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Brand Refresh and Website Revamp: Exploring Magnolia’s Transformation Journey

Brand Refresh and Website Revamp: Exploring Magnolia’s Transformation JourneyPhoto from Unsplash

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We’re starting a big change, focusing on how important our brand and online look are in today’s tough market. Our team saw that we needed a new way to show who we are and what we can do. This led to a big makeover of our brand and website. We aimed to not just update how we look but also to show our strong commitment to being excellent and innovative.

Brand Refresh: Setting the Stage for Transformational Change

Embracing a Digital Future

Staying ahead in the digital marketing world means welcoming new changes. At Magnolia, updating our branding is far more than just a small change; it’s a paradigm shift that aligns our online and offline presence with market trends.

Redefining Our Identity

Our ambition is not just to refresh our look but to fundamentally reimagine our brand. The objective is clear: to build a strong reputation and cement our position as a leading full-service marketing, PR, and communications agency. This rebranding is a reflection of our commitment to innovation and excellence.

Our Roots and Reach

Founded in 2004 by Phoebe Yong, Magnolia has grown from a Vancouver-based marketing agency into a North American leader in B2B PR, Communications, and Digital Marketing. Our story is one of relentless pursuit of growth and excellence, championing brands, and creating impactful communications that drive results.

Rebranding for a New Era: The Purpose of This Journey

Finally, as we embark on this rebranding adventure, our goal is to share insights from our transformation. Through this blog post, we will take you through the challenges, innovations, and successes of our journey, showcasing how we’re evolving to meet the future head-on.

The Decision-Making Process Behind the Full Brand Refresh

Evaluating Our Current Position

The journey towards rebranding began with a critical assessment of where Magnolia stands today as a B2B marketing agency, and more importantly, where we aspire to be in the future. A significant revelation came from our clients: many were unaware of our evolution from a public relations agency to a full-service B2B marketing agency. This gap in perception highlighted the need for change.

Identifying the Need for a Complete Overhaul

After much reflection, we decided to opt for a complete rebrand instead of just a brand refresh. This comprehensive rebrand encompasses every facet of our identity – our logo, messaging, values, and purpose. Magnolia had transformed and grown, and our brand needed to reflect this change.

Key Questions Guiding the Rebrand

  1. Radical Transformation vs. Modernization: We deliberated on whether our brand required a complete transformation or just a modern update. This decision was crucial in setting the direction for our rebranding efforts.
  2. Audience Response: Understanding how our target audience would perceive and react to the rebrand was paramount. We wanted to ensure that our new identity resonated well with them.
  3. Alignment with Long-term Objectives: The rebranding strategy had to align seamlessly with our long-term goals. It was essential that the new brand identity propel us towards our future aspirations, not just serve as a cosmetic change.
  4. Synchronicity of Visual Identity and Message: We assessed whether our brand’s visual elements were in sync with our messaging. Any disconnect here could lead to confusion and a diluted brand presence.
  5. Problem-Solving through Rebranding: We identified the specific issues that rebranding would address. This ranged from misperceptions about our services to broader market positioning challenges.

Choosing the Path for Our Rebranding Journey

In-House vs. Outsourced – The Big Decision: At the heart of our rebranding strategy lay a crucial decision: should we execute this monumental task in-house, or should we collaborate with an external partner? Each path has its distinct advantages and challenges.

Advantages of In-House Execution

  • Cost-Effectiveness: Utilizing our existing staff and resources could potentially reduce costs.
  • Deep Understanding of Our Identity: Our in-house team has an intimate knowledge of Magnolia’s values, mission, and culture. This insight is invaluable in crafting a rebrand that genuinely reflects who we are.
  • Greater Control: Handling the rebrand internally would offer us complete control over every aspect of the process, ensuring that each element aligns perfectly with our vision.

Challenges with In-House Execution

  • Bandwidth and Turnaround Time: Despite the benefits, we recognized a significant limitation – our team’s bandwidth. With a target to launch by November, it was clear that managing this project in-house could potentially delay our timeline.

