There are a few moments in life you never forget and one for me was the moment Ruth, my manager, asked me if I’d like to lead the rebrand for what’s now British Steel. The sense of trepidation and excitement still brings butterflies to my tummy, but what an exciting prospect! When we became British Steel, a new opportunity presented itself, an opportunity to be in control of our own destiny, but we knew creating a new brand for an old name presented its own special challenges!
Actually it doesn’t seem 5 minutes ago that we embarked on our ambitious rebrand journey, so to be at our 2-year anniversary now is just astounding – how time has flown.
I’ve always been passionate about and worked with brand. Until January 2016, my involvement with brand had been applying it, working with it, encouraging others to embrace it and maybe steering direction just a little bit! Our recent brand journey opened up a whole new world for me involving lots of people, tenders, workshops, research, planning and more. Working with our chosen brand agency Ruddocks, creating our new visual identity was an exciting yet demanding time, mainly because of the really tight timescales! Anticipating all applications of our visual identity was an interesting project and we were all so proud to share our new brand with the world on 1 June 2016, our launch day.
Of course, brand isn’t all about visual elements – the logo, the colours, the fonts. A fundamental element are values and behaviours. Not everyone gets why brand is important – and also why it’s not subjective. We’re all familiar with global brands, we’re exposed to them every day and they’re all competing for our attention. People need familiarity, it’s reassuring and helps build brand loyalty and goodwill – and that’s why the visual elements, like colour and font, and behaviours need to be consistent.
Just think about Coca Cola, Apple or Virgin – massive consumer brands we’re all familiar with. We can all bring their logos to mind, but we also associate behaviours with them – when we think about them, it evokes some sort of feeling about them, even if it’s subconscious. Maybe you associate them with being high tech, innovative, friendly – what do you think? What these associations mean is a well-managed brand brings an inherent value, it becomes an asset that contributes to the bottom line. How much? Well, according to Interbrand, Apple tops the list of the world’s most valuable brands, weighing in at a pretty impressive $184 billion in 2017. They ranked Facebook as the fastest growing brand, but I wonder how the recent negative coverage around data protection will have affected its value.
Our brand is now recognised as one of the best things about our company and that gives me a fantastic feeling. For our brand to be recognised externally and to win awards across the board for digital, visual identity, brand evolution and implementation (and more!) is great recognition for everyone that helped make it happen.
British Steel - an award winning brand
So, 2 years on, what’s next on this journey? Well, for me, I think our challenge now is to keep up the momentum and continue our cultural journey, encouraging everyone to embrace and live our values. We need to make sure we consistently demonstrate the behaviours and values we aspire to be known for. That’s key.
We know there’s massive enthusiasm for our brand as employees throw themselves once again into ‘Glowing Orange’ for our anniversary. A fantastic way to celebrate our special day as well as raise valuable funds for the communities that have shown us tremendous support in our early days as British Steel. Take a look on Twitter using the hashtag #OurBritishSteelDay to see what our amazing colleagues are getting up to today!
We're glowing orange on our 2nd birthday
But it’s also important to keep our brand fresh and relevant, it needs to evolve as we move forward. We need to make it work for our business units on their paths to success. We know the value in it, we know it works and we know our brand awareness is growing. Without a doubt, the brand we’re all so proud of can help us build stronger futures.