What is Bright?
Bright is an all-in-one platform for Creators, Influencers, and Teachers to host ticketed, live learning sessions with their fans.
Why an internal rebrand?
Long story short: Startup resourcing. We'll get into the rest of it shortly.
Co-led by myself and the Director of User Research and Strategy
1 Systems Designer
1 Product Designer
1 Jr. Brand/Marketing Designer
Secret mission: 3 months as a side project
Top priority: 3 months
After operating for over a year with unfinished and unpolished branding, both our Product Design and Marketing Design departments were in dire need of a polished brand that fulfilled the promises we were making to our customers.
“Brand” had become a bad word at the company, and the CEO was convinced it was unnecessary and would be a waste of time.
When I joined Bright, they had hired a small external firm to brand the company and had already kicked off the process. I soon came to understand that the design director wasn’t involved at all, which was a bit concerning. After some discussion, design joined the project and did our best to give feedback and guidance.
We were fast approaching the launch of our website, which was awaiting the handoff of the brand. Unfortunately, it turned out the firm’s background leaned more traditional graphic design, and much of what they delivered was not optimized for digital use. The logo was pretty difficult to read at small scales and we felt that the web design they gave us was too basic.
Around this time, the design director also parted ways with the company. So I got to work making the logo a bit more legible, updating some of the colors to feel geared more towards our target audiences, and slapped a skin on the site for launch.
I'm probably preaching to the choir here, but
a logo and color palette does not a brand make!
However, this was all the time given to adapt the brand to our company’s needs, both for product and future marketing assets.
Six months later we had hired a junior designer into the marketing department and he was doing his darnedest to create designs based off our website, but was struggling to come up with cohesive layouts and campaigns.
I offered to quickly try to put together very basic guidelines aimed at getting him (and us) by until we could dedicate time to completing the brand.
While the CEO had really loved the direction of the mini-guide, time and resources were still not allocated, but not for lack of trying. We kept operating with this very limited set of guidelines for the rest of 2021.
The lack of a complete brand and guidelines meant that every new product experience we created would take longer to figure out, and every new marketing asset created would take longer to dream up and execute. The head of marketing was getting mad that their designer was taking too long to come up with new ideas , so they started having their talent team create their own designs, which was... not a great look for us.
Our collateral was not communicating the premium, inspiring experience we were promising to our Creators and Audiences.
The Director of Talent and Marketing was begging for better brand design. She actually said the talent her team was pitching to was hesitant to work with us because of our image on Instagram. She agreed that it was worth the investment, but the CEO still thought it wasn’t worth the time.
Our Director of User Research and Strategy had been deeply involved in the brand strategy portion of the branding process, and was now overseeing the marketing designer. She and I agreed we could wait no longer and decided our teams would start chipping away at the brand as a side project, always with the understanding that this could not slow down our real work.
Not starting from zero
Our goal was not to start over. We wanted to do this as fast but also as effectively as possible, always keeping our needs and the interests of our audiences in mind.
Luckily, a lot of the work that was done in the strategy phase of the agency’s original brand work was solid and still true to what we were building towards, so we were able to start with a strong foundation.
We started with our brand persona,
And used this work to run a brainstorm to create a set of Experience Principles*
*Experience principles represent the alignment of brand aspirations and customer needs.
In action, they help teams own their part (e.g., a product, touchpoint, or channel) while supporting consistency and continuity in the end-to-end experience.
Based on those principles, (there were originally 6) as well as the aspirational inspo from my mini-guide that our CEO had liked so much, we created mood boards to reflect them and discussed what was and wasn't resonating.
After rounds of refinement, we eventually landed on one concept.
Lo-Fi: The Perfectly Imperfect
Progress over perfection
The process is beautiful
A little retro
Putting the fun back in learning (and teaching)