So you just started your business and are making a to-do list that includes “get a logo” or maybe you’re a year or two in to your business and realize that you need a little branding facelift. Jumping right into branding before having a strategy in place will lead you to having to rebrand down the road which sounds easy enough but once you have an established business, it can be hard to redo your website, your business cards, your packaging, your client materials, etc.
Here’s what you should work on before you head into brand design or a redesign.
- Where do you see your business in 5 years? This is a question that I don’t think a lot of business owners ask themselves or if they do, they don’t have a solid answer. I’ll use my own business as an example. When I began my business I simply stated that I wanted to create logos and websites for business owners. That’s all that I knew and that’s what I thought I would be doing for years. Fast forward 4 years later and I am now working specifically with holistic health and wellness professionals to create a full branding package and custom websites on 2 specific platforms. Therefore, I nailed down the criteria of what I was looking for in a client and the types of businesses that I work with now are vastly different than my initial clients.
Knowing where you think you *might* be a few years down the road is super helpful in coming up with a brand design strategy. In general, holistic businesses are more drawn to modern, clean, neutral designs so I made sure that my own branding reflected that.
- Think less about what design styles YOU are attracted to and more about what makes the most sense for your audience. Of course you want a brand that you resonate with because it’s your business but a mistake that business owners can make is designing themselves a brand that reflects only them and their individual tastes and not the business as a whole.
For example, about 2 years ago, stars, moons and sky elements were very trendy and popular to put in logo designs. I had a handful of clients coming to me wanting that look for their business because they saw it on someone else’s website and thought it looked super cute. It’s okay to grab inspiration from other people but if the only reason that you’re choosing a brand design is because you “think it looks cute”, then you have a lot more research to do.
What you should be asking yourself is what sort of design makes sense for who I’m trying to attract and what service I offer? Are you a high end interior designer who works in the south? I picture some monogram lettering in the logos with shades of blues (a popular interior design color). Are you a photographer who shoots in the deserts of Arizona? I picture some rustic block lettering with some fun cactus icons on your site.
You don’t HAVE to fit into the mold of what’s expected in your industry but it’s important to not steer too far away so as to confuse your audience.
- A general understanding on branding should be on your to-do list. Now, I understand that if you’re reading this you most likely are not a brand designer like myself. But the good news is that you are here reading this so that tells me that you ARE putting in the time and effort to learn more about the importance of branding. The client-designer relationships that always work the best are with my clients who have a general understanding of what branding is, how it can help them and why it’s needed. You don’t need to know what a submark is or what a tagline logo is but if you can educate yourself on how branding can take your business to the next level, then you’ll have a better understanding as to why your brand designer is making the choices that they are making and the overall experience will be exceptional.
Check out this blog post:
“Is Branding Really That Important?”