The startup phase of a business is one of my favourites. It’s an exciting time when I get to help a client create a new brand, set them up with a beautiful brand identity and create a new website for them so they can start their online journey to success. But that
Picking colour palettes, combining type, creating branding toolkits and producing a coherent brand that works for a business is a tough job, and working with the client is probably the biggest challenge of all. Being able to build a relationship and figure a client out is probably the most rewarding aspect of my job but during the course, brick walls can be hit.
Sometimes a business owner tries too hard to mimic other brands and then th
And sometimes it’s the business owners ego which gets in the way. They’re secretly building a brand to boost their own ego rather than building a brand for their customers. This leads to a brand and identity that no one actually cares about.
What I’ve described above
1. Don’t have ideas of grandeur
A lot of the time people come to me thinking that the branding along with a website will be enough to kickstart their business into stardom. It won’t and I do try to tell them that without being pessimistic.
Brand identity design and a web site are tools to help run the business and are not necessarily the business itself. To make these tools work for you, you need to create and use them with the intention of attracting and serving your clients, not as a vanity project for yourself.
As a startup it’s wise to think big but also think about your customers.
When building a brand ask:
- Is there a need for my product/services?
- Who are my customers?
- What are they like?
- What common attributes do they share?
- What’s the competetive landscape like?
- How can I compete?
- How can I evidence all of the above to build a bigger picture about my brand from the customers point of view.
The idea behind the above is to prove where your brand might stand in the marketplace and remove ideas of grandeur with
2. We are our worst enemies!
The biggest challenger to your start-up business is not your competition, your funding, or your business idea. It’s you!
On so many occasions I’ve seen business owners mess up their own branding, websites and design communication through a lack of pace and direction.
When it comes to your design project, don’t draw out the project for too long as that’s when a lack of direction will kick in, leaving you with a messy outcome.
On the flipside don’t rush it either. A quick solution is not always the best solution.
Set the direction of the project but be ready to adapt. In a design project, plans and ideas always change as that’s the nature of the creative industry, so, remain focused and make progress by keeping the end goal clear. Keep your potential clients at the heart of the project and not your own personal desires.
- Create a design brief (or hire me to scope your project)
- Create a project
duedate and stick to it
- Communicate with your consultant/designer at all times
- Work on your start-up as much as you can (ideally 24/7)
3. Use expert support
I’ve seen sta
If you hire an expert like myself then you’d do well to trust me, listen to me and most importantly use me.
Bringing in your third party friend who’s an interior designer to handle your branding and website project won’t do you any favours, it will only waste your own time and money. This will ultimately have a knock
- Your marketing will be un-targeted and messy.
- Your website won’t be maintained but will be hacked.
- Your web designer doesn’t respond and seems to have disappeared.
- You realise that you need to do more to promote your business but don’t have the support you need.
From experience, I’ve found that this is when a business owner will come back to me and start to listen to the advice I give because they can’t afford to have an ego anymore. And that’s also when the business and brand starts to take off.
Don’t just hire a brand designer or brand consultant, invest in one .
Conclusion : How not to f**k up your branding
The above mistakes share two overarching issues which cross over and
1. Psychological impacting
Bad branding is a result of psychological impacting. The business owner is too caught up in their own ego, stature and business to realise that the brand may be “about themselves” but ultimately it’s “for their customers” and they’ve done nothing to really scope or understand their customer’s psyche apart from guesswork. This is because of a lack of preparation.
Gathering intelligence, doing due diligence and capturing data is probably the most important part of creating a brand and it’s the lack of that causes issues such as ideas of grandeur, misdirection and misspending when creating a brand.
If you do the prep then you can reconfigure your own thinking about your project and learn about your customers’ psychology. Likewise, if you learn about your customers, you’ll learn that it’s not all about you and what you need to prepare to make your brand work.
Creating a great work of art needs prep
It may be the artist’s vision but it’s ultimately the viewer who benefits from it and deems it a great work of art.
Creating a brand is no different.
If you want a complete guide containing 101 Tips for better branding then check out my free e-book.