A Tell-All on Hitting the Refresh Button for CACC
The other day, I clicked the LIVE button on my brand refresh.
PHEW. What a process it was to revive Carried Away Creative Co.’s branding, and revamp my website and copy entirely.
But you may be wondering - why? Why did I decide to do this now? And what are my biggest takeaways from the experience?
So I’m here to tell all. ;) Or at least the Cliffs Notes version.
why rebrand now?
Let’s rewind all the way back to 2016, shall we? I had an inkling of an idea to branch out on my own and start freelancing before my husband was gearing up to deploy.
Crazy? Maybe. But, I knew I wanted more flexibility and to really fill my days doing what I loved to do - especially while he was away. After all, writing is my jam. I’d long been accustomed to working with clients on copywriting for their business. And I was ready to get back to that as the full-time position I had at the time wasn’t entirely filling me up.
So I made the leap. I purchased a $20 logo template on Etsy and pushed forward to put some life behind this brand of mine.
Don’t get me wrong. Going that route is definitely OKAY, especially when you’re starting with nothing. As I started growing my client roster and team (adding a virtual assistant and associate content creator into the mix), I began to feel more and more disconnected from my current branding.
The colors were extremely neutral (beiges and greys), the font was too playful and not easily transferrable across all platforms (web, social; you name it), and I had nothing (from the visual standpoint) that related to what it is I do - write.
So once the new year rolled around, I started going back and forth in my mind as to whether or not a rebrand was in the cards for me.
And the deciding factor was this: I have all these goals and action plans for the future, and when I asked myself if my current branding could get me there, the answer was a hard no.
That’s when I reached out to Bri at Brighten Made and set the wheels into motion in late January.
landing cacc’s visual identity
These were my exact first words to Bri:
“I know I need branding that will stand out/stand the test of time while also reflecting myself & the mission of my business. My logo was an Etsy template purchase, so I’m really eager to have something that is unique.”
After a few conversations - both via email and phone, completing an extensive branding questionnaire, and honing in on a solid strategy, I couldn’t be happier with the visual identity Bri magically created over the course of our 6(ish) week-long collaboration.
the custom mood board that inspired it all:
When completing the branding questionnaire I mentioned earlier, I described my ideal vibe I desired for my brand being:
Simple, warm, uplifting, casual, cheerful, inviting, natural.
Bri took my responses and our conversations, and turned it into THIS:
Three words: Bri. Nailed. It. What do you think?
Even better, she identified creative visual components—from the submark to the pattern—that connect to my official tagline: weaving together words that inspire readers to get carried away by your brand.
Now, you’d think such an experience would bring learning lessons and key takeaways. And I had plenty of those! Here are the essentials if you find yourself in the same shoes at some point in your entrepreneurial journey.
Find a professional designer who matches your style. I have a few friends who are seriously talented graphic designers. And each one brings a unique style to the table. That being said, put relationships aside and focus on what’s good for your business. Do your research and make sure you collaborate with a designer who you mesh with, has a portfolio that really speaks to the style you hope to master with your brand, and also a solid process in place (timeline, contract, questionnaire, etc.). Branding = a serious investment. So be thoughtful with your decision.
Give your content a refresher. I can’t stress this enough. For two-and-a-half years, I stuck with the same content across all my pages. That content worked for my old branding, but a refresher was essential. Why? Because your business evolves, and your words need to, too. Personally, I had a massive amount of content on my site that didn’t serve my readers, which forced me to hit the Delete button many, many times to get it right where it needed to be to complement my visual branding. Remember, content is king. ;)
Develop a launch plan. This is a big freakin’ deal in your biz lady life. Ok? So you obviously want to be sure everyone gets to admire the beauty that is your rebrand. What that means is you’re going to need to craft a timeline to create content for and deploy an email announcement, blog post, social media teasers & announcement, giveaway strategy (if you’d like to celebrate in a greater way!), and even a checklist for any necessary areas where you need to update your branding (social platforms, CRM, email management; the list goes on). Oh, and my biggest piece of advice? Don’t just let your audience in on the fact that you’ve gone through the rebranding process on none other than launch day! Instead, invite them into the entire journey - from strategy to revisions, logo teasers, web redesign and copywriting…SHOW. IT. ALL. Be fully transparent with your people and they’ll feel even more connected to your new identity once it’s officially out there for the world to see.
Get a second (or third, fourth, fifth) set of eyes before hitting the “GO LIVE” button. Once you have everything ready to go, get your family and friends in on the fun. Tell them they’re the first to see all this goodness, and ask them if they’d be willing to help you give it a once-over for perfection!
Always do what’s right for your business. All the cool kids are doing it, right? Wrong. Stay in your lane. What some brands need, yours may not. Maybe you need a complete revamp of your business name on top of your visual identity. Or your existing web template needs a re-do, too. Whatever it is, take the necessary steps to evaluate where you're at now and where you want to go so you can tackle this process.
And I’ll leave you with this - rebranding was such a bittersweet process. Parting ways with a starter brand that served me extremely well for the first two-and-a-half years of CACC’s life was a little emotional, if I’m being completely honest.
BUT, this was a dream come true for me. Being able to do what I love every day is a dream come true for me. The best part? Knowing this is all MINE and will help me serve YOU in greater ways lights me up!
So THANK YOU. Thank you for being with me along this journey. You, friend, make it all possible. Here’s to all that’s in store for our future together!
Ready to collaborate with the new and improved Carried Away Creative Co.? Send me a note and let’s get to chatting!