Out With the Old, In With the Bold

Laughlin Constable's new look

The folks at a creative advertising agency, like yours truly, spend the better part of their work weeks building brands to create emotional connections that in turn create booming business for the company’s bottom line. It’s all very romantic. We spend a lot of time and energy thinking about and working on any number of brands – except our own.

So, how does a 40-year-old independent shop reverse the roles? How did we act as our own client and tackle a rebrand of our own?

Practice what we preach

As we would approach any assignment, first, we hit the books. We immersed ourselves in our audience and category to understand pain points and glean insights. We searched for a unique brand truth – something nobody else could say and that contributed to Laughlin Constable’s success and stability for more than four decades. We learned a lot. The process was identical to what we preach to our brand partners and it worked just as well for us, too: By pairing insight and brand truth, a simple, single-minded idea became clear.

We take brands From Now to Next™

We always have and we’ll continue to do so. We exist to inspire and create change – whatever form it may take – to take our partners’ brands to the next level. This “purpose” has defined us since 1976, and it will continue to be the foundation of our brand in the future.

Setting Next-pectations

Next is not what people expect. And we’re OK with that. In fact, we strive for that because next is about creating change. It’s about staying ahead of change. And we want to work with people who share that same vision. When we launched the new LC website and brand in July, it may have looked like a departure from what some expected; however, it was and remains very much rooted in who we are.  

Pink & yellow, pink & yellow, pink & yellow…

Actually, it’s called “Rubine Red,” but close enough.  In order to appropriately explain the color palette, it’s best to refer directly to our (very official and technical) brand standards book:

KA-POW! Pink and yellow! Yeah, we went there. Turned it up all the way to eleven. How do your eyeballs like that sh*t? Our color palette is big, bold, in-your-face, yet friendly and optimistic all at the same time.

Is that a griffin?

Yes, that’s a griffin. The griffin is our spirit animal. With the body and claws of a lion and wings and beak of an eagle, the griffin is rooted in the now and ready for the next.

It’s even played a part in our past. Perched at the door of our Milwaukee, Wis. Headquarters are two golden griffins originally meant to protect the building. Still today, the griffin is our protector, with many manifestations throughout the office, and remains a constant reminder of the past, present and future of Laughlin Constable.

Tips and tricks    

Here are some tips and tricks for any rebrander.

1. Set everyone up for success
If you don’t distribute the right pieces and explain the appropriate usage, people will make it up. Seriously, it got weird. Give them standards and guidelines to follow as well as the pieces they need to communicate the brand you so tirelessly built.

2. It’s not just about logos and business cards, it’s about the idea
Communicate the idea – the inspiration, why it makes sense and what it means to everyone.

3. Deliver on the promise
Start embodying what the brand means in everything you do. It’s a mindset that’s advantageous.

4. Have a party
Rebranding is a big deal, and it should feel like a big deal to your employees. A large gathering boosts morale and gives you the opportunity to communicate the idea (refer to #2).

5. Find your spirit animal
Sometimes, a brand needs inspiration and nothing is more inspiring than a spirit animal.

Sounds overwhelming? Give us a call.

For more tips and insights on how to take your marketing from now to next, subscribe to our newsletter or contact Nicole Stone – Senior Vice President, Business Development at nicole.stone@laughlin.com or 414.270.7235.

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