The Rebranding of Arrow
— A few lessons gleaned by being on the other side of rebranding for the first time.
This year I got to be on the other side of a rebranding effort with the Arrow Consulting & Design rebrand. It was an exciting process, but definitely bittersweet. First, I have to say that I'm thankful that we've been in business long enough and grown at such a rate where we "survived" our first brand. We owe so much to our customers for graciously referring us to their colleagues. Without this simple way of saying thank you, we wouldn't be one of the largest DotNetNuke consulting firms and we wouldn't be able to count the customers that we have now – both big and small. So, without being too nostalgic, I wanted to share a little of what I learned as a consultant about rebranding by being on the receiving end.
I think the most important thing that I learned is to be very sensitive about how you speak about a company's existing brand. I knew that it was time to redo our logo and update our feel, but I still have history with our brand. I remember the excitement of starting the business and picking out the colors and deciding on the name. I own that brand in a way I won't own the new brand. Now, I'd like to think that our original logo and brand were in much better shape than some of the brands we've run across out in the world, but it was time to freshen things up to make sure we continue to be relevant in a competitive market. Even with that knowledge, if one of the designers had been negative about what we had or too critical, I would have taken that more personally than I should have. This was a lesson I was glad to be able to share with our team firsthand.
The second thing I learned was the importance of "eating our own dogfood." Now, Henry pointed out to me that this is a term that is better known among geeks and developers, but the principle is sound so I will share it. The term "dogfooding" refers to using your own software or process to show that it's good enough for you – hence "eating your own dogfood." Wikipedia has a nice description of it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eating_your_own_dog_food. Microsoft is famous for having their staff use a product – whether it is Office or Windows – before release. It's a good practice because you put your product through the paces and you are invested in quality in a different way that allows you to tweak the product mid-stream if it's not good enough to release yet. The other benefit is that you are having professionals on the product use the product – that means you have no better customer because there is no BSing the BSer.
So, to close my first post on our new website, I want to welcome you to our new brand. We're really proud of it! Henry Tavarez, our Creative Director, did a great job of leading our entire team through making this the rebrand we are most proud of. He'll be posting a follow-up article to walk through our process and how we applied it to the Arrow rebrand – so look for it soon.