After launching our previous site two years ago, we were so proud of what we had created. We wanted to portray ourselves as larger than who we were, and we did just that. Our online presence was looking sharp, like a high-dollar NY agency for the big players. But as time past, we began to realize… that wasn’t who we are.
It became apparent that our look, our message, our website… it fell short. The fact that you could come to MRC for “big-city quality” design at a fraction of the price remained true, but the way we presented ourselves wasn’t hitting the mark. Our voices weren’t being heard and our personalities weren’t being reflected as well as they could have been. And as a branding company, it’s funny to say, but we branded ourselves as who we thought others wanted us to be and not who we actually were.
Our previous site oozed elegance and dollar signs, so much so that it became cold and distant, with its stark white pages and museum-like presence. The site, which focused solely on our previous work and lofty messaging, left a mysterious aura about who the people were behind MRC. And for us, we’re all about the people! We needed to be more transparent, more authentic, more us. We knew it was time to rework our brand, our messaging, and our online presence, but man, what a large undertaking, right?
So where do we start?
Do we completely rebrand ourselves? That was the big question. Either we could start from scratch, or we could build off of what we had already created. We threw around all sorts of ideas, before we took a step back. We had to approach this like a true branding project, as if we were the client.
So like we do with all our client’s branding projects, we started with a discovery deep dive. Figuring out who we are, who we are trying to reach, what our values are, what our goals are… we went through the whole questionnaire. Twice. Then we got feedback from trusted outsiders who know MRC inside and out. And after all that, we landed on a few key points to keep as our guiding focus moving forward.
- We’re just a group of normal folks, but we do damn good work.
- Building long-term relationships with passionate clients is what drives us.
- We have a dialed in process that can truly handle any size project – on time and on budget, every time.
- Hospitality is our sweet spot.
The Next Steps
With our focus in mind, we began to craft a voice for ourselves. It was time ditch the lofty verbiage and be more direct. Treating design as an approachable service for solving problems and not as a luxury item. We worked on communicating insight into what we do, how we do it, and most importantly, the value we deliver.
With our messaging dialed in, it was time to look at our identity. We wanted to be more approachable. More blue-collar. And not look so… serious. Based on our discovery and the updated messaging, we felt our old identity wasn’t too far off but it did need something. We landed on softer colors, incorporating a mellow off-white and a rich sky blue into the mix.
For the logo… our previous logo was distant. Museum-like. It embodied the same feel as our website had. While we loved the boldness of it, the gradient didn’t reflect who we’d become. It’s time had come and past. After an exploration of researching, sketching, and refining, we landed on a subtle but impactful refresh. With the sharp edges removed and a playful drop shadow added, our logo suddenly felt reflective of who we are.
We also created a handful of badges to use on branded collateral, stickers, giveaways and more. Because who says you can’t have fun with your brand?! Most of these came during our exploration of “scrap the logo and start over?” phase but were too good to let sit in Dropbox collecting dust.
The grand finale or just the beginning?
With our new identity all buttoned up, it was time to compile it all together on the web. We had a good foundation to start with and tons of new ideas to try out: evoking the right emotion, communicating to people who we are, and giving them insight into our wonderful past (and present) client’s experiences were at the top of our list. Obviously our work speaks for itself (right…? We think so!), so giving a look behind the scenes felt like the best way to let people know exactly who we are and how we work.
Although the new site is launched, we aren’t done just yet. We’ll be continuing to make improvements and dial it all in to best mirror the team behind the work.
Brand refreshes are as normal for a healthy business as improving and updating process charts. As your business grows and changes, so should your brand. If you are like we were, and your brand no longer feels true to who you’ve become, reach out. We’d love to sit down, grab a beer, and figure out a road map for your success.