Are You Ready for a Brand Refresh? Advice From an Expert
After 40 years of the same logo and branding, rolling out something new didn’t come without challenges, according to Coldwell Banker’s Chief Marketing Officer David Marine. “The process we went through to determine that it was time to rebrand is a process any real estate professional, brokerage or team can go through to do the same. It helped us clarify our message and method,” he said. “We’re still learning.” Here are the questions the marketing team asked themselves before embarking on a rebrand:
3 Rights and a Left Process
Marine says when determining if it’s time to rebrand, you take three rights and a left. Here, he explains:
- Right reason: Are you doing it for the right reason? Your reasons may vary, but for Coldwell Banker, they felt that the old logo wasn’t reflective of the modern, luxury brand it had become.
- Right timing: Is the time right to rebrand? “For us, after 40 years, the timing was right,” he says. Because it had been so long since the logo and branding had changed, Coldwell Banker decided to do a tiered rollout. “That has been beneficial for us,” says Marine. “It allowed [our brokers and agents] to live with change for a little bit and allowed them to plan better.”
- Right team in place: Do you have the right marketing team and agency partner behind the design? Do you have a public relations team in place to get the word out? “Having those partners in place before the rebranding process takes place makes things simpler and smoother,” he says.
- Left: “Make sure that all doubts get left behind,” says Marine. “It’s easy to question yourself on this. Change is not easy, especially if your branding hasn’t changed in a long time, like ours.” He adds, “People have pride in your old branding, so you have to be ready to deal with all the questions and stay the course.” Marine says that the branding process has been tough, but they’ve included their agents and brokers in every step of the process, taking their feedback and implementing it. “We gave them time to get used to it. So much time, that we get calls from brokers who want to implement the new signage immediately before the testing phase has been completed!”
Coldwell Banker Residential announced the brand refresh in March and recently began testing out its new brand in four offices around the country. Project North Star’s test markets are:
- Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Dupont/Logan D.C. office
- Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Madison, N.J. office
- Coldwell Banker The Real Estate Group, Plainfield, Ill. office
- Coldwell Banker Caine, all three offices in South Carolina