Up In Your (Family) Business

Infusing Contemporary Design While Honoring a Legacy Brand

With Erika Hersberger & Mariah Robinson

Summary

In this podcast, we discuss the topic of ‘Infusing Contemporary Design While Honoring a Legacy Brand’ with two visual communication designers, Erika Hersberger and Mariah Robinson, from Element212. The discussion covers various aspects of brand refreshes, including the challenges faced by family businesses, the process of incorporating contemporary design elements while preserving a brand’s core values and legacy, and the key considerations involved. The designers share their experiences working on brand refresh projects for several clients, including Adam’s Shoes, Georgetown Market, Cow Pokes, Wallington, and Lampco Federal Credit Union. They provide insights into the common concerns of business owners, the importance of aligning with the client’s goals, and the need for open communication and collaboration throughout the process. The conversation also touches on topics such as the role of taglines, the evolution of brand recognition, and the challenges of ensuring the longevity and relevance of a refreshed brand identity.

 

Chapters

00:00:04 Introduction and Background

The hosts introduce the podcast and the topic of discussion, ‘Infusing Contemporary Design While Honoring a Legacy Brand.’ They provide background information on the two guest designers, Erika Hersberger and Mariah Robinson, and their roles at Element 212, a marketing agency focused on family-owned businesses.

00:04:43 Defining Legacy Brands and Brand Refreshes

The hosts define the term ‘legacy brand’ as a brand that has maintained its relevance and connection with audiences over generations, building a reputation and sense of trust deeply rooted in its history. They clarify that the discussion focuses on brand refreshes rather than full rebrands. They outline the common reasons for undertaking a brand refresh, such as connecting with a new audience, addressing outdated branding, or communicating company values more effectively.

00:09:08 Common Concerns of Family Business Owners

The designers discuss the common concerns and fears that family business owners may have when considering a brand refresh. These include the fear of losing loyal customers or clients, long-term employee concerns about potential business operations changes, and the challenge of aligning multiple stakeholders or generations within the family business.

00:16:25 Incorporating Contemporary Design While Preserving Legacy

The designers share their approach to incorporating contemporary design elements while preserving a brand’s core values and legacy. They emphasize retaining recognizable elements, such as colors, typography, or iconic symbols, while updating the visual identity to appear more modern and relevant. They also discuss the role of color theory, font choices, and the evolution of brand recognition over time.

00:22:48 Client Case Studies

The designers present several case studies of brand refresh projects they have worked on, including Adam’s Shoes, Georgetown Market, Cow Pokes, Wallington, and Lampco Federal Credit Union. They share the specific challenges, considerations, and design decisions for each project, highlighting the collaborative process with clients and the importance of aligning with the client’s goals and values.

01:02:37 Key Takeaways and Advice

The designers share their key takeaways and advice for family businesses considering a brand refresh. They emphasize the importance of aligning stakeholders, having clear goals and priorities, maintaining an open mind to new perspectives, and finding a balance between contemporary design and preserving the brand’s legacy. They also discuss the challenges of ensuring the longevity and relevance of a refreshed brand identity.

Action Items

00:09:23 Understand the common concerns and fears that family business owners may have when considering a brand refresh, such as losing loyal customers, addressing employee concerns about potential changes, and aligning multiple stakeholders or generations within the family business.

00:17:40 Incorporate contemporary design elements while preserving a brand’s core values and legacy by retaining recognizable elements like colors, typography, or iconic symbols while updating the visual identity to appear more modern and relevant.

00:21:18 Conduct thorough research and discovery to uncover the core values, unique characteristics, and business goals, including visiting the physical location, interviewing employees, and reviewing customer testimonials.

00:49:00 Maintain open communication and collaboration with the client throughout the brand refresh process. Align design decisions with the client’s goals and values and be open to their feedback and perspectives.

00:57:25 Consider the longevity and relevance of the refreshed brand identity, striking a balance between incorporating contemporary design trends and creating a timeless visual identity that will resonate with the target audience for years to come.

01:03:38 Before initiating the process, align all stakeholders, including multiple generations or partners within the family business, on the goals and priorities of the brand refresh to ensure a smooth and cohesive collaboration.

00:06:20 Evaluate the need for a brand refresh based on factors such as connecting with a new audience, addressing outdated branding, communicating company values more effectively, gaining a competitive advantage, or establishing visual consistency across various touch points.