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My Own Rebranding Journey k o n k i d i g i t a l . c o m WHAT’S IN A BRAND?
Change is hard. From my early days helping clients rebrand their companies, I thought I understood this. No one ever told me, “Oh, it’s just a logo. Go ahead and change it,” or “That slogan’s out of date anyway. Let’s drop it.” It quickly became clear just how resistant people are to altering their business image — even when they themselves admit it’s for the best. But I didn’t fully appreciate just how hard these decisions are for entrepreneurs until I was in their shoes. Don’t get me wrong; I love what we’ve done with Konki Digital, and I’m excited for the future. But, after giving up Nannerdog, I definitely had some mourning to do. Having operated for 21 years, it was impossible not to feel personally attached to every little detail of our old branding — the calming blues and greens, the lovable sketch of a dalmatian. Losing these things felt like giving up a part of myself. Thankfully, I had the perspective of helping others through this process for the past two decades. Being on the other side, I can say the rebrand was more than worth it. And, having now been through the process myself, I’ve gained an even greater appreciation for business owners staring down the barrel of such a major change. So, while the memories are fresh, I want to walk you through our process of branding Konki Digital. Let’s start with the name. Since we wanted to build a strong presence on every platform, Scott and I knew we needed a title we could own universally. In the age of domains and Twitter handles, off the wall, completely unused names are ideal for standing out. However, we both agreed we didn’t want a random or nonsensical word. Our brand had to be unique and meaningful.
Treating the process just like we would for a client, Scott and I got the team together and began brainstorming words. We were looking for a trait that Nannerdog and 2:45Tech shared and kept landing on
Having operated for 21 years, it was impossible not to feel personally attached to every little detail of our old branding ...
screen, but we also wanted to make sure the palate complemented the persistent, energetic nature of our brand. Normally when you think of energy, oranges, yellows, and reds come to mind. But Konki isn’t fiery — we needed a palate that carried the upbeat and persistent nature of our brand. Energetic, fun, and persistent? Sounds like the 1980s. This retrofuturist color scheme uses everything: powerful red, durable teal, and imaginative purple, exactly the qualities we were looking for. Rather than salvage the physical aspects of our old branding, Scott and I chose to hold onto the qualities that had inspired them. Our name choice, our logo, and even our color scheme all led back to those two core values, perseverance and energy. This way, we were free to build something entirely new that feels honest about who we are as a new company. The decision to rebrand will always be a difficult one — it’s human nature to resist change. But, if you are willing to put aside personal attachments and find the absolute best way to articulate what your company is all about, the results will amaze you. I know they amazed me.
“perseverance.” This was definitely a start — the ability to persevere is a wonderful quality in most relationships. However, it can have some negative connotations: We’ve all known someone who just can’t take a hint. That’s when we found “konki.” Konki is a Japanese word that means both perseverance and energy. Not only that, but a little more research showed us it was also Swedish slang for “pathway.” Meaningful, playful, and just plain fun to say, konki fit us like a glove. Just like I tell clients, putting time and research into renaming your company pays off. Next is the “K bang” as Scott calls it. We built our “K” out of an exclamation point, a natural progression from our name brainstorming. The energy of a “!” perfectly summed up the definition of konki, and fusing it with our first letter made it unmistakably our own. Our slogan “Creative + Technology” was a similar no-brainer, clearly and concisely laying out what Konki Digital’s energy is all about. Our color scheme took a lot longer to settle. We did a lot of research on the theory and psychology of color choices, much of which has changed in the last five years. We knew we needed a choice that would look just as good in print as it would on a computer
ELIZABETH SAWINSKI SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT + DIRECTOR OF CREATIVE SERVICES SCOTT SPAID PRESIDENT + CHIEF PROJECT MANAGER
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