05. december 2019

What we learned from changing the Lunar brand - and what you need to know when rebranding a business

At Lunar we recently changed our entire brand identity. Why did we do it? What did we learn? What do you need to know if you’re about to change your brand identity? Get the answers here. 

There are many reasons as to why rebranding your company can be a good idea. 

It could be that you want to go international, that you want to reposition yourself or perhaps your brand no longer mirrors your services. 

In Lunar’s case, it was a question of starting over and setting a new course for the company. In just little over a year, we went from 30 to +100 employees. We went live in three Nordic countries, and we got our own banking license - just to name a few of the changes that we underwent in that short amount of time. 

The license itself brought a need for a new sense of Lunar, a new focus, and upgraded missions and visions.

There was no doubt about it - Lunar needed a rebranding session.

So what did we do?

We asked our Creative Director, Steffen Nørgaard Andersen, to answer that question. 

Steffen has spent half his life designing and rebranding some of the biggest companies in Denmark. He’s also been with Lunar since way back when, before we were little more than an idea, and Steffen has done two rebrandings for Lunar over the years.

What are the pros and cons in creating an entirely new brand from scratch versus rebranding an already existing brand? 

Both have positives and negatives to them. 

The hard part about starting from scratch is that you start off with a completely blank canvas. 

You have no information or data to build from, and you have to figure out what the company’s DNA is before you start. I would say it takes some experience to create an identity from nothing that hits the target audience spot on. You know, everyone can create a cool looking logo, but to build a brand is an entirely different task. 

In terms of rebranding, it’s easier in the sense that you have more information and learnings to base your design on. But there is also a risk of destroying something that works really well. 

Especially if it’s a large company with a million DKK turnover, changing a small thing that maybe sets the company back 1% in sales can cost them tens of thousands of DKK. 

In that perspective, rebranding is not as easy as it might seem.  

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What if you’re asked to rebrand a design that you really like to begin with? 

I think it’s easy to fall into the “if it ain’t broken”-way of thinking when it comes to your brand design. 

You just have to convince yourself and your team that the only reason we think the design doesn’t need an upgrade is that we don’t know any better. 

Because when it comes down to it, you can always optimize your work. 

In your view, what does brand identity mean for a company such as Lunar? 

I think that brands have always had the opportunity to make or break a company. Brands are essential to set yourself apart from your competition. 

Just take a company like Apple. If you look at it plainly, most smartphones do the same things now. Other companies have better products or features. But Apple’s brand is so strong that people pay obscene amounts of money to own their products.

In Lunar’s case, branding is vital. We both have to signal something fresh and new in an old industry. At the same time, we also have to showcase the authority we hold, because we’re handling people’s money.

To reach a place where you are viewed as authoritative, credible and approachable for the customers, you need outstanding branding. And I’m not just talking design now. Our Support Team’s way of helping, our tone of voice, our ads, our content all adds to the overall brand identity.  

Also, consumers are (for the most part) somewhat sceptical of companies by default. Sometimes you can have the best features and the best products. Still, the customer isn’t persuaded. Branding helps in that sense because it’s something customers deal with on an unconscientious level, and branding can help you get over those obstacles of reaching the customers with your awesome product. 

How did you prepare for Lunar’s latest rebranding? 

The team took a deep dive into our target group and looked at what worked and what didn’t work with the old brand. I think the process took a total of three intense months of work with both internal and external partners. 

BWD was an invaluable partner in creating the logo and forming the core identity of the new Lunar brand and Advice was a driving force in developing our tone of voice and helped us with overall sparring.

After the initial research phase, we took a step back to get creative and innovative, but would always circle back to the cornerstone of information we've gathered before starting the rebranding. 

As a creative person it’s hard to step back and be completely objective but to create something that is both beautiful and useful you need to be a tad bit analytical and work on knowledge and not opinions. But then again, always have that creative drive;

Otherwise, you will just end up building a boring and foreseeable brand. 

What do you especially like about the new Lunar brand? 

I like the simplicity of it and that we’ve gotten our identity under control. The old brand was excellent, but a little chaotic and pointing in different directions. It was hard to find that connectivity sometimes. 

The new brand builds a bridge between the provocative, the innovative, the credible and the functional. It makes us stand out, it makes us look sharper, and the brand is stronger for having the ability to work on all platforms. 

5 things to keep in mind when you’re rebranding or creating a new brand identity

  1. Building a brand is a highly creative process. Everyone has an opinion, and that can stop the process in its tracks. Have a clear definition of who gives feedback, who delivers what and who has the final say. Keep in mind that most rebrandings are met with some level of negativity from the users. But if you succeed, that sentiment changes once they get to know the new brand. 
  2. Keep it simple. It might be the biggest cliché, but I really can’t stress this enough. Strive for a timeless design - or at least something you can look at in 10 years and still be just as pleased with. Marketing can be trend-based and contemporary, but the core, the DNA has to have longevity to stay relevant in the years to come. 
  3. Don’t fear the blank canvas. At some point, you just have to dive in, try different looks and designs, step back - remember the cornerstones of information and your target audience - and then get back in and optimize your design. Stepping back once in a while will also prevent you from getting brand fatigue before it’s even launched.   
  4. Know your platform and know your audience; Their experience matters most. 
  5. Remember all the small things - the logo on the door, the navigation on your webpage, business cards, merch, SoMe channels and handles. All these details make a brand.

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