Category Archives: Creative Industry

Rebrand or Brand Refresh?

An example of Rumbletree’s rebrand with Bedford Village Inn.

No brand lives forever without evolution. Or rebirth. There will come a time when your brand needs an overhaul to a certain degree, whether it’s a refresh or a full rebrand. 

It’s a crucial step in moving your company forward and positioning your organization for future success. Your current brand system may be limiting or dated, carry negative connotations, or have been created to target an audience that is no longer relevant. More likely, some combination of many issues has built up over time. This is your opportunity to assess what’s working and what isn’t. To start clean, with your current goals and audience in mind, and create something that is more true to your core. It’s also kind of fun. Read on to find out which approach might make the most sense for you.

1. Your brand kinda sucks

Let’s get this one out of the way quickly. If your brand was never very meaningful, relevant or credible, you’re probably a candidate for a rebrand. Take the opportunity to explore an entirely cohesive new brand, including logo, identity, attributes, messaging and more.

Tender Greens rebrand came at a time where a fresh menu, (including more than just salads) needed to be properly conveyed to customers. Designed by Paula Scher, this new look adds to the wide-variety of the menu and creates a unique shape with the letter “g” portraying a pan and a plate.

Verdict: Rebrand

2. Your audience or products have changed

You used to be known for no-frills products at a great price, but now you’re moving upscale. Or, you named your company ‘Gary’s Ski Chalet’ long before you realized you’d sell way more skateboards than snowboards. In both cases, it’s well worth investigating a rebrand to shake off old perceptions and reach new audiences.

Coach Inc., the parent company of Coach, took on a more diverse approach to the fashion industry in 2015, with the intent of becoming a house of brands after it’s acquisition of Kate Spade New York. With this addition, the company needed a new name to signal change and leave more room for future brands to join.

Verdict: Rebrand


3. Your brand is dated

It may seem obvious that a dated brand needs to be killed with fire, but it’s not so cut and dry. If your branding is still relevant and functional—but just happens to look at home on the dashboard of a Delorean—you’re better off holding on to what’s working and refreshing some of the design aesthetics. Skilled designers can find a way to evolve your branding without losing its essence. As an aside, brands go out of date much faster when their look and feel relies too heavily on current design trends. Try to avoid the trap of mimicking what’s hot now, unless you’re very good at predicting the future.

Remax refreshed their brand with the idea of appealing to a younger audience in terms of where first-time home buyers would be searching for their services: digitally. Remax is a classic brand, “but it’s only classic because it’s been around for more than 40 years not because it was particularly good.” Case in point, the brand is iconic because it has been around for some time, but the look needed a bit of refreshing. Remax’s new logo appeals to all digital platforms where most of their clients interact with the brand: online, email and via their phones. This proved successful because the final product needed to look good on a smartphone and on a yard sign.

Verdict: Refresh

4. Your brand system is limited

When your brand was first being developed, you didn’t think you’d need 23 versions of your logo and a 30-page style guide. Or maybe when you launched with two employees, the MS Paint logo you created fit the bill just fine. Now your company is growing up, and your branding needs are more varied and far-reaching. You need order and a set of clearly defined rules that can be applied company-wide. 

If you are happy with your brand overall, but find the lack of rules, consistency, and a true system are dragging your branding efforts down, you may be a candidate for a brand refresh.

SXSW (South by Southwest), is a growing conference and festival in Austin, TX, that celebrates the convergence of the interactive, film, and music industries. Each year Foxtrot would wipe the slate clean by reimagining and creating a new look and feel for the event. Question: How do you create an established brand if the look and feel is constantly being redeveloped each year? Answer: Create a master brand. Foxtrot’s solution was effortless and systematic, allowing for a clean starting point to build off of every year to “fully unify the brand and shape the future role of digital services for the conferences and festivals.”

Verdict: Refresh

5. Your brand carries negative connotations

No company wishes to be in this position, but it does happen. If your brand is carrying baggage from past mistakes or poor performance, a rebrand can help clean the slate with consumers and reinforce a perception of positive change. Note that ‘talking the talk’ with a new brand means you also need to ‘walk the walk.’ If the negative perceptions of your company are caused by behavior that is still going on, don’t bother. 

KFC shortened their name in the early 90’s with the idea that they weren’t just “fried” anymore. While today this term has negative connotations with certain health trends being implemented by a lot of fast-food restaurants, KFC’s name change is not only smart for business, it’s smart for the design too.

Verdict: Rebrand

Now that you are a bit of an expert on the differences between a rebrand and a refresh, take some time to see if your company or business is in need of one or the other. Also, take a look at our work page to check out some of Rumbletree’s successful brand developments!

