How We Rebranded (circa 2016)

Human Brand Methodology Design Branding AKÏN Culture

Note: AKIfirst rebranded in 2016 to showcase our bright, youthful energy and spunky creativity. As we grew into a more insight-driven, culture-focused agency, we updated our visual identity in late 20192020 to match our evolved positioning. Do see part 2 of our corporate journey here!   

2016 — There's a beginning for everything, so, before we jump into the story behind our rebranding, we’d like to #throwback to the founding of our parent company, Techlyon. 

 

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(L to R) The OG: Liz, Arvin and Kenneth  

 

Technlyon started as a tech innovator delivering integrated digital solutions. But its founders, three friends, soon realised that brands didn’t just need help with technical development; they needed help with figuring out their brand first!  

 

They placed their heads together to come up with a solution that empowers brands to embrace their humanity, setting a new standard for digital marketing. So, voila  that’s how AKIN was born, and the rest is history! 

 

So here were are now — shiny, happy and rebranded. For us, this rebranding process was really more than skin deep. Most importantly, it helped us practice ourHuman Brand Methodologythat we created and preach. An effective company rebrand requires a strong understanding of who you are and what you set out to do.  

 

Here’s how we did ours: 

 

Defining our core

There are two principles that we hold dear at our core: being human (which speaks of our mission), and believing in the power of collaboration. With that defined, we set out to create an identity that would reflect those values. 

Here were some questions we asked ourselves at this stage: 

  • - Why do a rebrand? 
  • - Is it a refresh or a rehaul? 
  • - Does the brand identity tell the correct story right now? 
  • - What do we want to convey and to whom? 

 

Presenting our body

Leading with human intuition and a keen visual eye (along with countless iterations in between), we created a brand identity that was both organic and dynamic. To us, it embodies what human interactions and collaborations should be like (respectively or vice versa). The new branding not only represents who we are, but it also reflects the different personalities we have on the team. 

 

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Here's our logo handwritten by everyone on the team!

 

Here were more questions that we asked ourselves:  

  • - Is the new branding easy to recall? 
  • - Can the design adapt alongside the growth of the company? 
  • - Besides the brand identity, what is the brand’s expression? (i.e. personality and tone of voice) 

 

Building our realm

Once we have established our core and body, we reached the final checkpoint in our own rebranding process.This is where we have to figure out how our brand can resonate with others too, and not just the team.Ultimately, regardless of how amazing your new brand may look, your brand is only as strong as the associations and the connection people have with it. 

 

Yes, more questions:  

  • - How can we continue building brand equity/affinity? 
  • - Are our target audiences going to embody our brand and retell our story for us? 

 

A world of human brands 

If you’re familiar with the joys of #agencylife, then you’d know what the daily grind is like. This mostly involves clicking away at our computers, rushing for pitches, dealing with deadlines, and for us, busying ourselves with building other brands. It was easy to overlook our own brand story.   

This rebranding came as a much needed pitstop for us to scrutinise our own direction and purpose, and alsoreflect on how far we’ve come. After all, when we help brands embrace their humanity, we’ve achieved our goals — ourselves included! 

 

To a world of human brands!   

 

Curious about what the “Ï” in our logo means, or why we’ve opted for bold colours with cute characters? Check out our detailed design diary to learn about the meaning behind our new visual identity (below). Feel free to write in to us at oh@helloakin.com if you think we’ve done a great job!   

 

 

Written by Rachel Goh

Updated by Hanson Ng (Nov 2019)

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