4 Things To Do Before You Invest in Branding
Branding is a big deal. It’s putting down on paper what your business represents and it’s something I don’t take lightly as a brand designer.
Branding is a combination of knowing who you're talking to and communicating in such a way that those people resonate with your message, trust you, and ultimately purchase from you.
With branding being such a big investment, let’s talk about how to make sure you can save time, money and frustration when you go through this process.
1. Wait to Invest
This may seem counterintuitive to say, coming from a brand designer, but it’s important that you have some things figured out before you take the leap to invest in your branding.
It’s important to know who your target market is, who your ideal client is, and the the ins and outs of the service you offer. These are some of the top things you should know before investing in branding.
Without these key elements figured out, your brand will not have the intentionality behind the designs. And, I don’t know about you, but pretty designs will only take you so far. It’s important to have intentionality behind pretty designs. For a brand that has real substance it's important to have a firm foundation for your business before you decide to work with someone.
If you’re brand new to business and you don’t have these things figured out, I recommend you start putting your work out there and begin to work with different clients. Slowly but surely you will get the answers to those questions.
It's also important to know the goals for your business. Where do you see your business in 2, 3, or 5 years? How do you hope to grow your business? What are some dream clients you hope to work with in the future? Knowing your key goals can help you make important decisions as you grow your business and knowing these will also help your designer understand your vision so they can design with those goals in mind.
2. Be Clear on What You Want
Like I said earlier, answering some deeper questions, rather than just surface “I love this color combination” will take you a whole lot farther than just a fluffy "I like it just because."
I spoke with a potential client a few months back, and she wanted me to design a logo for her business. She had a vision and what she wanted was super colorful, intricate elephant. And I asked her how it correlated with her business. And she said she just liked elephants.
As a non-designer it's easy to go with something that you just like. But it's very important to think about your target client and how they would react to what you choose. You want to be drawing their attention after all.
While I love working with clients who have a very strong vision, it’s also important to be open during the design process. As a designer, I understand trends and can spot a modern (and on the flip side, dated) design a mile away. So while working with my clients I encourage them to trust me in the design process and I clearly explain why I’m making design decisions so they understand I have their best in mind.
3. Trust Who You Work With
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s important that you like and trust who is designing your branding.
You don’t need to be BFF’s, but is IS important that you like their style, respect their design eye and you trust them in bringing your vision to life.
I recently was communicating with a potential client about doing some brand photos for her. And over the course of our conversation I realized that she had already had brand photos done, but they weren't to her liking. Whether she was trying to save money or was in a hurry, the truth was that she was disappointed with what she had received so she was starting the process over in order to get what she wanted.
When you're thinking about investing in branding, feel free to interview designers or photographers. Talk to them, see how they answer your questions. Maybe come up with a list of things you want to ask and make sure you find out how things will be handled if things don't work out or something.
Being inquisitive is totally acceptable and welcomed when you're investing time and money into branding. And, speaking of money, let's talk about the investment.
4. When You Decide to Brand, Go Big
What I mean by that? I mean that branding is an investment. And sometimes the price tag is steep. But, to share some truth, having professional branding offers one of the greatest ROI (return on investment) in terms of how it can propel your business.
When you’re ready to make that investment, go with the designer you want and don’t try to save here and there by skimping on what you really want. If you are in love with a certain designer's style and aesthetic and can't imagine anyone else doing your branding, save your money and go with that designer.
It will save you a lot of time and money by going with a brand designer who you feel confident in their design style and work, rather than piecing together elements from different, more inexpensive, designers.
In order to save money, I also recommend going with a designer that offers a complete package, such as brand design and website, or brand design and photography :) so that you don't have to take time to search out all the aspects you need.
When you go with one designer capable to bring all the elements together cohesively and succinctly it saves time with communicating with multiple designers and also the headache of making sure everything fits together seamlessly.
So those are my tips for saving on your branding: Wait to invest, be clear on what you want, trust who you work with, and work with someone who is capable and offers package deals. I would love to know what you think! Let me know in the comments.
Are these tips helpful to you?
Have you been frustrated your branding process?
What are some things you would add to my list in order to save time, money, and frustration in your branding?