Tender Greens

Colors of Love

“Love was a feeling completely bound up with color, like thousands of rainbows superimposed one on top of the other,”

Paul Coelho wasn’t kidding, this was the exact emotion I felt when I stumbled upon Pantone’s website searching for the perfect swatch of red to blog about in this post.

Maybe its more common for graphic designers to get wooed over posh pinks, vibrant yellows, and sleek shades of grey, (50 to be exact!) while scrolling through the Pantone library, but I couldn’t help but question what makes color so powerful? Or even how simple shades and tones have a way of changing or expressing our design and even the simplest of ideas with emotion.

Let’s talk Valentine’s Day for example. Everywhere we step we are engulfed in a sea of Pantone shades of shiny reds, pretty pinks and pure whites. Why these colors? And what numbers create the perfect shade?

It is scientifically true that color effects emotion and pink is a delicate color that represents playful, cute, and tender. Pink is also associated with bubble gum, flowers, cotton candy, and sweetness, and in other words the perfect color (and options) for a Valentine’s gift. Yes boys, pink may seem like a girly color, but it also represents the universal love of oneself and of others, so it’s okay if you secretly like Pantone 17-1928, (who doesn’t, it’s bubblegum!) it just means you’re capable of loving.

Let’s turn things up a notch or two, Red is the color of fire and blood, so it is naturally associated with energy, strength, power, and determination. Red is a very emotionally intense color, while also being known to represent passion, desire, and love. If you want a quick emotional response right away and a Fiesta, red is your color, (Pantone 17-1564 to be exact) and by color I’m suggesting a bouquet of red roses in this perfect shade…

Last but not least white. When color is at its most complete and pure. The color of perfection. Purity, innocence, wholeness and completion. However it may seem hard to believe that anything is “complete” when you’re staring at a blank rectangle of Pantone 11-0601. But white is the representation of beginnings, and how can we complete any project without once starting from a blank canvas of pure white?

Now that we’ve indulged in a little color theory, you’ll be on the right track to expressing your emotions and creativity through color.

Happy Valentine’s Day 🙂


Rumbletree earns “Award of Excellence” for Healthcare Communications

Frisbie Memorial Hospital and Rumbletree team up to win Lamplighter Award of Excellence for healthcare marketing and communications

ROCHESTER, N.H.—Frisbie Memorial Hospital received an Award of Excellence Wednesday evening, for their integrated marketing campaign developed together with their agency, Rumbletree Strategic and Creative Marketing, for Frisbie’s Center for Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine. The campaign was comprised of digital and traditional tactics, television, social media, and media planning and strategy.

The award was presented at the New England Society for Healthcare Communications (NESHCo) during the Annual Lamplighter Awards Show in Providence, Rhode Island.

In 2016, Frisbie Memorial Hospital’s Wound Center earned the prestigious Healogics Center of Excellence award for the fourth consecutive year—only one of two hospitals in New Hampshire to earn this award.

“The Wound Care Center campaign elevated Frisbie’s ability to communicate to our community the program’s success in achieving high levels of patient satisfaction, healing rates and hyperbaric oxygen therapy technology as a means to the ultimate goal: a better quality of life,” said Joe Shields, senior vice president of Frisbie Memorial Hospital.

“Frisbie Memorial Hospital shares a mutual regard for the role that strategic marketing and communication can help play in moving an organization forward,” said Jessica Kellogg, partner, managing director at Rumbletree. “Frisbie Memorial Hospital focuses on three pillars: People, Technology and Trust—that dedication is what differentiates them and has shaped a genuine connection to the greater Rochester community.”

About Rumbletree

Rumbletree, located in North Hampton, New Hampshire, recently celebrated the agency’s 25th year in business. The marketing and full-service advertising agency specializes in branding and identity, website development, design, strategy, social media and more. To learn more about Rumbletree, visit


Media Contact: Kelley Angulo

(603) 433-6214



Design Unseen: The Invisibility of Good Design

blog quote

Most designers, at some point in their career, can attest to hearing that something doesn’t ‘feel right’ in a design. When I first entered into the design world, I was a little confused by this. How will I know if it’s right? What are the rules? Isn’t a feeling subjective? The longer I stayed in the industry I realized that good design is all about that feeling.

A professor of mine clarified the point for me saying that good design feels easy, unobtrusive, and almost disappears completely, allowing the content to be taken in effortlessly. Design acts as an invisible, foundational container that allows us to receive a message that would otherwise be lost completely. When you understand design in this holistic manner, it becomes less about making something pretty, and more about designing with the content in a way that supports our goals and decision-making processes.

