"There's Nothing for Me to Diagnose"

I was delighted this past week when a client expressed his willingness to move forward on a recent promotion I had for rebranding. It’s not a small project in any respect, and rebranding can always be a lucrative venture for both me and my client.

But I didn’t take on the project.

When I asked my client why he felt compelled to contact me about a rebrand, he replied that he is happy with what he currently has and feels it works for him, but he wanted to ask my opinion in case I saw an opportunity.

Hmm…. Imagine seeing a doctor who asks you the reason for your visit, to which you respond, “No reason, but go ahead and see if you can find an opportunity.” Your doctor might look at you funny.

I thanked my client for reaching out to me, but I graciously let him know that, if he does not perceive a problem, then there is nothing for me to diagnose.

From an aesthetic standpoint, his branding is fine. I didn’t design it, and I don’t see much room for aesthetic improvement. But let me be clear - “aesthetics” is not the point here.

So what is the point?

Branding is not there just to look pretty. It is a tool for a business to use in connecting their brand to their target market. My goal in rebranding is to refine the existing tool so that it solves business problems by enhancing or supporting the brand behind it. It’s impossible for me to look at someone’s branding and suggest improvements when there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong in the first place.

Think of it like this: You go to the doctor looking fine on the outside. But on the inside, you’re either hurting or not feeling so well. If you don’t communicate your inner concerns, then how is a doctor to know where or how to begin an assessment? If nothing looks wrong AND you feel fine, then what is a doctor to do?

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Don’t change your branding for the sake of changing your branding; your market might perceive you as unstable. Let it be because you can identify a problem that needs to be fixed. You might not be able to diagnose the problem and prescribe a solution, but that’s where your graphic designer comes in. Make sure you choose one who knows strategy and is not afraid to ask you questions about your business.

Branding can yield a tremendous amount of value for a business, but to do so, it can entail a high amount of discovery, research, and strategy, in order to diagnose and overcome hurdles to business success. The tactical aspects of the design-work itself is only a small part of the rebranding process.