Today’s Pro Interviews features Sarah Williams, Founder and Creative Lead at Rebel Office.
Pagezii – Sarah, please tell us a bit about yourself.
Sarah – I’m the Founder of Rebel Office, a brand strategy and graphic design business. I went to Bishop’s University in Quebec and made my way through school doing odd graphic design jobs. What really happened was, if I saw something ugly, I had a tendency of creating and offering an alternative solution.
I love the startup environment and have a pretty big passion for economic development. Especially for rural Canadian areas, where resources are majorly lacking for entrepreneurs. I love to travel and work in different co-work spaces, so my team and I run Rebel Office from our laptops. I also love to ski, which is why I’m currently out in British Columbia for the season even though Ontario is normally where I call home base. I’ll head back to Southwestern Ontario in time for it to be sailing season again.
Pagezii – What is the Rebel Office?
Sarah – Rebel Office is a brand strategy and graphic design business for businesses generally under 5 years old, or in the ‘startup’ phase. We actually recently went through a bit of a re-brand ourselves to focus more on the startup niche and offering the entire brand identity process. It’s so important to have a consistent, complete brand from the get-go. Being a startup still ourselves, we understand budget restraints and the importance of conveying the personality of the business to the world. While the graphic design component of the business is the real product or service offering, we really get to know our clients on a personal level to make sure we get the strategy right. Throughout the entire process, we make sure to work in that strategy so everything stays on track.
Pagezii – In your experience, what does a brand mean to a business?
Brand isn’t just a logo and some color combinations
Sarah – This is a bit of a tricky question because there’s a big difference between what a lot of people think it is, and what it actually is. It isn’t just a logo and some color combinations… Your brand is you. It’s what you do, your values and mission, the experience that you provide your customers. To make it more complicated, it’s really more how you’re perceived in all of those things – which is where creating a consistent identity comes in. It helps you to convey who you are as a business to your customers and gives you the opportunity to have a positive impact on their perception of you. It’s an investment that definitely needs to be made for a new business.
Pagezii – What part of branding do you enjoy the most?
Sarah – While the actual graphic design is definitely the most fun part, I’d have to say my favorite part is always making sure the identity as a whole works. Watching all of the components come together to represent an actual brand is really what I love about the entire process.
Having a consistent brand is so important
Pagezii – How important is it to have a consistent brand on every channel?
Sarah – Having a consistent brand is so important! I say the word consistent so much, but it’s what you’re putting out there to your potential clients. So if they’re confused either about what you’re offering or who you even are as a company, they’re out of there! If they’re not, they either know you personally or will take much longer to convert, which is time and money for you.
Pagezii – So what pitfalls should businesses avoid when implementing brand consistency?
Sarah – Businesses should avoid making their branded materials and channels 100% identical. The best way is to focus on the elements of a brand – so fonts, colors, logo variations. This is where a Brand Board comes in handy – which we do for you on the house when doing a project with us. A Brand Board is basically a poster with your brand guidelines on it, and they’re super handy for your whole team to be conscious about what they’re putting out there as the business. It’s actually important to play around with the different elements, variations and try switching it up a bit. It forces people into brand recognition a bit quicker and kind of kick-starts their brain into noticing you more consciously. It also allows for a bit more creative freedom.
Pagezii – Thank you, Sarah, for giving us a wonderful overview of how branding works. Our readers will be very interested in your thoughts.