Journey Journal: The world’s greatest rebranding expert
by Randy Mitchell, Creative Director
This summer I witnessed true genius take shape.
For a few memorable weeks, the world’s greatest rebranding expert set up shop under my own roof. It was a wild, exhilarating and constantly surprising experience. In fact, I’m still trying to find the right words to capture it all, so please bear with me.
Legend in our garden
This unexpected story started back in early August. It was a warm, tranquil summer evening and my wife and I were catching up on our yard work. I was watering a parched garden bed when I had the unsettling sensation that someone was silently observing me. I cautiously looked up, and there she was. Somehow, the most famous rebranding expert on the planet had wandered into our yard.
Rest assured, everyone knows her transformative work; it’s legendary. But her demeanor hardly reflected this inherent greatness. She was quiet, unassuming and somewhat antisocial—certainly not the type who would crave a spotlight. But she was also extremely determined. Clearly, there was a mammoth rebranding project on the horizon and she was anxious to get the work underway.
My wife and I retreated to one corner of our yard and quietly discussed the situation. After some consideration, we agreed to let the rebranding expert set up shop in our tiny backroom studio.
Admittedly, it was a bold decision to let this total stranger share our lives for a few weeks, but the temptation to see greatness take shape was simply too compelling to pass up.
From the moment she settled in, the rebranding expert was the consummate professional. No distractions or small talk. She simply took up residence in our back studio and moved right on to her project.
At first, that meant significant prep work. She voraciously devoured every resource in sight to set the framework for the big transition. If we happened to be in the area, she paused until all was quiet again before resuming the upload. We also noticed that she rarely slept. Day or night, the work continued.
At first, I wasn’t certain how the vision for this rebranding would play out, but it was easy to see that a significant change was coming.
As the days went by, it became clear the brand that was being transformed was due for a change. It could best be described as slow, sluggish and methodical. But underneath it all there was something compelling. You could say it was similar to one of those hard-working, industrial-looking identities that aspire to lofty greatness.
Then, one eventful day, the rebranding expert sequestered herself from the world. My wife and I knew that her life’s biggest project was approaching its conclusion. And the drama was tenable throughout our house.
Would the transition work? How would the new look be revealed? Would this supreme effort reach the heights she was targeting?
When the rebranding expert emerged, everything was different. And it was astonishing. To call the new brand a complete transformation is an understatement. It was miraculous work.
So, who was our resident rebranding expert? And what was her epic project?
She was none other than a tiny caterpillar that transformed her own brand identity into a majestic monarch butterfly. And it was a rebranding in the truest sense of the word.
The prep work was necessary: devouring entire milkweed leaves in order to fuel the next stage. The transformation was remarkable: the slow, methodical caterpillar created a compact chrysalis and disappeared inside to reinvent herself. And the final presentation was breathtaking: Our monarch soared gently from our “butterfly box” into the garden to begin one of the most amazing migrations in nature.
In the end, I realized that the rebranding expert had accomplished even more than she planned. Her transformation also changed me, and I am very grateful for the experience.