• Writer for DDI on Medium

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

Updated: Nov 17

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 website. In Fact, starting with any visual element (logo, 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!

It is the responsibility of your visual brand (when you provide a service) to capture the magic of how you do what you do. In many ways, it highlights the strengths of your process and the value of working with you. This means before actually creating the visual part of what you do, you need clarity on what you do (we all know what you do, but we all don’t understand what we do). And, especially with a website, you need to get to the point much faster. The other seemingly important things you may feel the urge to talk about, for the strength of that message, trim if it confuses a potential client’s attention or interest.

That said, a shabby design as a result of an unfocused brand can just as easily weaken the perception of your value in the mind of those you’re trying to attract. So, whether it’s stationery sets or a website, your visual elements should all be working collectively to reflect something specific.

Designers Need To Get Real!

When designers get heady in the concept of their abilities, it sets a bad benchmark for good design work. No design can get someone clients or make them money. And believing that you can magically create something that would do this without going beyond the design work is not morally correct.

For someone’s business to warrant being online, it must be in the right position for your efforts to be effective before you can consider them a possible client. It is the absence of specific things offline that make founders afraid to invest in an online presence. But they won't admit this because it’s much easier to nickel-and-dime, then blame the designer. And within the context of crooked design work, they will be right. But, in the hands of an experienced professional, specific information about your business is vital to the visual branding process.

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 parallel 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.

I am the Founder and Visual Brand Strategist at The BrandTUB

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