What image comes to mind when you think about branding?
A cowboy with a branding iron?
If an image of a cowboy came to mind then you are not that far off the mark (excuse the pun!). A brand is something by which something is identified – In the case of the cowboy, the brand on his cow identifies it belonging to him.
Although today, the use of the term branding, especially in business has a far greater connotation than that of simple ownership.
Branding is a term commonly used by creative and marketing professionals the world over but do we stop to think if the client understands what we mean by branding? We often have clients starting their conversation with "I have just started a new business and looking for a logo because I need some business cards" and all too often the response is something along the lines of "Sure, we can help you out with your branding!"
Hold on a minute ... 'Branding!' I came in looking for a logo and business cards, what is this 'branding' you are trying to sell? Isn't that like ordering fish at a restaurant and being asked how you would like your steak done?
What we forget is that the "I need a logo" request is indeed a valid one, when asked by the client. Let me explain ...
Most people starting a new business venture have a staged approach to setting up their business and are focused on single steps, a checklist if you will. This is driven by a number of factors but in most cases it is budget driven and not wanting to over commit before they even get going.
It is not uncommon for people to think of the need to print business cards before they have thought about a logo, because many have actually started their business without even realising it, simply by talking to people and will more often than not have been asked for a card.
So the process begins ... You need a business card to hand over when introducing yourself. For that you need a few things, a name (hopefully you have that one sorted!), a business name under which you will operate or be known, contact details and a ... "something" ah, herein lies the request for a logo!
So why, if a logo has been requested do we talk about branding? Just as the client is singularly focussed on the immediate task at hand such as the need for a business card, the creative person is equally focused on the broader picture for the client. To us, the logo is just one element of the overall picture and how best to present you and your business to the wider audience, of which, the logo is just one element.
We consider how you will be visually portrayed, how will your business name and identity appear in print, signage, website etc. We consider things like colour, straplines, packaging and so on and because our thought process is all encompassing, we use the term brand as opposed to logo.
Having a logo designed in isolation of this thought process can and will cost you vastly more in the long run.
If you buy by brand, how likely is it that your clients do too?
You don't just look at logos when you shop. You consider the entire visual presentation of the product and everything you have ever heard about it. You consider brand reputation, we all do!
Your brand is valuable
Your logo and subsequent brand is an investment, not an expense and far too valuable to consider it otherwise.
We are often presented with logos designed by family members and asked to "tidy it up"!. Don't get me wrong, I am all for family inclusion but there are some things like your logo that should be taken seriously because it can be a make or break decision. It is your future and the future of your business that is at stake.
Ask yourself "How will my brand affect my customer' perception of my business and is personal cuteness and perceived cost savings worth it?"
Another common misconception is thinking that what you do is what you must have – Just because you are a car sales person does not imply you need a picture of a car as part of your branding or a picture of a house if you are a builder....
Do the MacDonald's arches look like a hamburger? No, but you do know that MacDonald's sell toys hamburgers!
Some industries lend themselves to a particular image or graphic but at the same time how many of your competitors lean toward that same iconic image or graphic? What if, because they all sold fuel, all petrol station had to have a picture of a petrol pump as their logo! - Silly I know but do you understand where I am going?.
My point here is simple – Your brand will be associated with you and your business regardless of the image presented. If it is not presented professionally, you will not be seen as being professional. Present the right image and it make your marketing that much easier.
Yes, we know this goes back some years (2011) but still as relevant today regardless of location or currency used!
Posted by AMac on June 21, 2011 on Digett.com, this article looks at website cost which always causes gasps of horror and amazement.
Well worth a read - Here is a snippet from the article:
One of the most common questions we're asked as web developers is, "How much does a website cost?" Oddly enough, it's never this initial question that's hard to answer, it's question number two: "Why so much?"
It usually takes at least a few seconds for potential clients to wipe the shock off their face when we throw out a price tag of, say, $30,000. And then comes question number three.
"For a website?!"
Yes, at first, $30,000 seems like a lot of money for a website, but I guarantee you it's a steal. The truth is, whether you pay $10K or $75K, websites are cheap at any cost.
What it costs is not important — it's the value of a website that really means something. Here's an analogy I've come up with to help everyone grasp ...
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