Where To Start?
As a well-established business, the decision to undergo a branding refresh can be a scary thought. Some of the considerations that run through the business owner’s head might include, “Do I risk neglecting those who already recognize my brand?” or “Will the brand refresh have the impact on revenue that makes it worthwhile to consider?” “Will the logo help or hinder the connection between who we are and what we do?”
While Waterfront Wines Restaurant has long been established as a destination for those in Kelowna and the Okanagan region, their online presence required a modern facelift to keep pace with its to match with its prestigious reputation.
The restaurant consulted the branding team at Hiilite to undertake this milestone including a website design for their new venture (Waterfront Café), logo design for the restaurant as well as providing creative direction for photography for the brand. In this article we will discuss some of the insights we provide to clients who are looking to revamp their brand strategy.
Strategies For Branding
It was important to first understand what point the Waterfront brand was at. As a well-known company with pre-existing marketing collateral we did not want to act as if their brand needed to be completely re-designed from scratch. Instead, our brand strategists homed in on what about the previous design works and what did not.
Also, we want to be considerate of their current following and ensuring we respect their history with the brand when refreshing. This is an important point to consider when discussing with a potential branding studio of your choosing. They should be considerate of where you currently stand in the market. If they suggest immediately, with no considerable justification as to why, to start over from scratch, this should raise a red flag that you should seek another opinion.
Going from this…
Requires significant thought into a brand’s strategy and objectives.
At Hiilite, the logo design is considered crucial as it is the first thing new customers will identify with. Additionally, if it is going to be included on every piece of marketing collateral going forward, it’s important to knock it out of the park. Additionally, the colours & fonts will lay the foundation for the company messaging, visual appearance and layout of properties like the website.
As part of our strategic branding process, Hiilite updated the design to something sleeker and more modern, in-line with the latest branding trends as well as designing a shot-list of high-quality photos to be used online and for promotional materials.
To carry out the remainder of the refresh, Hiilite assisted Waterfront Wines in how to execute their brand strategy to meet and exceed goals and objectives. Although we have mainly focused on the logo redesign up to this point, it’s important to note that a brand strategy is not limited to a logo, product or website. Instead, it’s the overall connection your audience associates with your name, brand, business, etc.
Hiilite chose to focus on some of the most important components for a comprehensive branding strategy when it came to generate, what would become, Waterfront’s new identity.
First, the website as well as the logo design were created with a purpose. The website needed to be sleek, user friendly and functional to match up with the in-person experience and reputation of the restaurant. Additionally, featuring the head chef (Mark Filatow – pictured here) as a primary focus not only adds to the establishment’s credibility (due to Mark’s reputation as a respected & award winning chef) but also creates a personal connection with their audience as it gives their visitors insight as to who is preparing their delicious meals.
Once the initial brand guidelines were created and visuals were established, these principles were applied consistently throughout the site and upcoming marketing collateral. A style guide was created for all future marketing messaging that is to be followed in effort to not confuse brand loyal consumers and apply consistent messaging in marketing campaigns.
The simplistic nature of the ‘w’ logo was designed to continue the sleek, minimalistic yet modern look and feel of the brand refresh. Additionally, the hope is that customers will feel an emotional connection to the ‘w’, easily associating it with the Waterfront Wines Restaurant and Café.
Another bonus of the utilizing of this logo is that it provides extreme flexibility for the Waterfront brand. The logo can easily be applied in future messaging, utilizing the ‘w’ logo rather in text rather than keeping with the handwritten font that was also established for example, would allow it to stand out and immediately create an association for its more brand aware customers. Finally, by pursuing this refresh of the brand, it adds the potential for Waterfront to connect with a new audience, perhaps those more intrigued by the modern feel.
Finally, the client and Hiilite chose to leverage the brand’s image as a hub within the city. Creating a sense of community, especially within Kelowna (an area known for supporting local businesses) was a no brainer.
When visiting the site, users will notice the messaging reflects this conscious effort including, “Local Ingredients, Worldly Inspiration”, “Local & Organic Ingredients”, “Made By Hand” and “Made For You” amongst others. To further boost the competitive advantages their brand possesses over other communities within Kelowna, the prestigious awards Waterfront has received are also communicated where appropriate.
The refresh undergone by the Waterfront brand was no doubt, a success as the establishment continues to receive rave reviews from its loyal customers. The tactics discussed here played an integral part in shifting the brand’s public perception for the better including: creating a brand with a purpose, that allows for both consistent yet flexible, emotional messaging. By incorporating these we have been successful in making the Waterfront brand into a local community hub.
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Could your brand use a refresh? Contact our team of branding experts at Hiilite to discuss some potential options to take your brand to the next level!