One of my biggest frustrations is when I have to deal with potential clients who just don’t understand the basics of branding. They are usually the small “bargain hunters” which we just don’t deal with. But sometimes it’s a process on its own to figure out that “bargain hunters” are indeed what they are.
Very important: There is no such thing as a bargain when it comes to branding. There is only value and ROI. Like with most things in life, you get what you pay for, but in the wonderful world of branding, being “cheap” will probably become the most expensive mistake you will ever make. Here’s why:
You might be able to get a logo for cheap from someone on Fiverr, or from a cousin’s cousin, or from the first guy that comes up when you Google “cheap logos”, but that’s where the cost saving stops. You might be happy with the logo, ‘cause you gave “proper” instructions as to what you need. Designing a logo just for having a logo, will surely be the factor that holds back the growth of your brand and company in the future. There are about 50 brand strategy tasks to do before even getting to a logo.
Have you considered the Purpose behind your brand? Beyond making money. The purpose that will make customers flock to you and stay loyal. I’m not referring to your Mission and Vision, which I’m sure you came up with by yourself. I’m talking about the PURPOSE. There’s a process to figure this out and articulate it properly. Getting this part right at the beginning will differentiate you from your competition and cement your future success.
Once your Purpose is locked down, you can start with the rest of the Brand Strategy process. This will eventually get you to a few Customer Personas (detailed descriptions of your ideal customer or client), which will dictate how you communicate with and market to them. The Brand Strategy process will make you learn and discover things about your company that even you did not know or realize before.
Just to be clear, the Brand Strategy process does not include the designing of a logo. It formalizes the future vision of your brand. The dream. And the steps to get there. This is why some niche Branding Agencies don’t ever even design a logo. It’s two different things, but ignoring the first, will make the second (the logo) useless and worse than that, extremely damaging to your success.
There is no doubt or way around it that if you are serious about growing your business, you will spend around 10% of gross earnings on marketing and advertising. Now, spending those kind of amounts using a logo with no clear strategy behind it is business suicide. Or getting your “cheap logo” done at the beginning and then investing in showing it to the world on your website, social media, advertising, annual reports, email footers, etc etc, makes NO sense. Just get it done right the first time and avoid the pain and losses in the future.
The funny thing is, some companies will insist that they have had great success with a crappy logo and brand. Compared to what? They do not even grasp the difference and growth they would have experienced if their great product and great service (which is all that got them to what they perceive as success) was combined with a proper brand strategy and a professional logo designed thereafter.
But it’s true what they say: “What you don’t know about, won’t hurt you.” It’s like having a cheating girlfriend. Until the truth is not exposed, it does not hurt, although you can feel something is wrong in the relationship. Once you know, it hurts like hell.