New product with no brand

Apologies in advance for this being quite cryptic…

I have recently been tasked with working on a new product alongside the current product I work on. The new product is using a part of our existing system but in a new way.

I am confident that I can work on the user journeys, wireframing, and general ux of the new product, however I have asked a few times how the new product will be branded and stakeholders are not looking at branding for the new product. They want me to use our exisiting logo (but reworded) and think this is the ‘brand’. Personally I feel the new product is big enough to require a full brand guide and currently this is being pushed my way, which isn’t something I feel so comfortable with.
I have also asked about look and feel for the new apps which run alongside the new product and have been told there is nobody looking into this, so again this is falling onto me (and my team). I have said I will follow the same UI that the rest of our apps use although I feel that there is going to be some backlash on this.

I have expressed my feelings and advised on a more sensible approach in a number of meetings with stakeholders, but think this is going to fall into my lap in the end.

Does anyone have any advice?

Thanks in advance.

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What is the rollout strategy for this new product? A beta release to say 5/10% of users will show you if users even care about the brand. It seems you are pretty early on in the new product’s development, so I would recommend not getting caught up in branding so soon and just focus on value to the user.

If you can re-use UI from your existing product, that’s great. If it’s a different proposition, it will naturally function differently, and will probably have new components, so maybe this is enough of a differentiator between your products? And then if proper branding really does become important later on, for whatever reason, you can either bring in or contract a graphic/web/visual designer. That or upskill yourself in that area, if you have interest.

That’s a big job, and really it sounds like you need support of a brand and UI designer. I found myself in the same situation earlier this year with an app. I felt the branding deserved the focus of another designer whilst I focused on the UX. I pushed back. Unfortunately this was not well received and when my contract finished I was not kept on for the next stage of the project… so moral or the story, push back when you think people will listen, but sometimes you are just going to have to make do.

Thanks, I’m glad you’re agreeing with the push back. Our current product currently has over 1.5million users and the new product will automatically be used by all of these (without a gentle rollout) and also gradually rolled out to a much larger user base over a more gradual time period.

It’s slightly tricky as the product will have to work with our current product but also stand out enough, and be plain enough to work with other products.

Luckily my degree was in graphic design with a focus on branding, however this isn’t something I have done for almost 10 years, and knowing my current workload I worry I would not be able to give the branding for this the full attention it would need. We do have a marketing department that I am trying to get involved with this, but due to it being a new product we aren’t sure if they will be in charge of the marketing for the new product.

@lykc the reason for a slight panic on this is the timescales, we are being expected to deliver early next year, development has already started on the back end, yet we have no designs and have only just started thinking about user journeys and UI (crazy I know!)