That’s right I said it! You don’t NEED a logo or visual identity to have a successful business. But before you toss your hands up in confusion, everything I’m about to say will not contradict what you’ve already learned.
And yes, I AM a branding designer and sell logos. But I’ll explain exactly what I mean (so fellow designers hang on to those stones and don’t throw them yet!).
The Core of a Successful Business
Is not rooted in visuals
Despite how much we love pretty things, and really love upselling the branding experience and all that jazz…the core of a successful business is not rooted in your visuals. These visuals for your business can be summarized as ‘graphic design’ and I will be terming it as such from now on. This term can include your logo, marketing materials, website design, brand design, etc.
So what I’m saying is getting some pretty graphic design done is not going to necessarily make you successful. Sure it HELPS, and I’ll go over that more later, but it isn’t the core of your business success.
So what is?
Your Brand Values.
What are Brand Values
So what are brand values you ask? Is it a secret spell that I can chant to make my business flourish? Well no… not exactly. But it is the seed you’ll plant that will then grow with your hard work and flourish into something wonderful.
By definition brand values are a set of guidelines or principles that shape every aspect of your business. They encompass your message, identity, and personality, and are crucial in finding your spot amongst saturated markets.
I will attempt to summarize your brand values in the form of a few questions to help you get started (although a much more extensive list would be provided when working with a brand specialist like myself).
Questions to Answer
What are your business values?
Why do you do what you do? What is the emotion and meaning behind it? Not to make money…but the heart of your business and it’s values.
What do you REALLY sell?
If you’re a florist, it’s not actually the flowers you are selling. It’s the experience your bride has walking down the aisle with your bouquet, and so on. What are you really selling?
What makes your services unique?
What are you brilliant at, and what makes you credible? What do you do differently?
Why would someone pick you over a competitor?
A continuation of the previous questions summarized.
What’s your promise?
What are you promising your clients/customers if they choose your business?
I’ll ask you to really think about these questions as you answer them. Don’t throw it out at face value, focus on the emotional aspects. Sure, at the root of it all we need to make money and that’s why we run a business. But that shouldn’t be why you do…and if it is then I encourage you to rethink it.
Knowing your Audience
So now after we know that in order to be a successful business we must have a firm grasp of our brand values, then next is visuals – right? Wrong. Next is knowing your audience. This is the people you will market to, speak to and ultimately work with.
Now it’s time for Visual Branding
NOW is it time for graphic design? Why, yes…yes it is. Once you’ve discovered your brand values and your target audience you can now look towards getting a logo and other graphic design elements.
In order for you to have compelling visuals that sell, you first have to have a firm understanding of your brand. Because ‘branding’ isn’t just your logo and color scheme, it’s that depth of knowledge and understanding of your business and audience. Then you’ll work with a brand designer to translate those things into designs that evoke those exact emotions and goals.
Because although you don’t need visuals persay, having them helps to create recognition, evoke professionalism and attract your ideal clients.
I hope this post helped you get a better understanding of your business needs and the true meaning behind branding, and what you should focus on right now no matter where you are in your business. Whether you’re a fresh fish or a seasoned swimmer, revisiting these questions is a good exercise to make sure you’re staying focused.
If you are at the point where you want to work directly with a brand specialist to flush out these questions and develop both your brand and identity, then take a look at my services or directly contact me.
Cheers to business success!