I’M IN A HURRY TO GET A NEW BUSINESS OUT THERE, SHOULD I BOTHER WITH A LOGO OR JUST STICK WITH MONEY MAKING TASKS?
Don’t confuse “getting a logo” with designing your brand. The first is a relatively low risk activity and can be revised at some later stage once you’re established. The second is a critical success step unless this is a pure short term sales play.
I’m a Brand person so I’m always going to encourage people not to skip this step. Brands are built from the inside out – this foundational work only requires a one time only AND moderate time investment. It pays off in spades because so many other decisions layer on top of your Brand.
Branding is about positioning and connection;
>> taking a “slot” in the minds of prospects that positions you relative to others in your category
>> putting the groundwork in place to appeal to a receptive audience and build a connection
If you give me 30 – 40 minutes, here is the “bare minimum” thinking to underpin a Brand, whether you invest time and money now into a logo or leave it till you’ve proved yourself.
1. The brand name and why you chose it.
What perceptions does your brand name evoke? If you use your own name as your brand, why did you choose that?
2. An ideal client statement; I help X overcome Y, resulting in Z
(X should be people who are ready and able to purchase and recognize your credibility to deliver the solution. You should also have an aspirational label that causes them to raise their hand).
For design purposes include a statement about gender balance and the age / generation of your audience and nationality if relevant.
3. 3 – 5 Qualities.
These are tangible and intangible attributes that you would like customers to recognize in you. They should also be decision drivers and underpin your appeal at a rational level.
Examples might be exceptional service, great attention to detail, excellent value for money, premium quality, simple and well explained, fast and responsive, sustainable practices.
Not all qualities are necessarily obvious selling points, but they are what you’ll keep consistent over time and be proud to claim.
4. “Slam dunk” benefits that capture outcomes.
(The reasons people should choose you over an above a competitor. Use the “so that” trick to figure out the next level of benefit, for example, try these healthy simple recipes so that you feel lighter and healthier)
5. 4 – 6 Personality Words
How you act and sound to your audience. Align these with the qualities and be real and authentic. If you are central to your brand, use your own personality traits.
This is the way you will appeal to your receptive audience and sew the seeds of connection.
6. Visual Style Word or Words
Review your qualities and personality to come up with a few words that capture the style you’d like your brand to project.
Examples could be: Dynamic, contemporary, clean, vibrant, bold, relaxed, eclectic, romantic, elegant, warm, fast, crisp, sharp, structured etc.
The words you choose should link to a visual style, so they differ from personality words which describe how a person acts.
7. Visual References
- Main colours and 2-3 highlight colours try Color Hunt or Design Seeds
- Choose a body font and a highlight font you like or at least a font style – look at dafont.com and choose from their category names
- Choose 3 logos or landing pages you particularly like, here is an article about the meaning of logo shapes
- Choose at least 3 photos or illustrations that you could imagine on your site. I use and recommend deposit photos as the best one stop shop for imagery.
Less than an hour on this, answering the questions in a short doc and pasting in some visuals is all that you’d need to give straight to a designer. Even if you do a logo at a later stage, answering these will help you choose a theme and act as a foundation for your messaging and offers.