Core Values Empower Webfor’s Team-Oriented Rebrand

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When it hits, it hits hard, filling your mind with ideas of growth, movement, color, and change. It’s rebrand fever, and its out to transform you and your company into the most successful vision of yourselves.

Last Fall, our team at Webfor came down with this sweet sickness, only to roll out a completely new face, clarified vision, and an inspired and visible new location, directly in the heart of Downtown Vancouver.

This process can occur when your brand isn’t working for you or, in our case, when the brand your audience experiences no longer matches the mounting level of awesome put forth by you and your team. Our mission and vision were pushing at the edges of the way we publicly defined ourselves. It was very clear to everyone: we needed a change.

Each team member weighed in on the new designs and site content. However, a few key people lead the way, designing iconic images and dynamic content for the site that truly represents our talent, expertise, and service-oriented identity. Each of these rock stars weighs in below on the journey, from start to finish. This is the story of our rebrand, but it could just as easily be yours.Why Rebrand Now?Our founder, Kevin Getch, puts it this way: “I originally developed our logo almost 6 years ago. Since that time we’ve seen so much growth and have brought on an amazing team of individuals that have put us in line with some of the top digital agencies in the world. It was time our brand reflected that.”

Choosing to spend hours upon hours of company time and dollars on internal projects did give us pause. However, as Sara Thompson, our content writer for the new site, explains, it was “finally time to reflect the quality of our work on our own website.” The team and the dream came together, and we took a leap of faith and dug in.What Was the Original Vision?“One of our main goals up front was to create a modern and memorable site, but not one that was so trendy that we’d be here again in 5 years,” explains Wes Button, Lead Designer and the mind behind the new logo.

According to Jason Wright, Operations Manager, our consistent desire was to do something “really special. Something unique, but not so unique that users wouldn’t understand or would have difficulty using our website.”And Then Came the ChallengesJason explains, “It was definitely a challenge to work through different ideas and filter down what we could do that also fell in line with our values and mission. It’s a tough process because everyone really, truly cares. Everyone wants to be a part of the rebrand and have some kind of creative input.” However, in typical Webfor fashion, the balance between community and individuality was struck through mutual respect and clear guidelines. “The team worked well to facilitate requests and requirements while building the new website The core team was given unprecedented freedom to make decisions on branding materials, website layout and just about everything else.”

One challenge for Sara as she wrote onsite content was to balance solid SEO practices with the conversational, subtly humorous, yet authoritative tone we felt reflected the soul of Webfor. Holding these goals in mind simultaneously as she wrote allowed her to hit each target, for maximum impact.

Another issue she faced and aced was writing without visual design in front of her – and as a mobile employee. Sara moved last September, from Oregon to San Francisco, and completed the entirety of her rebrand work while collaborating through Google Hangouts and emails, guided by her strong intuitive understanding of the company’s vision and values.

“The content I wrote wasn’t directly inspired by the design, but I wish that it had been. I started working on the content before the designs really got going, and being separate from the team, this was more difficult than I thought it would be. Wes and Peter were really good about sending me examples of what they were working on and how the content I had written was being populated.”Jason explains, “It was definitely a challenge to work through different ideas and filter down what we could do that also fell in line with our values and mission. It’s a tough process because everyone really, truly cares. Everyone wants to be a part of the rebrand and have some kind of creative input.” However, in typical Webfor fashion, the balance between community and individuality was struck through mutual respect and clear guidelines. “The team worked well to facilitate requests and requirements while building the new website The core team was given unprecedented freedom to make decisions on branding materials, website layout and just about everything else.”

One challenge for Sara as she wrote onsite content was to balance solid SEO practices with the conversational, subtly humorous, yet authoritative tone we felt reflected the soul of Webfor. Holding these goals in mind simultaneously as she wrote allowed her to hit each target, for maximum impact.

Another issue she faced and aced was writing without visual design in front of her – and as a mobile employee. Sara moved last September, from Oregon to San Francisco, and completed the entirety of her rebrand work while collaborating through Google Hangouts and emails, guided by her strong intuitive understanding of the company’s vision and values.

“The content I wrote wasn’t directly inspired by the design, but I wish that it had been. I started working on the content before the designs really got going, and being separate from the team, this was more difficult than I thought it would be. Wes and Peter were really good about sending me examples of what they were working on and how the content I had written was being populated.”The IconsDesign, Search, and Social . . . what do you imagine when you hear those terms? This was a major concern for our designers, who sought to create visual tags for our company’s core services. Wes explains, “We wanted iconography that was outside the norm but still resonated with the majority of users. This is the one part of the brand that we may be experimenting with over time. However, as the web moves forward, icons are going to be used more and more as a way to quickly drive home information.”But How Did You Get Any Client Work Done?The key to balancing our regular workload with rebrand efforts once again included clear guidelines and a positive – and realistic – attitude. “It can be overwhelming at times and requires setting the right expectations all the way around,” explains Jason, who was responsible for overseeing everyone’s internal and client workloads in all departments during this time (whew!).

Then came the elbow grease. Wes notes that our goals included rolling out the new branding in time for SearchFest, Portland’s Digital Marketing Conference, of which Webfor is a sponsor. “It took a few long nights to get the site and branding ready in time. We didn’t rush, we just prioritized projects in the rebrand accordingly. Luckily, it worked!”Branding Ain’t Easy . . . But It’s Definitely Worth It!As of April, we’ve moved into our new space in Downtown Vancouver: a large-windowed, street-facing office just next to Vinnie’s Pizza. Looking back over the past few months, we recognize that our core values led us through. “Transparency was key, but so was understanding, compassion and the willingness to listen. At times it may sound like we we’re fighting, and to some extent we are, but that’s because we continually challenge each other on what we do and how we do it. This makes us a better, stronger and more cohesive team.” Right on, Jason. We’ll toast to that!

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