The Branding Process: Ready to hire a brand designer? Five questions your brand designer should be asking.
Are you ready to hire a designer for your business?
Maybe you decided that DIY-ing your brand wasn’t something that you weren’t ready to do, or maybe you’ve established a consistent enough revenue stream that you’re ready to invest in a full brand design for your business.
Whatever the case may be, hiring a designer to bring your vision to life is a big deal. Not only from a monetary investment, but also from an emotional investment. Especially for small business owners, their business is such an extension of themselves. Creative business owners pour their heart and soul into their business that it’s sometimes hard to hand over the reigns and trust someone to properly make your vision a reality.
Brand designers come in all shapes and sizes—from logo designers who work to create that singular mark to identify your business or full brand designers. When you’re ready to invest money into the look of your business, it’s important to do research on exactly what you’re looking for and how much you have to invest in your brand.
Here are five questions that your designer should be asking before you get to work.
• Who is your ideal client? What do they look like? Where do they spend their time?
• What is your ideal brand vision? Does it align with your ideal client?
• What do you see as the future of your business? 1 year? 5 year? What are your long term goals?
• What sets you apart from other businesses in your field?
• Do you understand that what your ideal client may be drawn to may not be what YOU’RE drawn to?
All of these questions may not seem relevant to logo design, but friends—they are. Each and every one of these questions helps a designer to truly get to the core of your business. While the brand design process may seem like such a visual job, building a cohesive visual identity is all about tapping into emotion and creating a unique experience with your business.
Sure, your designer should be asking you visually directed questions as well—what would you like to see, what are your favorite colors, how are you going to be using your brand marks—but that only scratches the surface about what brand design truly is. A good brand designer wants to work with you in order to tap into who your audience really is in order to drive traffic and sales to you. Because, despite it being YOUR business, your visual identity really depends on WHO your ideal client is.
Let me give you an example:
Suzzy Q is describing her ideal client as an earthy, grounded 30-something woman. She’s adventurous, enjoys the outdoors, and doesn’t like things to be fussy. She dresses in jeans and a t-shirt and would rather spend her weekends lost in a forest or on the open road rather than sitting on the couch catching up on Real Housewives of Orange County.
Suzzy, however, is super feminine and really loves the color pink. She loves to grab brunch with her gal pals and sip on rosé. Her favorite store is J.Crew and wouldn’t be caught dead in public without a full-face of makeup on. Suzzy is launching a line of organic skincare and wants to target the nature loving woman, but really wants to use peonies and pink in her branding.
She has this idea of her client, but her own “personal” brand is on the other end of the spectrum. As a business owner, Suzzy needs to be able to disconnect her personal attachment to the color pink and ultra-feminine design elements in order to reach her target audience. In order to reach this ideal client, she needs to connect with them on THEIR level, leaving her own personal love for rosé at the door. Instead of going with a pink, feminine color palette, Suzzy’s brand designer should guide her to use a more earthy, or minimal choice.
By hiring a brand designer, you’re hiring someone who will help guide you through this process. A brand designer is there to give you a little bit of push back when you start making decisions based on what “I” like. A business isn’t about “I”, it’s about your audience. Now, I’m not going to lie, it is a lot easier to be a business owner who identifies with your target audience (even if it’s a version of them), because that helps to create an authentic relationship with the consumers of your brand. Suzzy may have a hard time creating a connection with her crunchy, organic consumer on deeper levels than providing them skincare products.
If your designer isn’t working to get to the heart of your business, it’s a sign that they are only interested in the surface of your business. If you’re ready to work with a designer that wants to learn about you as a business owner and really dive into the purpose behind your brand, I would love to connect with you! Tell me more about your business and I’ll let you know how I can help.