We have the privilege of working with a lot of start-ups and new entrepreneurs. One of our favorite projects is building a company brand from the ground up. A mistake new business owners often make is not putting enough emphasis on branding and building a quality brand identity.
Often in the rush and excitement to start “doing business”, entrepreneurs can miss vital steps in building their company brand. While the first items to tackle in developing a brand are usually company naming and logo design, the thought and planning that goes into things like colour and font selection, photography and illustration style and branded copywriting should not be taken lightly. Here are a few pitfalls to avoid when starting your business and building your brand.
1. Don’t jump the gun
As mentioned, it’s very easy to get caught up in the excitement of starting a new business. People sometimes rush through the start-up process in an attempt to get out there and make some money. But building a strong and lasting brand takes both research and know-how. Take some time to really dig in and clearly define the vision for your brand. Who is your target market? How are your competitors portraying themselves? What kind of identity do you want for your business? Are you targeting high-end customers or discount shoppers? What type of emotions are you hoping your brand will elicit in potential customers? The last thing you want to do is rush through the brand building process only to be unhappy with the look and feel of your company identity a few months down the road (see point #4).
2. Establishing your brand should be the first step
In addition to working with new businesses, we also build a lot of websites for established companies. And when a business owner approaches us for web development services and their brand is weak, confusing or just plain off the mark, we always try to suggest in the most delicate way possible (just in case a relative designed their logo) that their web presence is the online representation of their brand. And if their logo and brand identity is unprofessional or doesn’t make sense for their business, their web presence is going to suffer. So make sure to not undervalue the importance of establishing a quality brand identity before you do anything else.
3. You get what you pay for
As a brand development agency, the following comments may seem self-serving. But if I had a dollar for every time an unhappy business owner brought a logo concept to us that they contracted out to one of those online discount logo design sites or they had a nephew sketch out for them, I would be a rich man. Well, not rich – but it would give me a pretty nice night out on the town. Even investing $100 on a logo design that you are ultimately not happy with is a waste of money.
A brand is so much more than just a logo design. When you hire a professional and experienced brand development agency you can rest assured that all facets of your brand identity are taken into consideration and there will be consistency across all materials and mediums. The saying – the joy from a cheap deal is quickly erased by the pain from a crappy job – pretty much says it all when it comes to branding.
4. Avoid having to change your brand
Nothing kills a company’s momentum and traction like having to completely redesign their brand. Logo or Pantone tweaks to refresh an established brand after a number of years is one thing. But let’s say you are a relatively new business and came flying out of the gate and launched your brand and business without spending adequate time to research and plan your positioning and identity (see point #1). Even a weak brand backed by a lot of hard work can have some success.
But when you realize your brand is not everything you had hoped for and business starts to slow and comments continue to roll in that your logo is amateurish, your company colours are off-putting and your brand messaging is confusing, you could be back at square one. Having to launch a new brand could potentially lose any dedicated customers you were lucky enough to secure and all that time, effort and money invested, even if it was a good deal at the time, would be wasted. And how many chances does a company get to be successful? Sometimes once is all you get, so why not put your best calculated foot forward. Get your branding right the first time.
The greatest brands are timeless and will withstand the comings and goings of the latest design trends. Quality brands are all about building trust, strong feelings and recognition. Don’t take your company brand development lightly. Invest the appropriate time and resources up front. ZOO Media Group can help you establish a clear vision for your brand and will develop a cohesive, impactful and professional brand presence that will get noticed, will be remembered and will garner trust for your business.
We build strong brands. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for your business.