“The sales team need new business cards”, a phrase that heralds the start of a major upheaval as a new image is needed – or maybe the CEO is suddenly bored of the current one – and one of the many graphic design agencies will be called upon to look at refreshing or re branding the whole company. Cue the cold shoulder from the CFO and the nervous apprehension in the marketing team, but there is a way to avoid this tension.

Rewind to when the company was set up. It was built around a set of goals and values which are likely to be still going strong today and have a look and feel that the owners, employees, suppliers and customers recognise. Take some time to evaluate what these are, and if they’re not written down, go and find a pen.

The importance of communicating an organisation’s values cannot be played down as in effect, they narrate the story of the company. Take Ikea, who made it their mission to “create a better everyday life” for their customers. Each company can brand itself in these bold terms, in short, branding is just a reflection of who you already are. Let your audience know the brand story, the personality of the company, let the artwork indicate the feel for the style of the company and not only will you have a clearer idea of what you want from the design agency, you’ll have a better idea of where you company is going as a whole.