• Writer for DDI on Medium

Why Logos, Websites Etc, Are A Waste Of Time!

Updated: Jun 28

The notion that a cool logo can give you “a strong brand” or a pretty website will “get you customers” is placing an unnecessary hole in the pockets of a lot of local small business owners. Do you really think your clients are saying, "Oh, I want to hire you because of your logo or website"? It is on this basis I’m making the argument that logos, websites, anything associated with a visual brand is a complete waste of time if you don’t understand what you’re attempting to reflect!

Why Only Pay For Part Of The Bridge?

Obviously when you decided to invest in visual branding, you had an objective and direction in mind. Perhaps you wanted to improve public perception of your company, or finally own-up to whom you deliver the most value for so you can attract more of those types of clients. But here’s the rub, the journey in getting there doesn't begin with a logo. In Fact, starting with any visual element (website, business cards, marketing materials...) is like only purchasing paint for the building of the bridge that will get you there; a very small part of the goal, that has little or nothing to do with the actual purpose of the object hence why it’s applied last.

Visual Elements Don’t Make A Brand But It Can Break One!

When you provide a service, your brand is a bite-sized way for people to begin working with you; the automatic thing your customers specifically remember about the service you provide. But, there are also other relevant things you do along with successfully providing that service that’s impossible to communicate the value of, without losing a potential client’s attention or interest. So, by creating a story around the relationship between everything you do, you’re able to get to the point fast about what you do in a refreshing way.

That’s the perspective of approach to visually representing a service-based business!

That said, a shabby design can just as easily weaken the perception of your value in the mind of those you’re trying to attract because it’s the ability to understand what you’re all about that brings the personality of the brand and foretells the designer what your designs should truly look and feel like.

So, whether it's stationery sets or a website, your visual elements should all be working collectively to reflect something specific about you and the people you serve. 

Get Real!

The problem occurs when designers get heady in their concept of their abilities, believing that they can magically create something that would get clients or make money.

No design ever got anyone clients or made anyone money. It’s the demand for your service, it’s positioning and how well you execute that brings clients and by extension money. You must have those things offline first, then you can expect it to come out of your designs online. It’s the absence of these things that make founders shy away from investing in an online presence, but it’s their ignorance that makes them foolishly nickel-and-diming themselves to death with designs that lack substance.

Figure out who you are first with 4 of MY favorite questions that have made designing marketing materials for my business and my clients easier and so much fun!

  1. What are your clients doing over and over again without results? - These are usually the people who claim whatever your industry sells “never works!” or is a “waste of money”. The ones who don’t see that their own actions contradict the very thing they claim they want. Based on all this, you’re able to turn the picture to the right through the presentation of your big idea to get them on track

  2. How does that need parallels with the solution you provide? - Before you can help anyone, you have to first demonstrate an understanding of where they are so the value of what you’re offering is clearly understood. This is an opportunity for you to show how intimately you know the person in need of the service you provide.

  3. In what sequence do you unfold what you’re attempting to communicate? - Each story has an order to the way it’s told. Do you randomly post designs or are you consciously painting an image for someone to self-identify with?

  4. How do your images punctuate that story? - If I was telling a story about a really old scary house, it would be confusing to the listener, if the images used were wholesome and friendly right? You want your images to not only demonstrate not just the story being told but also the value you provide.

Invest in the entire picture and your visual brand will thank you for it. Outside of that you’ll be wasting valued time.

I am the Founder and Visual Brand Strategist at The BrandTUB

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