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Ideas to Inspire

Brand Identity: How Hiring a Professional Designer Contributes to Your Brand’s Early — and Lasting — Success (It’s About Getting It Right from the Start)

by Tim Blake

Recently, I wrote an article “What’s a logo worth?” in which I attempted to outline the intrinsic value derived from a professionally designed logo. That article generated lots of comments, most of which were positive and insightful. However, more than one respondent suggested that it was a waste for a startup to pay for a professionally designed logo… at least until the business proved successful.

First Impressions matter, especially concerning your brand identity.

You never get a second chance to make a first impression. While that may seem superficial, it’s how most people assess your brand.

Now before I go any further, I want to explain what your brand identity is. Your brand identity is the outward expression of your brand; the tangible elements that you can see, touch, feel and hear… maybe even smell. And just like your personal attributes, people will immediately judge your brand based on the characteristics of your brand identity.

Hopefully I can prove that an investment in your brand identity is not a waste. But first I want to discuss the latter half of the statement above.

Why Not Do It Yourself First and Hire a Designer Later?

Starting a business is hard work. Keeping that business going is even more difficult. In fact, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration, more than 50% of small businesses fail within the first five years.

If you are one of the fortunate few whose business succeeds, how likely are you to seek out a designer — years later — to refresh your brand? After all, you’ve already built a successful brand without their help. Not to mention that changing your brand identity could have adverse effects on your brand. The GAP Brand Refresh is probably the most notable example.

Developing your own brand identity is like asking your teenage nephew to manage your retirement portfolio. It might work out.

Doesn’t it make more sense to invest in something that will have an immediate impact on your brand’s success? And doesn’t it make sense to build something that will instill trust and gain equity, for years to come? Of course it does. So the idea of waiting for success and then hiring a designer is simply a fallacy.

So What Can a Professional Designer Do That I Can’t Do Myself?

I’m not suggesting that having a professionally designed brand identity will rescue a bad business, any more than polishing a turd will make it smell better. But by hiring a professional designer you give your brand a greater chance at early and long-term success.

An experienced brand designer has typically worked with many clients, on a variety of projects. Therefore, he or she has a broad understanding of marketing strategies and tactics, and understands how to communicate effectively with your desired audience. He or she is often able to offer solutions that far exceed your own ideas and abilities… thus improving your chances of success.

In that light, a designer should be treated as a new business owner’s greatest ally. Also under that same consideration, it’s why creating a brand identity costs more than $200.

Isn’t the Success of Your Brand Worth the Investment?

Now I realize that most startups are strapped for cash. But is your brand not worth the investment? After all, a professionally designed brand can help you attract the desired audience, instill trust, differentiate your brand from the competition and even help you avert legal issues. Each of which I’ll explore in a future article.

Until then, if you see the value of a professionally designed brand identity and you would like to discuss options for having your own brand identity designed by a professional, let’s talk. After all, isn’t your brand worth it?

Tim Blake is Principal/Owner of Blake Design, a design and branding consultancy based in Greensboro, North Carolina. He has over 25 years experience in the design and marketing industries. Tim uses his expertise to help businesses and organizations communicate their ideals and connect with their desired audience.

Tim Blake – who has written posts on Blake Design.


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2 Responses

  1. Polishing a turd, I like it. Very well-written article.

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