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This week James O’Connell, Deputy Creative Director at Creative Spark, says the best agencies appreciate that a rebrand is a business critical job.

Brand agencies are busy places.

Mostly this is a good, healthy thing, but sometimes people can get so preoccupied with the day-to-day business of agency life, their own brand and website gets neglected. Bottom of any to-do list and pushed back and back and back in favour of paid work, I’ve known of agencies who put off their own rebrand jobs for years.

oconnellFind the time, find your voice

But sometimes, you just need to make it happen.

Like any company, agencies need to rebrand when their current look, feel or tone of voice no longer reflects who the business or team are, something that can happen all too easily if the current brand is five years out of date… Perhaps the agency has expanded its offering, perhaps it’s grown up from humble beginnings, perhaps it’s changed direction entirely, but all outward comms at some point need a proper overhaul.

It’s no mean feat though, and the lag between decision and approval can be huge as the demands of agency life clamour for attention and push it down the agenda. The best agencies are the ones who realise that a rebrand is a business critical job, as a shoddy brand both confuses current clients and puts off new ones.

So, if an agency is thinking of rebranding, here are some reasons why it could be a good idea:

1. To practise what you preach
If you are pitching to clients, current or future, your agency branding is going to sell you almost as much as your ideas. If it’s dated, you aren’t going to look like a responsible branding agency, you’re going to look like bullshit merchants or chancers. You need to walk the talk and put your money where your website it. Ultimately, without serious love and attention, your old brand will start to impact on your bottom line, so give your staff (and your accountant) the confidence of a great identity.

2. To stay relevant
A modern brand should be in keeping with the agency’s output. You may be creating amazing work for your clients every month, but if you don’t refresh your identity then you’ll quickly become irrelevant. Not only will a current relevant brand attract new work, it’ll also ensure you entice the best new creative talent to join. After all, no-one wants to work for an agency that looks like it’s still living in 2002…

3. To get perspective

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By standing back and assessing both the purpose and values of your agency, you can begin to understand what your business means. A rebrand is more than just a shiny new logo, helping to identify the “who, what and why” of your business, and reaffirming what you are trying to achieve. Over time, this mission statement can get lost, but a rebrand puts the focus back on.

4. Team morale
The collective process that includes workshops, discussions and idea generation is a great way to create a bond between your agency staff. Make people invested in the rebrand and they become invested in the very future of the business. What’s more, the fun you can have with the brand reveal is a great PR moment. The party alone is worth it, and the excuse to have your team, your clients, and your business partners all mingling together should not be sniffed at.

5. Talent show
A lovely side effect of creating your own brand is the chance for your team to let their creativity run wild. Creating your own outward-facing communications offers an opportunity for properly award-winning work to be created without any of the faffing around, countless amends or budget constraints that can come from a client brief.

CONFESSION: at Creative Spark, we’re steadily working towards our long (long) overdue rebrand, and we’re looking forward to revealing it next year. Keep your eyes peeled!

To give your take on a particular issue or subject, contact david@prolificnorth.co.uk