How do I plan a rebrand? The MovePlan story
Over the past six months we’ve been working on a series of great brand and web projects. This is one of the biggest and covers nearly all the disciplines in which we work. Our client is the global business logistics consultancy MovePlan. Their brief to us was to retain their longstanding brand identity and update it by working on a fresh approach to all the ‘moving parts’. This has covered in particular creating a library of custom photography which we’ve applied to the digital assets they use for sales. With so much uncertainty around today, the kind of project where a strong, familiar brand is updated with better marketing may suit many businesses. In particular those with one eye on ‘what comes next’ and how best to use a squeezed marketing budget. Strategic thinking is the order of the day and this project is a great answer to the question ‘how do I plan a rebrand?’.
This particular project began last summer when global pandemics were still the stuff of disaster movies, not our everyday life…
The direction of travel
Our new MovePlan branding uses custom-shot photography as its central motif, often with movement at its heart. As we began the project, we researched a photographic language for the business to guide everything we did. Initially this work used images we had sourced, to agree a way forward with MovePlan. Overall our idea was these images would speak to the ways MovePlan worked, adding context without being too literal. Having identified a set of coherent themes, we had a clear creative brief for our photographer and researched relevant locations for the shoots.
This careful method of preparation has formed the basis of everything we’ve done for MovePlan. It ensured a logical process for us and meant the marketing team understood exactly the sort of imagery they would be expecting from each shoot day. Working once more with our long-time collaborator, architectural photographer Alistair Nicholls, we began in the City of London last July. With two shoots swiftly following, or vision of a library of branded photography quickly took shape.
One of the shots we took on that first day became the leitmotif for the project. Using the new aerial walkway around Salters Hall near the Barbican, we shot a set of imagery ‘top down’ – creating what we came to refer as ‘MovePlan view’. Our idea was to give voice to both parts of the MovePlan name, delivering a series of shots with a sense of energy and motion, focussed on people not just workplaces.
Designing creatively with an existing identity
As I explained in the opening paragraph, our design project for MovePlan has revolved around an unchanged brand identity. This kind of brief is always intriguing because the challenge it presents is to give a sometimes years-old piece of branding a fresh shot in the arm. Leaving a central pillar of a business static but moving all the elements around it, like scenery in a theatre.
I always find the difference delivered at the end of an exercise of this kind is extraordinary. In this instance, the chess-themed MovePlan logo feels reinvigorated from its appearance at the start of the project by its new application. I believe this process has been significantly enhanced by using elements of the identity within our layouts. Inspired by the chess board, the web design finds echoes of the brand in sharp angles and grid patterns throughout the pages.
This graphic design approach gave us the overture to push the brand even further. Central to the website is a mix of the photography and a fresh twist of typography and colour. The new dark petrol blue colour we’ve added is combined with regular accents of a sharp green MovePlan have always used – and the result feels corporate, albeit with a playful edge.
Having begun the project embracing rather than working around an existing identity, the end result feels new – but entirely in tune with the brand. If you’re asking ‘how do I plan a rebrand’, the successful end result here showcases one sound way forward.
An outstanding website
The strengths of this web design project are that every aspect of the new content that we’ve created has been thoughtfully questioned and considered. As a team, we’ve been working on many aspects of MovePlan’s branding and as each of these moving parts has been engaged with, it’s had a positive effect on another. The result has meant a wide range of internal materials and presentation decks, along with confidential materials shared with clients has had a strong influence on the website layout and use of imagery.
In particular the bold use of typography to highlight key statistics has been central to our work across the rebranding. These aren’t figures that require qualification, they’re the simple statement of fact. By listing them, the business feels stronger, more impressive and thoughtfully analytical.
The diamond shapes and sharp angles we use are echoes of the brand identity, embracing it and using the chess board as inspiration within which we’ve used our new photography set. Lists of client logos are set out in monochrome, equalising each and allowing them space. Overall it’s an impressive, modern site that communicates how a modern logistics company works.
The total ‘look and feel’ we’ve devised for MovePlan is a great example of design working in tandem with the key values of a business.
How do I plan a rebrand?
If you’re planning a rebrand of your business, why not get in touch to discuss the different approaches. We can work on designs from the simple to the sensational, depending on your brief and budget. Call us on 020 7351 4083 or email us direct.