Brand Strategy – why?
When do we decide to take branding seriously? And why should we take it seriously?
As a designer, it can be easy to fall into a freelancing role, where your process involves collecting information from your client in order to create a pretty design or brand. This part of the process is the general homework a freelancer does before they start the design process. Of course, the design process can’t just start from nowhere. There needs to be something to push the design. Often this part of the process is achieved through a questionnaire that is sent to the client. Or a quick meeting or Skype call is done between freelancer and client to establish some kind of goal for the logo or brand design.
But is this process brand strategy?
I’ve been there. It’s easy to call this part of the process brand strategy, as questions about target audience is asked. The freelancer does do some homework to establish what type of design to implement. The freelancer needs to know whether a cursive font or specific color choice will suit the client’s brand and requirements.
Chris Do, from Blind (who by the way is an amazing business head and strategist in branding and design), calls this experience of design development an expense rather than an investment. Why is that?
Clients can easily see logo development as a necessary expense, rather than an investment, as it’s very difficult to see a reasonable return on investment from a logo design. It can easily be seen as a necessity, as the business needs a face, and that is what a logo is.
This past week, a connection of mine finalized a re-brand. And for the first time, she felt as if this re-brand was authentic to her business and her overall vision of her business. Before this, she had 4 graphic designers, design logos for her. AND she was never satisfied with these logos. And this is another reason why logo development can be seen as an expense. Freelancers often don’t use the right tools to connect with their clients’ goals. Often this leads to a process of going round and round and round, changing brands every year or so, as nothing aligns with the business essence of the client.
This is where brand strategy fits in. Brand strategy is the process of defining the client’s goals, vision and business value of their brand. This is no simple task. The process of brand strategy involves clarifying the target audience and clarifying the service or product that the client is offering (and do you know how many clients cannot clearly explain what solution they offer – almost all of my clients get stuck on this one, as they think it’s an easy answer). Furthermore, it’s a process of reviewing the current brand or ideas of brand, and then also looking into marketing funnel strategies.
Why do you need to do all this, before designing a logo? Simply put, your logo and brand needs to be directed to your audience. And it needs to align with your service. If you don’t understand your audience, how can you create a logo? Pretty logo’s do not necessarily attract the right kind of clients. It attracts “oe’s” and “ah’s”. But how many of those “oe’s” and “ah’s” convert to leads or sales.
You can’t immediately rush into identity development, without looking into brand strategy first.
Brand strategy sets goals and objectives. The design is the deliverable.
Ostara Studio, always starts with brand strategy. To book your brand strategy consult, email us at email@example.com
Pricing ranges from R450 per hour, to R4500 for a full strategy.
Cover image by Ethan Hoover – thank you for your beautiful image