Branding is one of the most powerful and important tools a business can possess…
Think Nike, Coca Cola, the BBC, they are all household names and instantly recognisable whether your personal preference is for Adidas, Pepsi or ITV. All of these brands had to start somewhere, growing and evolving over time to remain relevant. We live in a very brand-conscious world, yet time and time again I meet small business owners who just aren’t getting their own brands quite right.
Now I know that starting up a business from scratch can mean you are scratching around for sufficient funds to make everything happen. And many people believe that employing a designer to create a brand for them will end up costing far more than they can afford. Yes, professional design can be expensive if you don’t do your homework before commissioning someone, but it’s always a worry when a business owner thinks: ‘I’ll just do it myself’.
It’s easy to think that no one else will ever understand your business as well as you do. But equally, why think that you can do a designer’s job better than they can? There’s no reason why you might not come up with a really good idea for your brand, but do you really have the skill to translate that idea into a strong brand identity that will be credible and able to compete effectively with other businesses in your market? I always like the analogy of a DIY brand identity as the business owner’s baby: the owner (parent) may think the brand (baby) they’ve created is wonderful, but customers may not be quite as entranced.
And there’s the rub. Your brand has to work for your audience and the marketplace in which you are operating. That brand has to work hard to represent your business values, convey your core offering, be recognisable and memorable, differentiated from competitors. Obviously, you have to like your brand – after all, you have to live and breathe it day in day out. But you might actually be just about the last person to know what will work well. A professional designer will go to great lengths to understand your business and what you want to communicate to your audience, but they will have a more objective approach than you in what will work for that audience. They can strip away all the emotion that you have attached to your business whilst creating a brand that embodies everything it should – for your audience.
One more thing to consider before deciding to save money with a little DIY design is this: you want your business to be successful and profitable, but branding is closely linked to your commercial potential. Get it wrong and you could be dragging your business down from the start. If you want to give your business a fighting chance, investing in your branding is the best thing you can do.
If your business could do with a refresh new look – give the Cornberry team a call for a chat and some cake to chew over your business branding!