KHULA™ is a strategy-led design studio specializing in brand refreshes. We help service-based solopreneurs & small business owners build a standout brand image — one they can be proud of.
Khu·la / Kh·ula
A Zulu word, meaning to grow, thrive or increase.
An outdated brand and website can leave your customers feeling confused, uncertain, and searching for something better. We're here to help you change that. When you work with KHULA™, we’ll make you stand out and create a brand image and experience you and your customers will love.
You Should Feel Confident About Your Brand
Not confused or overwhelmed. Whether starting from scratch or re-branding, we can ensure you get things done right the first time.
A Proven Process That Delivers Results
We move fast
have a strategy, visual identity and website within 8 weeks.
We keep costs down
by partnering with a team of independent creatives.
We work hard for you
with a streamlined process and good communication.
First Impressions Matter
We know that today's digitally complicated world can bring a lot of stress and tension to small businesses. Combining design and technology is tricky. But we can help. You don't have to keep trying to figure it out alone.
Instead, imagine having a collaborative partner who listens and understands exactly what you want your brand to look and feel like so potential customers can't help but love you. That's the Khula way. We'll help you crack the code, so your brand gets the recognition it deserves.
businesses Transformed globally.
Our Latest Insights
Just when we thought Webflow couldn't be any better, they went and, well, made things even better. At the beginning of this month, they unrolled new features and a brand refresh that has everyone talking. As brand refresh specialists, we may be biased, but we think the move to update their logo was bold and brilliant.
Especially when they expressed why they underwent a brand refresh in the first place, this is what they had to say about it:
"Our refreshed brand speaks to the heart of what Webflow has always stood for, giving everyone the superpowers to build professional, visually stunning websites — all without having to write code to achieve developer-grade results. We're so excited to introduce a brand that not only helps bring this mission to life but also pays tribute to the people who use Webflow every day to accomplish incredible things."
We've worked with so many businesses that need what Webflow offers. A website that not only looks professional and amazing but is easy enough for anyone to update without always having to call a designer or web developer.
As if Webflow's current capabilities weren't powerful enough, they've taken things one step further and rolled out new advancements that have us pretty excited. Here are some of the new products that will enable us to create visually stunning, more interactive, and user-friendly websites for our clients.
1. Create immersive 3D experiences with Spline.
- This is pretty cool. With Spline, we can create 360º visual experiences for anything - animations, visual models, and interactive experiences. We love the flexibility this offers our design process, especially when offering a more detailed spatial view of products.
2. New localization capabilities.
- We can now serve our global customers better by tailoring their websites to their target markets.
- With Localization, we'll be able to:
- ~Customize anything on your site for a specific location, from design to content—no code required.
- ~Leverage native machine-powered translation using one of our partner apps like Lokalise, or connect to your translation management system (TMS) of choice.
- ~Maximize global traffic with best-in-class SEO, from customizable subdirectories and metadata to localized sitemaps.
3. Style with unprecedented control for faster designs.
- At Khula, we pride ourselves on moving quickly. We never want our clients to wait longer than they should for their website to be up and running. We can design websites even faster with Webflow's new "variables" and scalable design systems. We can hardly believe that's possible, but it will be.
4. Improving the way teams work.
- Bringing a website to life is an all-hands-on-deck collaborative process. At Khula, we work hard to keep each team member moving swiftly to avoid project bottlenecks. While we have good systems in place and several tools that help us organize our workflows, Webflow now offers more options for completing projects that rely on collaboration through comments for editing.
As Webflow continues to grow, we can only imagine what will come next. But for now, we’re pretty excited about these new changes and creating better websites for our clients.
Watch the below to see a full recap of all the features announced at the 2023 Webflow Conf:
Webflow's New Logo & Enhanced Web Development
Worried your brand is falling behind, but you're not sure?
Here's a quick checklist to find out.
- You created your brand on a Commodore 64 - okay, that may be too far back, but you get the idea - your graphics are outdated.
- Your website still thinks it rules the playground, hates change, and refuses to play nice with mobile devices - in other words; it isn't responsive.
- You have trouble uploading your logo to any social media sites while making it look good - can't they make that square any bigger? Honestly.
- Your messaging says one thing while your business is doing another - basically, your business has evolved, but the story you're telling hasn't.
- You're losing customers because you can't tell them "at the speed of light" what you do - yes, that's how fast you need to capture someone's attention.
If you answered yes to any of the above, don't worry. We won't judge, but you're probably ready for a brand refresh. Not a complete overhaul, just an update. Because design trends change, technology keeps improving, and buyers are getting savvier and smarter. And brands, yours included, need to stay ahead of it all or at least keep up.
