You wouldn’t get a $5 facelift, so pass on that $5 logo
Branding. Elective facial surgery, for your business.
Behind every successful and recognizable brand is a talented designer, or more likely, a team of designers. Target’s iconic red bullseye didn’t originate from a gallery of clipart, and its campaigns are not generated by a magic button (that’s Staples, easy button anyone?). IBM, NBC, Coca-Cola, Starbucks, Apple, UPS—the hundreds of brands whose logo, color, and campaigns you can recall by just reading their name, did not originate and grow with a few image searches and some button clicks. Yours shouldn’t either, if you care about the livelihood and reputation of your business that is.
Of course, as I initially stated, designers and artists are not solely responsible for the creation of a strong brand. Copywriters, brand strategists, marketing directors, and many other talented people work behind every successful brand, but skilled designers are an essential constant of the brand-creating formula. Oftentimes, it can be challenging to explain the value of design. After all, designers just scribble a few things, press some buttons, drag a mouse, maybe (gasp) move things on a page, and voila, your logo is ready. Well, sort of. These actions usually do happen, but they’re not happenstance, and they don’t happen in a matter of mindless seconds, unless of course you discover some design genie on fiverr who will design 5 killer logo concepts for you today! Impressive. Or maybe your nephew is in graphics design school and he can probably design your award-winning, unforgettable logo for free.
Sidenote: If he still says “graphics design,” chances are he can’t be trusted. Sorry not sorry.
Back to the value of design, and why exactly you should invest in a well-crafted brand identity. Let’s compare design to surgery, for instance, whether that be elective, mandatory, or medical. Would you ever consider hiring a surgeon with no experience? Would you ask Siri for a list of places offering “the cheapest surgery in South Florida,” click her top result, and schedule surgery without a consultation or meeting with other surgeons? Does choosing a surgeon based solely on price sound reasonable? Your health, image, and most importantly your life are in the hands of this surgeon. Now I’m not implying that a graphic designer’s job holds nearly the amount of pressure a surgeon has with the responsibility of a patient’s life, but designers are, however, responsible for the livelihood and growth of your business. If you are truly invested in your business, it is your life. If your elective surgery were cosmetic, perhaps facial, it’s the most visible part of your body. Your brand is exactly that, and most often, you get what you pay for.
So what exactly are you paying for when you hire an agency to brand your business? When it comes to the designers who are leading the creative and visual aspect of your brand, you’re not paying for the 45 hours of dedicated research and design they conduct in the studio. A designer tasked with branding your unique business is likely thinking about your brand 24/7, until the perfect solution is achieved (often times while in the shower, or anywhere their iPhone 6 Notepad app is out of immediate reach). Ideas do not exist in silos, and do not arrive through a strict formula of action. Although agencies often have a tested branding process, such process is fluid, with a team of people dedicated to thinking about your brand and recording ideas anytime, anywhere, not just 9–5 in the studio. Furthermore, you’re paying for years of education, experience, and creativity, an asset that is priceless.
Whether your brand takes 5 days or 5 months to concept, it’s the face of your business and generates recognition and profit for the lifetime of your brand, and thereafter. It’s the public’s first encounter with your brand that will dictate their opinion and influence action, e.g., make a purchase, call for services, or share with others. So, next time you see the opportunity (tempting as it may be) to receive a $5 logo, or discover some type of platform to generate a logo yourself, consider what type of “surgery” you are electing to have. Next time you receive a “shocking” quote for branding, remember you are paying for a business asset that is invaluable.
Keenability’s collective creative experience spans many moons. Our full-service marketing capabilities begin with strong branding, and we’d love to give your business an unforgettable face. We’re a talented group of writers, designers, creatives, and dreamers dedicated to providing you with a true branding experience. Sound exciting? Let’s meet.