The Search for the Right Partner: Given the time constraints and the scale of the rebranding effort, we decided to find an external partner through our networks. Our search for the right agency was guided by several critical criteria:

  1. Pricing: The partner’s services needed to be cost-effective without compromising on quality.
  2. Specialized Approach: We were looking for a partner with a specialized approach, one that could bring unique insights and strategies to the table.
  3. Fresh Perspective: An external partner could offer a fresh perspective, challenging our assumptions and bringing new ideas.
  4. Proven Track Record: Our chosen partner needed to have a proven track record of delivering successful rebranding projects.
  5. Timely Delivery: The ability to meet our tight timeline for a November launch was a non-negotiable criterion.

Crafting the New Brand Identity

Building the Brand Foundation: The rebranding of Magnolia was anchored on several key elements, each carefully chosen to position us as a leader in our industry. These elements included:

  1. Logos: Our new logo embodies a simple yet contemporary style, reflecting strength and boldness. The distinctive use of gold on the “o” symbolizes completeness, unity, and resilience.
  2. Typeface: We selected a typeface that compliments our brand’s modern and sophisticated image, ensuring legibility and distinctiveness across all platforms.
  3. Color Palette: Our color scheme is a thoughtful blend of primary and secondary colors, chosen for their ability to convey our brand’s creative and dynamic nature while maintaining cohesion across all branded assets.
  4. Imagery: The imagery used is a critical component that supports our messaging. It visually represents our attributes: Global, Creative, Diverse, Unique, Confident, Sophisticated, and Genuine. We aimed for imagery that is interesting and genuine, with a preference for candid, non-posed human elements.
  5. Layout: The layout design of our brand assets is focused on clarity and sophistication, ensuring that every piece of communication is engaging and reflects our brand’s character.
  6. Messaging: Our messaging strategy is built on our tone of voice pillars – Analytical, Creative, Insightful, Sophisticated, and Strategic. This approach ensures that our communications are not only informative but also resonate with our audience on a deeper level.Tone of Voice Pillars:
  1. Analytical: Our approach is thoughtful and data-driven. We scrutinize every aspect of our communications to ensure they are purposeful and effective.
  2. Creative: We foster a culture of imagination and innovation, encouraging our team to break barriers and think outside the box.
  3. Insightful: We value the power of collaboration and the importance of stepping back to reassess our strategies, ensuring they are logical and effective.
  4. Sophisticated: Our expertise in the B2B space is reflected in our tone, which is tailored to resonate with a B2B audience, differing from typical product advertising.
  5. Strategic: Every communication is crafted with a clear strategy and specific goals in mind, ensuring that our messaging is always aligned with our broader business objectives.

Integrating the New Brand Identity into Our Strategy

Seamless Integration Across Channels: With the new brand identity in place, our focus shifted to embedding these elements into every aspect of Magnolia’s communication and marketing strategies. This integration was crucial in presenting a cohesive and unified brand image across all channels.

1. Digital and Print Media

  • Websites and Digital Platforms: Our new logo, color palette, and imagery were integrated into our website, social media profiles, and online advertisements, ensuring a consistent digital presence.
  • Print Materials: For offline channels, including brochures, business cards, and promotional materials, we ensured that the new branding was equally prominent and consistent, reflecting the same sophistication and quality.

2. Content Strategy Alignment

  • Messaging Consistency: We aligned our content strategy with the new messaging pillars, ensuring that every piece of content, whether a blog post, press release, or social media update, resonated with our brand’s analytical, creative, insightful, sophisticated, and strategic tone.
  • Visual Content: Imagery used in our content was carefully selected to reflect our brand’s attributes – globally-minded, trustworthy, confident, bold and modern, sophisticated, supportive, and professional.

3. Internal Branding

  • Employee Engagement: We educated and involved our team in the rebranding process, ensuring they were ambassadors of the new brand identity, and fully conversant with the brand’s values and messaging.

4. Client Communication

  • Rebrand Announcement: We crafted a comprehensive communication plan to inform existing clients about our rebranding, emphasizing how this change will bring added value to our services and their experience.


As Magnolia’s new brand identity has evolved, we have achieved a significant milestone in our communications and marketing strategies. The change signifies not only a change in our visual identity, but also a commitment to excellence, innovation, and growth. The newly evolved Magnolia Marketing Communications is reflected across every touch point with clients, partners, and the industry through this holistic integration.

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