Journey of Rebranding: Translate By Humans is Bolder, Friendlier and Yellow!
All stories begin with ‘Once upon a time…’ and so shall ours — to a happy ending or we would rather say — to a New Beginning! Such is our laborious (yet, rewarding and enriching!) Journey of Rebranding — the story that talks about how we changed ourselves from boring shades of blue to young, energetic, vibrant shades of yellows, reds and blacks, the story that talks about how we widened our horizons within the ever-changing marketplace, the story that talks about how we came together from starkly different viewpoints to one single vision, the story that is not just about happy moments but also about lots of hard work, long days, nasty discussions and annoying lockdowns. Shall we begin then?
Once upon a time there lived a simple, professional and a (slightly) dull fellow called Bob! Let’s for now, call our logo ‘Bob’.
Since the time of its inception in 2013, Translate By Humans was all about proficiency, quality, humans and affordability — that is what Bob basically stood for. Of course, he looked a little boring, reserved and did not like changes like most of us — but he never compromised on quality, deadlines and professionalism! We might be biased, but we loved Bob for whatever he was and so did our clientele of more than 10,000 customers who trusted our services — by then in Q3, 2019. Bob was a good human being — just a tad cold!
How did it all start?
As the TBH (Translate By Humans) arena grew, our team started growing from two lively and energetic Co-founders (Ronak and Alpi as we know them) to a team of designers, writers, managers, marketers, developers and more. Everybody came in with their set of mindsets, their set of skills and their set of experience. Bob did not look impressive to all as you can imagine! And designers, as you can rightly guess, are the most unsatisfied people of the lot (in a good sense of course!). When they do not like something, they raise their brows pretty quick! Such was our lovely designer — Shweta. Soon after she joined, she started questioning Bob — what did he stand for? Why did he look like he did? What all did he portray? And, do people really buy into what he was trying to sell? Lack of consistency, lack of creativity, lack of innovation in our brand and Bob — was bothering Shweta! This is where it all started,I think! Well, she couldn’t keep it to herself, could she? This was ideated with the content experts (Ruju headed our content team then), our intelligent marketers and managers — this muddle finally made it into the ears of our visionary CEO (but not so creative — don’t tell him that!) — Ronak!
Bob’s God Father
Ronak was very defensive about Bob — after all, he was his God Father, can we say? So, now was the task to convince Ronak or at least make him think why did Bob need a makeover. All the forces in the nature — not really — but content and design folks for sure, came together.
They sat Ronak down in a closed room for 2.5 hours long meeting — doing what? Well, they talked about why it was high time Bob needed to change. With whiteboards and pens, with dusters and books, with examples and stories — they tried to convince Ronak that Bob was not representing what Translate By Humans actually stood for! Bob, along with our website, services, brand identity and us — we all needed a revolution — for good! It wasn’t easy to persuade Ronak, but he did accept that ‘things’ did need to look better as we were growing. This was August 2019.
Leap into our own future
It only gets difficult from here, folks! Now, the dilemma was — shall we do it in phases bit by bit so there is not a lot of disruption or, shall we take a huge leap and do it once and for all? Simply put, shall we rebrand completely was the big question. Design and the content teams finally managed to convince Ronak — Let’s rebrand! So, what was our vision for rebranding? One thing was sure — we wanted to create a unique personality for Bob! What did we want Bob to represent? We had to go to the basics!
Rebranding is easier said than done. Then, began series of discussions with our key stakeholders about ‘Who we are?’, ‘What do we stand for?’, ‘Why should people choose Bob over others in the same market?’, ‘How can we say all this with Bob and our brand as a whole?’. Brainstorming at its peak, it was! Sometimes we all felt lost and sometimes, there were ‘lightening bulb’ moments that cheered us up. After involving almost everyone in the TBH family, we narrowed down on the qualities we wanted to represent:
We wanted to be
Fun & Friendly
This was helpful but these qualities were far too many to express! So we had to cut them down. After many inputs and surveys, taking suggestions from everyone in the company, we narrowed them down to six:
Woohoo, Bob was definitely going to look different. Almost everything he represented — was going to change. Now this isn’t as easy as it sounds. When we started talking about the logo change, Ronak was really apprehensive. We could clearly see how he was so attached to the ‘Old Simple Bob’. So old school, we felt! But who could raise a voice? To our rescue (not really to be honest) came our other Cofounder — Alpi. She tried to convince him — ‘Change is for good’ and so shall it be for Bob. He still did not agree with a whole heart — so, we dropped the curtains for this one for the time being. This was December 2019.
It wasn’t a ‘Cake Walk’
There was so much more to do — Shweta and her team had hands full! Well, she asked for it, didn’t she? Now that we knew what personality we wanted to give Bob, we had to finalise the colour system, agree on the final attributes, design the mood-boards and agree on the style-scapes. This is all design jargon but then, how can we not mention these? Shweta got these into our heads every single time we spoke to her; and we had to give her our answers and choices. Nobody in the entire TBH team was spared — all of us were made to be a part of this journey. It felt tedious but it felt like we were doing this for our own family and it all shall all be worth it in the end!
We had to create a visual identity for our new brand — we had to choose new colours, new elements and a very different look and feel — this all had to represent the qualities we narrowed down on! Choosing technologies and tools for wire-framing, typography, n number of illustrations, making/drawing icons — the list was never-ending. Every step had lot of iterations — sometimes we leapt forward and sometimes we had to take a few steps back. After all, it was a matter of creating a unique identity and none of us wanted to compromise on that for sure!