Design is all around us, and we interact with it daily; from the display and navigation of our smartphone to the way a tissue box automatically gives us a new tissue when we pull one out. All of these objects were carefully thought out and designed to make our lives easier.

Sometimes we don’t even notice the design until it stops working. If you think of design as the foundation of a building, you can understand how design is essential for the structure to work well and yet is often unseen beneath the surface.

It’s important to find the right balance of form and function, a problem-solving skill essential to all good designers. When you reach that balance, the design will become invisible to an untrained eye. If successful, the viewer should be unaware of the design process to get there. Because of this, sometimes the absence of a design compliment is a compliment. That’s the sweet spot.

It may be a difficult thing to explain to someone, but it is that feeling that drives good design. In a way designers are like the man behind the curtain, orchestrating the performance, but never stealing the spotlight from the content.


Trusting Video

By now we all have dabbled with YouTube or Vimeo, shared videos and other content on Facebook, it’s the world we live in today – fast, creative and hopefully significant. However, the question is still being asked, “Can I really participate on the video or film front when I do not have a large advertising budget?” The answer is, “Yes you can!” and it’s easier than it looks.

Certainly, a budget will make it less difficult, but all sorts of viral videos were created with less than huge sums of money. Take the Dollar Shave Club for example. With a budget that has been said to be under $5,000/video you have a simple yet effective online campaign with major impressions, like seventeen million views. Or Wendy’s Lookbook, again, small budget that produced big numbers, twenty eight million views for one sequence. By using creative thinking, a little elbow grease and a sense of trust in the video platform, you too can out shine the competition.

In an effort to get the brain wrapped around the concept, consider these statistics. Back in June of 2013, VB News reported: By 2016, U.S. online video viewers are expected to double to 1.5 billion. That’s a billion with a “B”! Take when they shared their research that video posts out-perform traditional blog posts in social media. Facebook Likes: Posts without video – 480.82, posts with video – 639.72. And for all of you retailers out there, Comscore says; Retail site visitors who view video stay two minutes longer on average and are 64% more likely to purchase than other site visitors. This equates to video usage that out performs and becomes a mainline to revenue.

Given that we at Rumbletree leave no stone unturned when looking for new and effective ways to promote, we have come up with a few suggestions for your next video production, large or small. (I) Have a goal in mind and spend time conceptualizing. By taking time to brainstorm both the content and the visuals you will be ahead of the game when the production crew asks for a formal script. (II) Make your video compelling quickly, viewer dropouts are high after one minute. (III) Always, and I mean always. include a call to action. It may seem obvious, but you would be surprised how many videos we see that lack in this function. (IV) The work doesn’t end once the video is published, it is just beginning. Be active on the social front, engage followers and collaborate with partners. A follow through is essential.

Take the New Hampshire Tourism “Live Free” campaign as an example of short, sweet and effective 15 second spots that bring to light the simplicity of momentous occasions.

The video format is not only hip, but also very valuable. If you run into any questions along the way, let us know, we are here to help find your voice.

Carter Davidson is Rumbletree’s staff Video Producer. When he’s not researching his next project or in the edit room, you can typically find him chasing light in a beautiful part of the world.



If you’re reading this, you’ve stumbled upon the new

This overhaul gave us an opportunity to look inward at our agency—our services, our work and our culture— and ask ourselves how we could paint a more accurate picture of who we really are. To rebuild from scratch, with no preconceptions, was a liberating proposition for our creative team. We laughed. We cried. We coded. I couldn’t be happier with where it ended up, and we’re excited to share it with you.

We set a few basic goals when sketching out the new site. We wanted to convey our range of services better (what is a ‘full-service marketing agency’, exactly?), we wanted to share our work in a more expressive and interesting way, and we wanted to make it easier to communicate with our clients and fans. On top of that, it needed to be flexible, responsive across various screens and devices, and—perhaps most importantly—super simple.

So much of the work we do doesn’t fit in a tidy box. Brands grow up and roll out. Campaigns sprawl across traditional, digital and social media. We needed a more flexible mechanism for displaying our creative that better reflects the individuality of our campaigns. The result is a versatile, open-ended system in which each project page is custom, laid out by hand. We get to show more, and nothing is force fit. Our hope is that it will give you a better feel for the nuances of each campaign, and a better understanding of what we do.

You won’t find an archive of our work here—more of a curated list. To supplement this we’ll also be sharing our latest work on this blog on a regular basis, as well as press and other rumblings (like this one). Make sure to come back and see what’s new.

I hope you enjoy it,