Branding is a big deal. It's scary to put a designer in charge of representing your business with visuals.
Nowadays, branding is a more discussed topic than ever in business and it's definitely in the forefront in marketing.
Branding is 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.
Branding is so much more than a logo or a slogan. It's your approach to communicating your value, your personality, and dimension. So, when branding, as many of us knows, is a valuable and sometimes expensive endeavor, how can we make sure that we
A) make sure our branding is right the first time
B) that we'll get the most out of our hard-earned money and
C) brand with the least amount of headaches
Let's discuss. Shall we?
1) Wait to Invest
This may seem counter intuitive 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 or product you offer. These are among some of the top things you should know before investing in branding.
Not to say you can get branding without them, but it’s important to have intentionality behind pretty designs.
Pretty designs will only take you so far.
For a brand that has real substance it's important to have a firm foundation of who you want to work with and what it is you do.
Even if you’re a beginner right out the gate, I recommend to start putting your work out there and work with clients, without a huge elaborate brand design, because you will get the answers to those above questions the sooner you begin your business and start doing the work.
It's also important to know your goals for your business. Where do you see your business in 2, 3, or 5 years? How do you hope to grow as a business?
Knowing your key goals can help your brand with depth, personality, and vision and also it allows the brand designer to design to help meet those goals you have.
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.
Not only is it good to know your target audience, it's nice to work with someone who has a vision for their business. Having strong boundaries can be very stimulating in the design process and it can also help your designer work toward that vision.
On the flip side working with someone who has no idea what they want is, at times, challenging. The client may not get the results they wanted if the parameters are very vague. If a client says make it really pretty, a designer may think, a pink color palette, confetti, and tutus when maybe the client had a pastel color palette and watercolor details in mind.
When you set out with clear expectations in what you want for your branding, it's easier for a designer to design for you in order to deliver on those expectations.
3) Trust Who You Work With
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s important that you like and trust who is doing your branding.
Not like as in besties, but as in you like their style and you feel like they’re capable to bring 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?