Branding stories rarely make it out of the design, marketing or trade press but earlier in 2020, one branding issue made a number of newspaper front pages. Step forward The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and their bid to retain their ‘royal’ moniker.

After news publically broke that the duo was stepping down from their roles as senior working royals, it became apparent that they had been working hard in the background to create a new ‘Sussex Royal’ brand. Trademark applications were made and a website designed before the Queen stepped in and forbade them from using the term ‘Royal’.

The Duke and Duchess had to embark on a huge rebranding exercise with immediate effect, working across a number of public and private touchpoints to ensure the Queen’s orders were followed. While a highly unusual situation that was played out in the national media, there are lessons that all businesses can learn from the situation.

Whether you’re starting a company from scratch, creating a merged brand as a result of a takeover or are refreshing a current identity, there are a few rules to follow. Doing your research is of vital importance, and MPL Interiors suggests the following:

  • Check if your intended company name is trademarked – you can perform a search on the Government’s designate trademark page, which has a helpful word, image, and phrase filters.
  • See what URLs are already taken – many web development companies and URL traders have a search function, which will reveal if the web address you have in mind is already taken and what similar alternatives are.
  • Perform a Google search on your brand name – this will show how many businesses, if any, are already trading with that name and also other companies with similar brands that you might end up being confused with. 
  • Create a set of brand guidelines and distribute widely – at MPL Interiors, we create brand guidelines that set out the font, Pantone colors, logo style and placement of elements that should be adhered to by in-house staff and external suppliers. This helps achieve brand consistency.
  • Make wholesale changes – to avoid mixed messages and any confusion among customers; it’s best to execute a brand change across all touchpoints as simultaneously as possible. That may mean swapping to new letterheads and compliments slips; updating your website and email signature and changing the livery on company vehicles. A rebrand also means installing a new identity across shops and offices, and commissioning new signage, so consult with an office interior designer at MPL.Interiors.

Our office design company is happy to share its branding advice with you, so contact MPL Interiors.