When the agency Reaction Digital (where I work 👍) decided to refresh their identity, we knew we needed to launch fast and hit the ground running!
The project kicked off in late November 2020. Although the Christmas holiday break was coming up soon, as a team, we hashed out concepts for our updated logo and overall style. The plan was to completely rebuild a new WordPress website and have it ready for launch with the new branding in Q1 of 2021. Which is something we strive to do for our clients when they come to us for a new website – get a lean website with a modern design online in roughly 90-days, and plan to build and improve over time.
What we delivered in the new brand launch
- 8-part launch video series
- New key message
- A Storybrand language framework doc
- A custom WordPress website
- Multiple promotional emails
- 60+ social posts
1. Create a brand campaign and cool concept
For me, it was about sharing the story of what changes Reaction went through to merit a cool new look. We unofficially labeled it the “behind-the-scenes series of our agency’s rebrand”, and I planned, shot, and produced an 8-part video series all about it on YouTube.
I planned a campaign stretching over 60-days, releasing 1-2 videos per week along with storytelling social posts to fill the gaps throughout the week.
Video 1 – With a perfect clickbait title, we show a brief look at our history, and how we’ve doubled-down on what we do best.
Video 2 – Explains a little bit about audience personas, and we walkthrough who our most ideal customers are.
Video 3 – We now have a new look and narrowed focus on the people we want to do business with, naturally we need a new key message and tagline.
Video 4 – Mike Szyszka, the CEO, explains the challenges with of our current website and brand, and how we plan to tackle them with our new identity.
Video 5 – The big reveal! We officially show off our new logo, brand colours, iconography, fonts, etc, and how the new brand can be expressed across our digital footprint.
Video 6 – Nerdy, but very cool! We show off how we documented how to use our brand in a purely digital format publicly available at brand.reaction.ca
Video 7 – It wouldn’t be a rebrand with out a brand new website. In this video Mike gives a live walkthrough of the new site.
Video 8 – Producing this behind-the-scenes video series was a blast, and there were a ton of funny moments captured so I knew a final “thank you for watching” video with a handful of bloopers would wrap things up nicely.
2. Use a content calendar
The story didn’t end with just 8 videos on YouTube. Over the course of 8-weeks, I coordinated over 60 pieces of custom-curated content across Reaction’s marketing channels. Including juicy sneak peeks of the new logo, carousels of mockups, and additional teaser videos to generate more brand awareness.
Courtesy of reaction.ca
3. Onboard the whole team
With the new brand identity solidified, it was time to fully brief the team on our new look. I put together a 20 slide presentation to show off the new brand, new audience personas, mockups of the new website, and how the 8-week launch will roll out. The presentation was nothing fancy, but the team (aka, the lifeblood of any company) all needed to be on the same page with the new image of the company.
Courtesy of reaction.ca
If everything always goes smoothly without a catch, you’ll never learn how to view problems from multiple perspectives and quickly adapt to new plans.
Me, I said this
4. Prepare for roadblocks
Throughout the 8-week launch, it was inevitable that some aspects of the project would go sideways. For example, that’s why contractors quote 10% more in materials incase of complications. The brand launch for Reaction Digital was no exception. In the digital service industry, time is your greatest asset. The 8-week schedule was originally a 5-week launch but it was extended due to a handful of roadblocks to overcome.
- I had to remake the third video because we revised our new key message when we started writing website content
- The live database of the new website was accidentally overwritten, and I lost almost 4 days of work
- Over 30 planned and scheduled pieces of promotional content had to be pushed out as the launch extend by a few weeks
The moral is that it’s just not realistic to think everything will go perfectly according to plan. You have to quickly come up with new plans and adapt the project around them.
5. Design and share some awesome looking swag
It wouldn’t be a rebrand without some awesome company swag. Coaster, shirt, mug, pen, candle, and a cookie (which I ate 🍪) were custom designed and sent to staff and clients all over the world.
6. Plan a virtual launch party
In the final week of the launch, we hosted a virtual party over Zoom. We send out a pile of personal emails to our clients and close contacts inviting them to the launch part.
It was a challenge to thinks of something different and exciting to do virtually. We found a professional mentalist entertainer through the hashtag #zoommagic who put on an amazing interactive show that left all of our guests with the biggest smiles I’ve ever seen online.
A big shoutout to Nitin Ramal at https://www.nrmind.com/ for putting on an amazing show!