Previously, I wrote an article “What’s a logo worth?” in which I outlined 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.
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 hiring a professional to design your brand identity is not a waste, but an investment that will reap long-term rewards. First however, I want to explore the do-it-yourself approach.
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 or the JCPenney brand refresh debacles are probably the most notable examples, in recent years.
Developing your own brand identity is like asking a teenager to manage your retirement portfolio. It might work out, but it’s not likely.
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 create something that will gain recognition and build trust, 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 model, any more than polishing a turd will make it smell better. But hiring a professional designer gives 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 provide 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?