No red nor badger? – Red Badger branding process

You may have noticed that we’ve recently rebranded.Here is a brief account of how we did it.

Why rebrand?

The previous Red Badger brand was created when the company was set up by Stu, Dave and Cain. It served us very well, but as we grew, we felt that it no longer represented us and our ambitions as accurately as it did. Also we all had our own ideas of what Red Badger was all about, but there was no simple way to describe them. Working on a new brand would help us see and express ourselves more clearly in a single(ish) voice.

Brand essence workshop

The first workshop we had was about defining a brand essence. It’s basically a few words that describe and sum up the brand. Coming up with the brand essence helps you to focus on what the business is all about.

For example:

  • BMW Ultimate Driving Machine
  • Coke Open Happiness
  • Disney Magical
  • Starbucks Rewarding Everyday Moments
  • Sony Digital Dream Kids

Okay, these are big brands. And we are not trying to be one. But there is a definite benefit in coming up with something like this.

To find one for us, we did a few things.

1. Personality questions – “What would Red Badger be if it’s…”

We sent a questionnaire around the office and to some of our clients to find out how we see ourselves, and how we’re seen. All questions started with “What would Red Badger be…” and asked things like “…if it’s a car?”, “…if it’s a person?” and “…if it’s an everyday object?”. It was fun and a very useful exercise to find out what everyone thinks of us.

2. Looking at Red and Badger

We started the branding exercise by saying “we might not have a badger in our logo, and we might not use red”, so it was important to look at the meaning of both words to see how relevant they could be to our brand. After all it’s our name.

3. Who are our competitors?

We printed out all potential competitors’ website – or the ones we thought were competitors – to see the space they occupy in the industry visually. By the time we got to this stage, we had a good idea who we were and realised most of them were actually not in our space.

At the end of good discussion, we settled with a set of keywords rather than having a snappy brand essence, and we got a tagline we all liked. (Thanks Stu!)

“Experience. Design. Technology. Crafted.”

Look & feel workshop

Having agreed a tagline and a set of keywords, we had another workshop looking at how these can visually manifest themselves.

As ‘craft’ was one of the central themes that connected many of our ideas, we kept coming back to the idea of a ‘workshop’ as a physical space – where we craft and experiment.

We looked at different visual styles for the new identity and fonts as well. As we were on the same page with our branding, this stage went pretty smoothly. Sketches and photographs are in. Furniture makers’ marks are in.

Now all the important thinking had been done. Let the fun of making begin…

The badger

We looked at the identity as we started looking at a new website. Initially we were looking at a more typographical approach – as is common in Furniture makers’ marks – but in the end we settled on our new Penguin-esq badger. We thought it was appropriate to have a character in the end, considering our clients sometimes refer to us as ‘badgers’.

The strong visual style allowed us to have more than one logo format.

We also like the idea of having a stamp made to show ‘badger approved’ quality.

The red

We concluded that if we were going to use any colour, it had to be red. It’d be a bit confusing otherwise, wouldn’t it? So the red is in. We picked a bit brighter red than in the previous logo.

What now?

We are in the middle of applying the new brand everywhere, including the website. In the true workshop spirit, we’ll keep working on it. And have some fun!

Sari Griffiths

Chief Design Officer

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