. It is reflected in tone of copy writing. It is reflected in colors of tissue selected for packaging. Branding helps to shape the consumer’s perception of a company long before they make that all important first purchase.
The antiquated logo on the side of the building at H&H, happily, did not align with what I found with this particular company. I found sophisticated, smart, hard-working people. I found a staff that was friendly and knowledgeable about the industry. I found customer service, production and design teams willing to go the extra mile day after day to make sure that the customer was satisfied. I found attention to detail and a quality product that I could stand behind 100%.
Days before I officially started at H&H, we began a conversation related to rebranding. There was sensitivity to the fact that the company was rock solid. They wanted to make sure that the customer understood that everything they loved about H&H would remain the same–innovative products, outstanding customer service, a trustworthy and upstanding company. As we worked many days, nights and months on a rebranding solution, the marketing team began to fine tune both the look of the logo and the message behind it. We worked with a consultant to review the competition, the industry as a whole and to do some serious self-examination. One exercise that I found to be very helpful was to select a soft-drink that we thought the current H&H Color Lab might represent. I immediately thought of “RC Cola.” I felt that this represented H&H as a quality, but dated product–an oldie, but a goody. It also represented a well-kept secret–RC Cola is tough to find. I felt that H&H needed more visibility within the marketplace. This time was invaluable in defining what H&H stood for and how we wanted to be perceived.
As the new logo evolved into its final form, we made sure to leave no stone unturned when it came to exploring possible design solutions. Below you will see some of H&H’s former logos.
Beginning on the left and moving to the right, you can see how our original logo subtly evolved into our new logo as we explored many possible options for a new look. Those of you familiar with H&H know that we do not like to “toot our own horn”––but even we have to admit that what we ended up with was an upbeat, innovative and clean looking logo to represent the company.
As you consider rebranding your own company, it is important to think about scale of the project. In its most basic form rebranding can encompass your logo, letterhead and business card. I would encourage you, however, to think about your social media spaces, website and other forms of advertising when considering rebranding. All of these elements take time to redesign. This can also be quite expensive. You might consider doing this in phases if you are a smaller company.
As many of you know, that have undergone significant rebranding, the identity or logo is just one step in hundreds that relate to rebranding a company. We reviewed typefaces, print ads, newsletters, email blasts, social media, packaging, web design and copy as part of our rebranding efforts. As we continue to update and spruce up our look, we hope that you will like it as much as we do! We strive to continue to be a leader in the photographic industry and provide you with the outstanding products, great prices and fantastic customer service that you know and love.
by Sarah Higgins, H&H Marketing Project Manager