Why do I need to create a business ‘brand’?
When you have a business it’s so important to have a clear identity. It enables other people – customers and fellow business owners alike, to instantly recognise you and what it is you do. This is what we mean by ‘branding’. Creating an effective customer brand is about more than having a beautiful logo that will look good on your business cards. The brand needs to reflect what your business is about, your inspirations and motivations and it needs to get across to the potential customer that you are reliable and good at what you do.
Most business owners, particularly at start up stage, will try to economise and leave the brand as a potential ‘to do’ on a list of many. Often, a cheap logo is purchased purely to use on a business card or possibly a social media account such as Twitter. Eventually it dawns that to attract the big fish of the business world, you need to appear as though you are one of them and that means getting serious about branding.
Making the investment in employing a good graphic designer into creating a brand for your business not only makes you look good online or on paper. Their marketing experience and knowledge of what works well, and what doesn’t, can provide valuable insights into your business that you hadn’t stopped to consider before. What is your target audience? Where are you looking to take your business now and in the future? These kinds of questions are key for any graphic designer to understand you and your business well enough to be able to translate that in to a powerful brand. If you don’t already know the answers, now would be a good time to stop and consider them for a while.
So you’ve made the decision to get a professional brand created by a graphic designer. What do you do next? Most people would head to Google and search for ‘graphic designer Essex’ or whatever town or city they happened to be in. Some business owners network on a regular basis and will remember who they’ve come across so far or ask recommendations from people they trust within the business community. However you decide on a Web Design Essex, make sure that you read their testimonials and like the work they have already done both of which should be easy to find on their website.
Once you’ve found someone you’d like to work with (or possibly a few) you should sit down for a consultation with them to establish your specific wants and needs. Most designers will do this for free and many will be looking to ensure that you are a good match for them too! During the consultation process expect to be asked questions such as:
- What is your target audience?
- What do you think your target audience are looking for?
- What kind of marketing do you do? (i.e., where will your brand be seen)
- Can you give me three examples of brands you like?
- Where do you want to take your business? Are you looking to expand or diversify?
Of course that isn’t an exhaustive list and every designer works differently but that should give you an indication of what to expect. Make sure that you ask lots of questions too! Ask for recent examples, particularly from your market sector or industry. This is the time to be sure that you like the designer and how they work.
You will need to maintain a close working relationship with your designer whilst giving them room to breathe and be creative. This is a fine balance between responding to their requests quickly and appropriately whilst ensuring that you’re not checking up on them all the time. You should be expecting to hear back from them with ideas or questions, etc but the timescale can vary. Remember, they do have other clients and an existing workload so don’t expect instant results. It can be a good idea to set realistic deadlines during your consultation of when you can expect progress reports from your graphic designer.
Your brand is an important component of your business and the associated identity can enhance your reputation beyond measure. So it’s vital that you take the time and make the investment into branding your business effectively and employing the right graphic designer to do so.