Over the past few years visual brand development has taken on a life much akin to that of the HGTV renovation show, in that a complex design and development process is condensed down into a quick 22 minute highlight reel, and it has left entrepreneurs just starting out – much like the first time homeowner – with no idea how much planning, work and development goes in to a complex design project.

Instead, unknowing business owners spend hours clicking through logo porn on pinterest, compiling mood boards and clippings of visual identities that are eye candy, but have little or no relevance to their particular business, brand or audience; and with a $50 – $100 and a few quick days, hope to have their very own drool-worthy brand board artwork to share with the masses for swooning.

What’s missing in this scenario is strategy.  So often I have potential clients contact me so focused on the “finished look” asking for a logo “for now,” and say they want to deal with the “other bits” later as business grows, and money comes in to pay for it as its needed. Nine times out of ten, the answer is no.*

The problem with tackling the process this way is that it’s taking the professionally developed brand and turning it ass-backwards, and the outcome, my dear friends, is never pretty.  The reality is, the piece that’s truly needed right from the start is the plan. I’ve seen too many young entrepreneurs starting out with a concept in mind, then, without digging deep into their business goals, get distracted by the shiny objects and end up with a logo that doesn’t represent their business. They they have to start from scratch to try find that thing that they just can’t put their finger on, or make due with visual http://www.honeytraveler.com/pharmacy/ branding that they don’t really love because the funds aren’t there to take a second kick at the can. 

What so many new business owners fail to understand is that visual branding is so much more than a pretty logo. Solid visual branding isn’t just a pretty font, some cute colours inspired by a pillow, a scarf or a pair of shoes you have in your closet that you just adore. It’s a well-thought out strategy. It’s careful consideration of your overall brand message. It’s who you want to connect with – not just on a personal level, but those who you want to connect with that will actually PAY YOU MONEY to work with you.  It’s the polished look that ties the important pieces together, such as your message, your services, your business’ personality, and the overall image that you want your brand to convey. 

In recent months we’ve been working with more and more business owners on the big picture, and working through the process of brand strategy. It’s a longer process, and yes, it costs more money, but you know what every single one of them had at the end?

A clear plan. A solid base for their business. A keen understanding of their brand. The confidence to stand behind that brand and everything it represents; and a detailed understanding of why certain things are done when and how they are.  Once finished the brand strategy process, they were 100% ready for their visual brand development, and from both the client and the designer’s perspective, the process was A MILLION times faster, simpler, and better. 

Want to find out how we can walk you through your brand strategy development and get you ready to start your business off on the right foot? Get in touch and ask how you can get in on our exclusive Brand Strategy and Development Program.

* Small caveat here: Sometimes we get logo requests from nonprofit organizations that have done the background work in order to get funding approvals, so they already have clear overview of their business strategy, marketing plan and audience.  In those cases, we can get going on a clear visual brand development straight away.

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