This wasn’t a cake walk for the content team either. They had to convince the design team as well as the management with their ‘mighty words’ — they had to research, they had to discuss, they had to strategise and they had to write. Our well experienced content ‘gurus’ (Ruju and Aarohi to name) were finishing their inks faster than ever — their content writing did not seem to end!
New angle for Rebranding
Dealing with ‘challenges’ was the new normal — each day came with its own story, its own setbacks and its own achievements. Now that rebranding had found its place in our annual strategy and was the most exciting project of the time, everyone was trying new things, there were new learnings, new tasks and tighter deadlines. Everybody had to pull their socks up — by now, Ronak was completely aboard (thank heavens!). But, he wasn’t content for something else was brewing in his visionary mind! He gave another angle to this story –he said: We not only want to change how Bob looked, but we also want to expand on what Bob sold!
We wanted people to know that we were proficient in Translations, Subtitling, Interpretation, Transcriptions, Language Quality Assurance, Desktop Publishing as well as Voice Over Services — we wanted to be a complete package for all the language services. Now this wasn’t a setback — but we had to rethink a few things, redesign a few wireframes and rewrite a lot of new content for all the services. It was getting tougher — we all strived to achieve our goals for the day, for the week and for the months! When things did not work, we huddled — we discussed — we argued — we agreed and we had lots of tea (yeah, our team has more of tea lovers you see 😁)! The whiteboards across the company were full of various notes, drawings, pictures, stickies, references and our tired, yet smiling faces! It looked like a never-ending chapter! We were all doing our best — we were all trying to look at our future new Bob — more vibrant, more fresh, more trustworthy!
Curtain Raiser — The New ‘BOB’
While everything else was a work in progress, we still hadn’t finalised our new Logo. Curtains had to be opened before it was too late — now, or never! This was the time for Ronak to take the leap — we gave him quite a few options — he was not happy. Some logos looked like a ‘cow’ to him (imagine!) and some were not as good as his old, simple Bob. Some logos were too bland and some for him, were too bold. We, along with Alpi, were too frustrated. Somewhere, everyone was tired but no one else could make a decision for this — a feeble voice was heard — shall we ask for external help? May be that could give him better and fresh options — something he would like? Ronak’s idea was to make Bob look better but not redesign him completely. After a few trials and errors with external designers and illustrators, we finally came down to a couple of options. Ronak apparently still wanted some tweaking in the version he liked. Shweta definitely faced a hard time! But designers are much more tenacious than we actually know — she finally, finally, finally did come up with a slightly tweaked version of the external illustrator’s option, not completely different than his loving old Bob — and phew, Ronak loved it in a single glance! Our blue, boring Bob now carried a very handsome, fresh and bold personality — it was now Yellow + Black! We all fell in love with it — he did represent what we stood for! We also made a fun video for that! Check it out here. This was February 2020.
Rehearse, Redo, Rehearse
Months into the journey, for stages when we dug deeper — we felt like we were still confused. Though we knew what the new Bob looked like now, we sometimes felt like we were lost on our own path, we did struggle at times! But then, as grey days turn into better ones, we rethought a few strategies, we redesigned a few elements and reworked on a few technologies. Bingo — we got back on track! And then, the unforeseen hit us all — Covid 19 Pandemic. Thud! We were locked in our own houses and within our own minds. We could not meet, we could not interact, we could not discuss, we could not argue, we could not ideate — in short, we could not have all the fun we were having so far! PJs and Coffees (no offense to the tea lovers please!), it was a time of self-realisation — it was a time to sit back and reiterate — what was our end goal? This turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Not only did we get time to think freely, we also got our own space to visualise the end goal of this journey — what our new, refreshed Bob actually portrayed! We could, thankfully, see him as one unique personality now — similar to (better may be!) what we had wanted him to be— for us, for our brand, for our expanded services and for our clients!
As the world started going back to normalcy (even though for a short while as we know now), reiterations of concepts, qualities, designs, words, elements along with our passion, hard-work, collaboration, motivation and enthusiasm were taking us closer to the end of this journey — towards the new beginning as we said before! It all started feeling ‘right’. We needed a few more technical experts — this is when Akansha and Chintan joined us for the final leg of this journey.
If numbers interest you, we have had more than 200 meetings (only productive ones counted here ☺), 25 sprints, 5 mood-boards to choose from, 3 colour systems to pick from, 4 style-scapes, 7 elements, more than 15 team members who were involved and at least a 1000 phone calls to make this journey a success!
This was October 2020.
The Finishing Line
We had conquered the Himalayas it felt — surely for the design and content team. This was the key! Things started getting easier and started getting onto the closing ends here onwards. This was December 2020. Now, we were all the more enthusiastic. It was more than 1.5 years and, it did not look like a never-ending journey any more. We could see the finishing line. The new brand system was applied to every facet and services of Translate By Humans. This was also a hell lot of work — with many unknown dependencies. We kept at it and, evolved simultaneously. All worth it and here we are — onto Our New Beginning!
This was our story, this was the story of how Bob got a completely new personality. Hope you enjoyed reading it. Here are a few pointers for us all (known — unknown, old — new, TBH — non-TBH):
Now our brand new Bob and Translate By Humans brand is being made popular by our Social Media Expert — Shifa (not to brag, but that’s me!). If not already, we shall reach your screen soon!
Crazy Crew Behind ‘The Journey’