Why Logos, Websites Etc, Are A Waste Of Time!
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 when 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.
The Purpose Of A Visual Brand
It is the responsibility of your visual brand (when you provide a service) to do a few things.
Answer relevant questions in your niche
Showcase what you're specifically good at doing and
Express your differentiated perspective
You can't logically reflect either of the previously mentioned things through your visual brand, if you've never considered what you're known for. And when you simply create marketing materials without that clarity, you miss the opportunity to create a bonding experience between you and your ideal clients.
We all know what we do, but we all don’t understand what we do. So before actually creating a visual representation of what you do, ask yourself these two questions.
Where is the transformation for the client to experience?
What's their advantage for working with you?
This is even more important with your 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 it if it disrupts a potential client’s attention or interest.
Designers Need To Get Real!
We're not magicians, and perpetuating the belief that we are, only sets the client up for failure. Especially in Trinidad where the understanding surrounding visual branding is you just need to hop online, pull up a query, create content for it and you'll make money.
Where is the relationship aspect between you and the viewer beyond the goal of making money?
That's why for someone’s to be a perfect fit to work with me, their values and business needs to be in alignment and the right position (meaning, have reputation, and clients) respectively first, if I'm to really believe my work will be effective. Outside of that, how can any designer consider someone to be a serious possible client? It is the absence of these specific things offline that make founders afraid to invest in an online presence or even capable of sustaining one. But they won't admit this because it’s much easier to 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!
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
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.
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?
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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