Rebranding a global organisation from the inside

How we launched a global brand (in six months) and the things we learned along the way

A style board, showcasing core assets of the new visual identity

As Idean grew from 170 to 750+ people in the space of a year, evolving the story of our brand became crucial to scaling successfully.

Living by example

Starting out with hundreds of questions, a Post-it wall of pains, an auditor’s notebook (or two) of past stories and a general sense of positivity, we began our journey of discovery. It was an eye-opener. The findings helped us bring meaning to the journey we were on, began to bring clarity to what we stand for, and belief in where we’re going next. We brought together people from across our network of studios — involving everyone from leadership to fresh starters — with the aim of capturing shared meaning and spirit in our brand.

Kick off workshop — building our vision
Kick off workshop — listen up
Kick off workshop — aaaand focus
Kick off workshop — getting serious

Global direction. Local flavour.

This view was (and still is) defined as: Global direction. Local flavour. It’s about giving every Ideanist the ability to play their part and roll their local studio culture and clients into the brand.

Creating a platform for success

Our Brand Platform gives us direction and guidance to fulfil our Purpose

To capture and share this, we borrowed from our experience across brand and design, integrating and combining different models to find one that worked for us. The result is a model that captures the relationship between our smart approach to problem solving and our creative appetite: a bold bunch of people with the ability to think differently and challenge the possibilities in what we do.

We captured this at the centre of our brand platform as our WHY:

We’re fearlessly human and exist to challenge what’s possible

Our refreshed Purpose
A quick video we made (in under 10mins!) to explain what our Purpose means

How we express ourselves

Embracing human imperfections

Making a mark

Marks are symbols of human energy, expressing our identity and personality through human action
A style board, showcasing illustration assets of the new visual identity
Marks allow us to tell visual stories and tailor the qualities to the nature of the communication.
A style board, showcasing visual assets and typography
A new illustration style to work alongside our new visual identity
Fresh new business cards
A screenshot from our shared Figma working assets file

Things we learned along the way

1. Move at speed (but accept some things just take time)

2. Avoid secrecy (where possible)

3. Spend time face to face

4. Stay strong — branding from the inside isn’t easy

5. Get buy-in from above

6. Hangout regularly

7. The collaboration factor

8. Appoint Ambassadors

9. Involve people, make friends and have fun

The value of brand

If you have a fearlessly human spirit and think you’ve got what it takes to challenge what’s possible, check out our latest job posts.

Want to know more?

Bring your brand to life in beta — Ines explains why you should care about your brand

How having +700 illustrators works for our brand — Jess gives you an insight into our global illustration system

The design & brand gap — I explain how design and brand teams can be more effective

A huge thank you to everyone that was involved along the journey. This wouldn’t have been possible without the incredible efforts of the #brand team. All photo credits to Petri Heiskanen.

@stevewhapshott

Creative Director / Designing products with purpose and brands with bold futures @frogdesign