Every Brand Needs Refreshing.
For some, depending on the nature of their business, it could be quite often. Just look at Google. They seem to be doing it every day! We're not suggesting you go that extreme, but you could take a cue from MasterCard's subtle but recognizable brand mark evolution from 1966 to 2019.
Not all of Mastercard's re-brands were successful, but we won't talk about those because, in 2019, Mastercard did get it right. They didn't change their brand or what it stood for. They simply made it better by adapting their brand mark or logo to meet current trends.
In a bold move, they removed their name in printed form, letting their iconic overlapping red and yellow circles do the talking. They now have a "flexible modern design that works seamlessly across the digital landscape." When explaining the decision, Raja Rajamanar, Mastercard's chief marketing and communication officer, said: "Reinvention in the digital age calls for modern simplicity." Bam. Instant relevance.
That's What Khula Does.
We're Brand Refresh Specialists.
Khula helps brands stay true to who they are while giving them a new and improved image. In a nutshell, we help brands that feel tired, worn out, and a bit irrelevant get the revamp they need to keep growing their business. While updating your brand might seem daunting and overwhelming, we assure you it's not.
It's one of the most important things you could do for your business. Plus, it feels incredibly satisfying once you have a new website with on-point branding that represents who you are and what you do.
For A Successful Brand Refresh, You Need Expertise In Branding, Marketing, And Design.
Not everyone is at Mastercard's revamp level, but the foundational elements of the process for most businesses, big and small, are the same. A good brand refresh usually includes the following:
Brand Audit: This is a thorough analysis of an existing brand that uncovers its market position, target audience, competitors, and overall brand perception.
Research and Insights: Gathering market research, consumer insights, and industry trends informs the brand refresh strategy.
Strategy Development: To develop a comprehensive brand refresh strategy that aligns with the company's goals, it may require refining brand positioning, defining the brand personality, and establishing the brand's unique value proposition.
Visual Identity: Often seen as the "fun stuff", designers and creative teams collaborate to update or refine the visual elements of the brand, such as the logo, colour palette, typography, and overall brand aesthetics.
Messaging and Communication: Refreshing a brand isn't just about updating visual elements; it also includes updating messaging by crafting or refining brand messages, taglines, and brand voice to ensure consistency and resonance with the target audience.
Implementation Guidance: This involves implementing the brand refresh across various touchpoints, including marketing materials, website, packaging, and other brand collateral.
Stakeholder Engagement: Strong collaboration with internal teams and stakeholders must be established to ensure a smooth transition and alignment throughout the entire brand refresh process.
Brand Guidelines: Brand guidelines or style guides are created to provide instructions and standards for maintaining the refreshed brand identity across different platforms and communications.
When It All Comes Together, Brand Image Is Improved, The Target Audience Is Reached, And Business Objectives Are Achieved.
We'd say that's a pretty stellar outcome.
If your brand is losing its shine and starting to feel left behind, we can help.
We'd love to walk you through our brand refresh process and make your brand come alive again.
Want to explore some of our award-winning brand refreshes? Check them out here!
What's A Brand Refresh Anyway? It's Your Brand. Only Better.
International money transfers are notoriously time-consuming and complicated, not to mention expensive. Fintech, TransferWise, was founded to make international money transfers easier for everyone. It’s built as a non-banking platform capable of replacing international banking — and today used by more than 10 global banking institutions.
Ten years in, the founders decided it was time to change the TransferWise brand. The name change and wider rebrand were needed to better represent the audience the company served — people and businesses living multi-currency lives who need their money to be borderless.
At Khula Design Studio, we’re in the business of brand refreshes and we’re also a Wise customer. That’s why we’re fascinated by their recent brand transformation — what they did, why they did it, and how other businesses can learn from their success.
From TransferWise to Wise
What’s in a name? Quite a lot as it happens.
When it was first founded, the TransferWise name reflected a community of people getting wise to the frustrating, complicated, and expensive business of international money transfers via banks. Escaping hidden fees and exchange rate mark-ups, TransferWise promised a fairer and easier way to move money between borders.
Today, the company knows it’s about more than money transfers. That’s what their community of millions tells them. Converting money into different currencies is still complicated and dominated by small print and delays, but the Wise community has evolved. They’re very aware of an outdated international banking system, which makes exchanging money more costly and time-consuming than it needs to be.
They’ve become Wise.
Looking good in green
Let’s start with the one thing that hasn’t changed. The ‘fast flag’ — which symbolizes money without borders — is still a part of their logo. Every other brand asset has been reworked to better reflect the company’s global community of people and businesses.
Gone is the dark blue palette and dark themed website. The new brand identity embraces shades of green — the color of money, the color of the natural environment, and also a reflection of the diverse and vibrant community that uses Wise every day.
