Last week, we took you behind the scenes of our recent rebranding process with insights from John Connolly of IOP, who worked diligently alongside our agency to conceptualize our new company image.
For the second phase of this journey, we enlisted the help of our agency partner and friend Dave Belyea, Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Jackrabbit Design, who, with his team, brought John’s creative ideas to life to create our new, beautiful website and other content assets, like our PowerPoint design and photography. Keep reading for a deeper look into the logistics of rebranding from Dave’s perspective, and what companies considering that course of action should be mindful of throughout.
Dave, you and your team did a great job of taking our rebranded vision, conceived with help from IOP, and bringing it to life. Can you describe the steps involved in undertaking this part of the creative process?
Our process to build the site breaks down into four phases, the first of which is discovery. This is where we work with the client and stakeholders – and in this case IOP – to better understand the brand story, the vision and the business and communications goals and objectives for the site. With V2, we were lucky to start off with such a great and well-conceived brand foundation because it made designing and developing the website that much easier. Other tasks being handled during this phase are the development of documents like creative briefs, development requirements, functional notes and content strategy around search engine optimization, as well as ideas on video and social strategies.
During the discovery phase, we are also handling information architecture and user experience design. This includes persona definition, user journeys and how all these components map to the site, content and structure or hierarchy.
Once discovery is complete, we move to the design phase, where we present initial creative designs for the homepage and other interior pages. During this phase, the content and the photography and videography plans are finalized.
After design comes development and deployment. This is where our team of developers are handling front- and back-end development and the content management system integration, as well as third-party application integration such as CRM systems or commerce. Time is dedicated to quality assurance and client training, too. The site goes through a battery of tests across browsers and devices, and user acceptance happens here as well.
What amount of time and money can a company expect to invest in working with you?
Jackrabbit builds custom interactive marketing websites for a myriad of clients in a bunch of different industries. Average costs range from $60k to $80k for a marketing site and average timelines range from six to seven months.
You’ve been in this business for a long time. How is the rebranding process different now than it was when you started Jackrabbit?
The process hasn’t actually changed that much over time. Most design firms all work from a similar foundation that involves the basics – discovery, design and testing, exploration and development and deployment. But of course, there are a ton of nuanced details that apply to each phase and the process should be able to scale to the client and their needs.
One thing we have seen shift over time, though, is the desire from many clients for a more digital-centric approach, with the website as the hub of the brand and everything often permeating from there.
What’re some of the key branding trends that companies need to be aware of?
Content is king today – content for the site, for sales, for social, for recruitment, for driving leads and so on. Interactive content such as video and animation are really hot for today’s businesses, as well as infographics, due to a shift in the ways that more and more people are consuming content.
“Less is more” is also a popular concept, whether in the simplicity of brand design or in the brevity of content types. We are seeing less radical shifts in design thinking and many companies focusing on clean esthetics.
How frequently should a company look at their visual identity and website, or should this undertaking only happen when they’re doing a complete brand reset?
Companies should always be aware of their brand and how it presents who they are – not only to prospective clients and customers, but to employees and job seekers. More and more companies have a culture-first ideology and brand is very integral to that. Companies need to be aware of the content they produce as well. Is the voice they present online and through social current with their values and positioning? Brand identity should be a constant consideration.