New Zealanders had a taste of one type of design process. Regardless of how you feel about the outcome, the thing that is glaring me in the face is how we were led to getting through this process.
Though this flag consultation process is far from a brand process, because our flag is not a brand (Air NZ is a brand, 100% NZ was a branding exercise, Fonterra milk is a brand.) the reasons that many chose to embrace change were based on the same rationale that I see on a daily basis from companies who want a change in the way they are represented.
They forgot about the ‘Why’
The first question that should be asked is “Why do you want to change your identity?” Reasons such as: needing a new representation when a company changes direction; Wanting to look more professional; Wanting to redefine what you stand for – these are all valid reasons to begin a rebrand discussion. But, no matter the reason, for a decision as large, and with as many implications of a rebrand, there must be a process that the decision makers are led through that, whatever the outcome, the result is one of buy-in. A process is the only way buy-in can ever be gained.
The process of changing our flag should only have ever started with an ‘is there a possibility we should change our flag’ discussion with the nation. We talk more people out of a rebrand than we take on as a rebrand client. Mostly our clients just need a regroup, or a better way to communicate what they do, and just because they stare at their logo on a daily basis, doesn’t mean that it should be changed.