Six months ago, Coldwell Banker Real Estate previewed a new logo, dubbed the “CB North Star mark,” which it says symbolizes the brand’s position as a guide for clients and a leader in the real estate industry. After an extensive testing and discovery phase, the brand has finalized the new logo and corresponding identity standards, yard signs, marketing materials, office concepts and a full suite of branded apparel.
The company says rebrands are especially difficult for franchise organizations, so it chose a novel approach to the process. It devised the concept of a “transparent rebrand.” The past six months have been filled with testing, iterating and perfecting the new brand identity. Four companies served as beta testers, identifying the best practices and signage design that will guide the global roll-out in 2020, says the firm.
“For a franchise brand, I believe that a transparent rebrand process is necessary, and this process has been enlightening. Companies that declare a rebrand is happening and don’t leave room to test in real-world scenarios put themselves at a disadvantage,” says David Marine, chief marketing officer, Coldwell Banker Real Estate. “We’ve been able to make adjustments in a number of scenarios where the logo is displayed on signage, marketing materials and more. We saw what works best and adjusted based on feedback. This learning phase gave us invaluable insight before we roll out the new look across our entire network in 2020.”
Based on initial field testing, the new logo was updated to include the “Coldwell Banker” wordmark displayed with the new “CB North Star” icon. The brand also finalized new yard sign designs after real-world implementation in four U.S. test markets.
The brand released the Coldwell Banker Look Book along with new identity standards and a Playbook to guide Coldwell Banker-affiliated companies through their own rebrands. The brand is also releasing a weekly podcast dubbed The Road to Rebrand and a mini documentary titled Story Behind the Star.
“Coldwell Banker did a great job engaging affiliated agents during yard sign development and selection. The new designs will really help the brand stand out, which is tough in the sophisticated D.C. market,” says Sherri Anne Green, agent with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Washington, D.C. “Clients are drawn to the modern logo. The clean fresh look combined with the history and strength of the name Coldwell Banker make for a powerful combination.”