The brand now has a cleaner, brighter, and more environmentally friendly look and feel, switching to greens and whites that make it feel more international, and more universal. In the words of their London-based branding agency, Ragged Edge: “Every other part of the visual and verbal system has been painstakingly redesigned with The World’s Money as the guiding principle.”
What’s a rebrand?
When an organization rebrands, it goes through the process of changing its established image and identity in the marketplace. Rebranding involves making carefully considered changes to the name, logo, design, and other visual and messaging elements to create a new, differentiated brand identity and perception.
The purpose of rebranding is to create a distinct and compelling brand identity that resonates with customers and helps an organization achieve its strategic goals. Updates to a brand's identity might be needed to reflect changes in the market, industry, or customer preferences, or to better position the brand for growth and expansion.
Organizations are often rebranded for one or more of the following reasons:
- increased competition
- shifting audience demographics
- changing industry expectations
- new products or services
- outdated branding
- ineffective marketing methods.
Ultimately, rebranding is a strategic approach that seeks to create a fresh and relevant identity for an established brand. This move helps brands to stay competitive and thrive in a constantly evolving marketplace.
What’s a brand refresh?
Compared with a full rebrand, a brand refresh involves updating an established brand's visual identity, messaging, and customer experiences in a more limited and cost-effective manner. While rebranding may involve a complete overhaul of the brand's identity, a brand refresh typically focuses on smaller changes that help keep the brand relevant and up-to-date.
A brand refresh may involve updating key messaging, visual elements, and customer experiences to better reflect the current market, audience, and competitive landscape. This can include updating the brand's visual identity, refreshing the brand voice, and ensuring consistency across all touchpoints.
Businesses may opt for a brand refresh when they recognize that their visual identity is outdated or their messaging and offers have evolved. It can also be used when a brand is experiencing inconsistencies or has a changing audience due to growth or other factors. A brand refresh helps to create a modern and relevant brand identity that resonates with customers and sets the stage for future growth.
Both a brand refresh and a rebrand update a brand's identity, messaging, and customer experiences. A brand refresh is a smaller and more cost-effective approach, whilst a rebrand is a more extensive overhaul of the brand's identity and could involve brand strategy, a new name, logo, design, and messaging. A rebrand can sometimes signal a change in direction, an attempt to address negative perceptions, or a move to simplify and streamline a brand’s identity.
5 reasons why big brands refresh or rebrand
There can be many reasons behind changes to a brand. Here are 5 commons reasons why big brands refresh or rebrand:
- Relevance: As consumer preferences and industry trends evolve over time, brands may need to update their visual identity and messaging to stay current and appeal to new audiences. Refreshing a brand can help keep it fresh, modern, and attractive to customers.
- Differentiation: If a brand's competitors have similar branding or messaging, a rebrand can help it stand out in a crowded marketplace. By creating a unique visual identity and tone of voice, brands can differentiate themselves from competitors with similar offerings.
- New Direction: If a company is pivoting its business strategy or expanding into new markets, a rebrand can signal to stakeholders that things are changing. It can also help build interest and generate a buzz.
- Negative Perceptions: Sometimes a brand's reputation can become tarnished due to negative publicity or a misalignment with consumer values. In these cases, a rebrand can help shift perceptions and rebuild trust with customers.
- Simplification: Over time, brands may accumulate an inconsistent library of visual elements and messaging that can become confusing for people. A rebrand can help simplify and streamline a brand's identity, making it easier for customers and stakeholders to understand and engage with the brand.
Why Khula gets Wise
As a Wise customer, the team at Khula were fascinated and impressed with their rebrand. We use Wise daily to pay subcontractors around the world. We also use it for clients who are abroad and need to pay easily and quickly.
The app is super intuitive. It saves us and our payees so much time and fees! Normally, funds arrive within 48 hours, sometimes the same day. For a small international business like us, it’s also way cheaper than using a traditional bank. To be honest, when it comes to moving money internationally, it’s been the saving grace of Khula.
At Khula Design Studio, we help small and medium-sized businesses to rebrand and refresh. Together with our brand strategy partners, we reframe how your business shows up, refreshing your brand identity, messaging, and online presence.
Get in touch to find out how we can help evolve and transform your brand. Book a complimentary call today! And if you're looking for a fast way to send money internationally or travel with money without the heavy costs and headaches — head over to Wise.
Images by wise.com
Rebrand by Ragged Edge
A Wise Move — What A Good Rebrand Looks Like
When it comes to your brand and website design, you don't need to struggle or try figure it out on your own.
Let us help you get it right and create a standout brand image you can be proud of!