Today we explore when it’s good to invest in just a logo design for your business or if you’re ready for a full brand strategy and design.
I’m going to make a bold statement that is a little counterintuitive to my services: Going through the full branding process is not a good fit for everyone, at every business stage.
As new, service-providing business owners, there is a lot on your plate. From registering your LLC to figuring out your services to getting some semblance of a website up and functioning… well, there’s a lot to manage. Add to that, if you’re brand new in your category, it’s a pretty safe bet that you’re not exactly sure who you want to work with or what you actually want to do.
The benefit of being a new service provider is that your start-up costs can be relatively low. You can easily pivot, update and change course depending on the actions you take. Your early months and years are all about experimenting and seeing what works for you.
Because there’s a lot of uncertainty around your entire business model and structure, I recommend starting your visual brand off with a logo you purchase on Etsy or a site like 99-designs. You’re in a learning stage, so it can end up being a wasted investment if you haven’t solidified your business or brand.
Being ready for branding
Going through a full branding process is all about having some clarity around what you want and where you want to go. Here at Witt and Company, we ask you questions about who you most want to work with, what their struggles are, what separates you from your competitors and how you want your brand to be experienced. In fact, I just wrote a post all about how to prepare your business for a rebrand – click here to check it out.
Circling back – answering those questions without having had any real life experience can be a challenge. What you think you want now can completely change once you actually start working 1:1 with clients and learning how your brand is being experienced.
Of course, there are a few exceptions to this unwritten “rule”
I’ve had clients who are just getting started and together we’ve created some amazing brands. So, what makes it work, especially if they haven’t had the experience to draw from?
They’re crystal clear on their brand vision. They know what industry/category they want to operate in, know what they want to offer and who they want to work with. They just need help articulating it and showcasing it through visuals.
Real Life Client Example: Parasol Travel Co. Alyssa is brand new to the travel industry space but she was so unbelievably clear on how she wanted to serve, who she wanted to serve and why it mattered. She had a strong belief and value system around her brand’s why which helped us bring it to life through the branding process.
They’re a product-based business. Getting your product and company branded and looking professional from the get-go can be a huge benefit. Because you’re making the investment into prototypes, merchandising and everything else that goes with creating a physical product, having a consistent and cohesive brand will help you put your best foot forward when pitching your product to wholesalers, retailers and customers.
Real Life Client Example: Sustainaboo. Similar to Alyssa, Anita, owner of Sustainaboo, knew what type of product she wanted to create and who she wanted to serve. The work that we did together was to focus on differentiating and creating a stronger communication plan for her overarching brand’s purpose and message. By finalizing her visual brand from the beginning, she’s able to hit the ground running once she finalizes her product manufacturing.
They’re new to business ownership but are utilizing the skills from their corporate background. When a business owner makes the switch from corporate to entrepreneurship, they can either do something entirely new or follow in their corporate footsteps. By having the corporate experience to draw from, they’re able to easily transfer that knowledge into the creation of their brand and are not starting from square one.
Real Life Client Example: Dimarco Consulting. Jennifer came from the pharmaceutical industry and was doing compliance in her corporate job. She wanted to make the transition into consulting and do the same type of work, just on her own. Because she could draw from her experience in the corporate space, she had a clear vision on the type of work she wanted to do and who she wanted to do it for.
Moral of the story? If you’re just getting started, especially if you’re new to the service, space or category, there is no shame in the logo-only game. The goal is to get you out there, selling your services and learning about the brand experience you want your business to have. That way, when you’re ready for the full branding process, you have the knowledge and history to draw from, resulting in a brand that truly brings your vision to life.
All my best,
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