Strategy vs. Spaghetti
“But, I like spaghetti,” you may say.
Spaghetti is great.
So why would you throw it on the wall just to see what sticks?
I had to explain that saying to my son after he saw the title of this post. Telling him that trying a bunch of different things and seeing what works is not the most effective approach and a waste of time (and, not to mention, food). Having a thought-out plan of action based on research and observation is the better route to go.
I Just Need A Logo
When a client comes to me, they usually come because they “need a logo.” But what they actually need is not one small mark that represents their company—it’s much more than that. They need to build a brand. A brand that expresses their passion and expertise, is created with care, builds connection, has heart and meaning, communicates their vision and values, and stands out in a crowded marketplace.
So how do we do that? How do we create a brand that aligns with their amazing work, brings their vision to life, is seen by the right people, and is recognized for its expertise? With spaghetti! Haha, no. Strategy, of course!
You know, you build that solid foundation before you build the house on top. Have strong bones before adding the meat. And for my campers out there, build that perfect teepee structure of sticks before lighting the fire.
When I explain my Clearly Branded process to my clients and show them my process chart, they are often confused because the design stage, where they see the first logo options, is not until halfway through the process. But everything we do before that builds up to the design, and by then, it is pretty clear what their brand should look like. When we arrive at the mood board stage, we already know the ins and outs of their company, who they are for, and who they are up against. We discovered their brand personality and brand values and spent a lot of time identifying and truly understanding their ideal audience. While I spend some time analyzing the competition and marketplace, I put more energy into positioning my client’s company and asking, “Why them?”
It’s All About Strategy
If we can confidently define the purpose, core values, and personality of your company, we will be able to express that through brand design, messaging, and all of the actions you take in your business—plus we can come up with a plan to achieve your goals.
Knowing and understanding your ideal audience and—most importantly—their needs and pain points allows us to develop steps to cater to those and meet those needs.
Knowing how you differ from the competition and how you position yourself in the market to stand out informs us of the tactics and initiatives to develop to communicate that.
Meaningful Brand Identity
At the end of my process, you will have a solid brand foundation that we developed together, a Clarity Report that outlines all of the findings, a concrete Brand Plan with the next steps to build and grow your brand, a meaningful brand identity that embodies your company and everything it stands for, a collection of relevant collateral that you’ll need to get your brand off the ground, and a comprehensive Brand Guide that summarizes all of our findings. That’s a lot more than just a logo, and it will ultimately give you clarity and confidence, and yes—a logo.
In the next few months, I will take you through my entire “Clearly Branded” process and break down each step in more detail. Stay tuned for that.
Now I am hungry,