Are you looking to do your logo, website or brand at the moment?
These are the three words you might be focusing on when you're briefing a designer to help you.
I need a logo, then I need a website. And these are the foundations of my brand.
But this is a surefire way to lead to disappointment and frustration with what you get back.
Partly, success with any brief is down to the skill of the designer, so, firstly, make sure you’re buying from someone who has a lot of references, who can show you a lot of their work, and who can show variety in their work.
You want them to be able to reflect YOU - not impose their style on you.
But the other two significant success factors in briefing a designer and managing the design process are :
We just need to rewind a bit. Everything you are doing is about building a brand. So, first, you have to understand what a brand is.
All brands really are, are associations in people’s minds. And the stronger and more connected these associations are, the more likely a person is to choose and buy your brand.
So, the first thing you need to decide is, what associations do you want to build? What is it that you want to stand for?
This is called doing your brand strategy.
Your brand strategy is your decision on what you want to stand for: the associations you want to build in people’s minds. Everything you do, say, design, write, needs to connect to this.
You create your brand strategy by answering 4 questions:
It is critical to get these answers in place before you do your ‘branding’ so you have something to judge things, like your logo, against.
It doesn’t matter what you call these things in your brand strategy. For instance, most people call their WHY, their purpose. HOW you look and feel is often called your Brand Personality. What is critical is that you answer all of these questions, and you answer them in the right way. Here’s a free mini video course on this so you can get this bit right first.
You also need to understand what ‘Branding’ is.
Branding is the process of creating signals that help to reinforce the associations you want to build in your customers’ minds.
These signals can be visual: your logo, colour palette, imagery, packaging, shapes and patterns, fonts.
They can be verbal: your name and nomenclature, your tone of voice, your brandline, the language that you use.
They can also be sounds – like T Mobile’s or Intel’s chimes.
Or smells – like the bespoke fragrances luxury hotels create for their lobbies.
They can even be people or characters – liked Jared Fogle was for Subway, or George Clooney is for Nespresso, or the Compare The Market Meerkats.
But creating visual and verbal signals are where most brands start.
All together these signals are often called your ‘Brand Identity’ (and separately, your Visual Identity, Verbal Identity, Sonic Identity etc).
When you brief a designer, you should be briefing them to create your Visual Identity NOT JUST A LOGO.
If all you get is a logo, then how do you create your whole website? How do you create a connected look and feel on Instagram? You need more than a logo.
Here are things you need to tell your designer:
And here are things you should ask for:
Other important things you should ask your designer for
The other thing I’d suggest you get done, if you haven’t already, is a photoshoot. At least a few headshots, or go further with a branding shoot which has more shots of you and more images you could use to represent your brand.
But remember to start with strategy – it makes everything else SO much easier.
And the best place to start with strategy? My free video mini course, of course.
Well, here's a secret for you...
There are '7 Simple Steps' to a world-class brand strategy. They work for ANY brand in any industry, and you can get them FOR FREE in my 4-part video mini-course.
This proven formula is based on my 20 years of global brand strategy experience and study of the 181 world's most valuable brands, and it's yours today, for free.