I had the chance to sit down with my client, Tarzan Kay, to chat about her rebrand experience, including when is the right time to rebrand and what you need to consider when you’re choosing rebranding and choosing a designer.
You can listen to the interview on the podcast, or watch it on YouTube.
Tarzan has been in the online business space for seven and a half years now, and let me tell you, her journey has been one heck of a ride. When she first dipped her toes into the online business world back in 2016, things took off like a rocket. It was a mix of perfect timing, nailing her online presence, and having some connections that gave her a massive head start.
Tarzan was scaling fast, but just like for many of us, when the whole came to a halt in 2020, she realised it was time to restructure, realign and pivot. She stripped down her offers, minimised her team and set on a new journey.
But there’s one thing she realised – that new Tarzan on screen wasn’t who she was IRL anymore. And that’s where I entered the scene.
Tarzan came to me, feeling a tad sheepish about her brand and website. It was like a digital scrapbook filled with beautiful memories and photos. But it made her wonder, ‘Who was that person in those pictures?’ Her business had evolved, but her website was stuck in a time warp.
She felt like her business had outgrown her, and she was ready for a change. She wanted her website to reflect the new person she had become. And, let’s face it, that’s something all us business owners go through at some point – that exhilarating moment when you’ve outgrown your own brand.
When Tarzan initially created her brand and her old website, it was an exhaustive 8-month journey. So, the mere thought of going through a rebranding process felt like an eternity to her. On top of that, she had tons of assets, a team, and loads of marketing collateral that she could recycle launch after launch. It seemed like a colossal project in her mind.
And so when Tarzan and I sat down to discuss the idea of working together, I told her that we could make it happen in just 5 weeks. And she thought, ‘Why not?’ We rocked through it in 8 weeks in the end (as we increased the scope of the project), which included all those extra deliverables, platform testing, and making the changes to transform her brand into something entirely new.
You know what’s the most important marketing strategy for any business owner? Word-of-mouth. And that’s exactly how Tarzan heard of me in the first place. Tarzan’s OBM (Online Business Manager), Sandra Booker, and I had crossed paths before as I’d actually worked on two of her websites in the past. So when Tarzan brought up that she’s ready for a rebrand, Sandra dropped my name in the mix, “You gotta talk to Gigi, she’s the one who built my website”.
And when Tarzan and I hopped on that discovery call, something *clicked*. It was more than just your typical sales pitch; it was about the ideas I had for her website that got her intrigued. Now, here’s where it gets interesting – when she received my quote, it was a hefty 50% more than the last person she’d talked to. Tarzan even felt it might be stretching her budget a bit.
But you know, as I always say, it’s not just about the numbers. It’s the value you bring to the table, the ideas, the skills, and the vision that make your ideal client say, ‘You’re the one.’ And that’s exactly what happened between me and Tarzan. She was impressed with my proposal and felt confident that this partnership was going to turn out great.
We began by exploring three creative directions, and it was up to Tarzan to pick the one that resonated with her the most.
The first creative direction was inspired by hew existing brand – but a calmer and more grounded version. I took the colors from her then current brand and put them together to create a personality-filled but toned down color palette. We added a little mid-century modern vibes to it, as I knew from our conversation that Tarzan loves MCM and it represents her well.
The second creative direction brought in some playful, vibrant shades like yellow, green and purple. I wanted to highlight Tarzan’s quirky and adventurous vibes, something unexpected and unique.
And finally, the third direction brought a sense of calm and serenity, leaning more into earthy greens and blues, still inspired by MCM vibes.
In the end, Tarzan decided to roll with the first direction (which was no surprise to me!). It felt like an evolution of her current brand but with a fresh twist. The colors danced in a new way, and although it looked different, it wouldn’t give her audience a major shock.
And from there, we began developing her brand with a new set of colors, brand elements, patterns, making adjustments as we go to come to a new visual identity that truly felt like the “new” Tarzan.
Building her new went was a massive collaborative effort. I created mockups on Figma based on Tarzan’s amazing copy (ah, the joys of working with a copywriter) and we collaborate right inside the mockups to ensure a perfect match between copy and design.
You see, it’s not just about making things look pretty; the words on the page that matter just as much. These two powerhouses team up to deliver your message, captivate your audience, and make those conversions happen.
Imagine a stunning website with lackluster copy – it might not quite hit the mark. On the flip side, even the most compelling copy on a poorly designed site may not get the results you’re after.
For a long time, Tarzan felt a little embarrassed to share her website and drive traffic to it. She even stopped running ads for a while. But now, she’s so proud to show it to people and say “hey look, this is me!”
She knows the quality and perceived value of her brand and business just became even better. Everything is aligned to who she is and where she’s going. Even the people she attracts are a better match.
Tarzan has this brilliant way of putting it – when you know, you just know. It’s like that itch you absolutely have to scratch.
Here are the top three things to consider if you’re wondering if it’s time to rebrand:
Here are some tips Tarzan had to share from a client-perspective to help designer stand out and win clients over competition:
Here’s a piece of advice from one designer to another – it’s not all about the visuals. Take the time to streamline your process and refine your proposals, both before and after your client calls. Keep in mind, there’s no one-size-fits-all process. You’ve got to be flexible and adapt your approach to each client. Make it a breeze for them to collaborate with you.
And a bonus tip – be generous with your ideas. I like to call these little gems ‘your little golden nuggets.’ Even if you’re not entirely sure you’ll end up working with the client, share those ideas freely. More often than not, your clients will fall in love with your creative sparks. It’s a win-win for you, no matter how you slice it.