One of the key tasks for first-time business owners is to build a strong brand identity. This can be easier said than done, of course, because in crowded markets, business owners face a wide array of options depending on the message they’d like to send, the audience they want to reach and the competitors they must battle for market share. Additionally, it’s rare that a small business has an in-house logo maker or designer readily available to them.
Many businesses aspire to become a major player in their market or industry. For these businesses, it may make more sense to invest more time and money up front and work with a professional to bring their desired brand identity to life. Thoughtful, custom-made logos and branding can make the difference between the just another company and the next great success story.
A venture that does not require a long-term investment, such as promotion for a special event or a recreational activity, may necessitate a bit less consideration. In this case, a lower-cost, do-it-yourself (DIY) approach to branding may be more efficient.
Let’s take a look at some situations that make sense to take a more all-in approach, along with others where an easier, DIY method might make more sense.
Hire a professional when you plan to make a lasting impact
Any small business that intends to have staying power will want to invest as much as it can to build its brand. A strong brand wins over the minds and hearts of potential customers, so much so that they believe they have an idea of what they’re getting even before they do business with that brand.
In most cases, this will mean hiring a professional logo maker, or better yet, a team of designers to consult with as they navigate the brand-building and logo-making process. Like any creative undertaking, the best brands and logos are a team effort, developed when several creative minds collaborate.
Some of the most successful brands in the world have iconic logos that are instantly recognizable. Think of brands like The North Face, Target or Tostitos. Even without the company’s name, most would recognize each of these brands by simply looking at their logos.
Not every business will have brands as iconic as these long-lasting symbols. But these examples prove how powerful a recognizable logo can be. If your goal is to develop a customized identity that makes you memorable to customers, a logo can be the beginning of your journey, but it shouldn’t be the end.
Branding is more than a logo; it’s the feelings and associations the business wishes to impart on the consumer. The North Face logo’s arcs opposite the lettering allude to the shape of Half Dome, one of the most recognizable mountain formations in the United States. The North Face, then, positions itself as a gateway to adventure. The Target logo’s famous bull’s-eye, born in 1962, has endeared itself to us because of its simplicity and the feeling it evokes — that Target has exactly what you’re looking for. Look at the bag the next time you purchase Tostitos tortilla chips. The two “T”s in the middle of the name mimic the shape of two people holding a chip above a bowl of salsa. By eating Tostitos chips, the logo says, you too can turn any occasion into a festive one.
There is a science behind developing a brand identity. It may start with the logo, but that logo represents more than just signage. Branding tells your customers or potential customers what your business believes in as an organization. When it’s clear you’ve put thought into your branding choices, customers will be more likely to continue selecting your products or services — even when faced with other choices.
Use DIY methods if you’re branding just one project
The phrase “you get what you pay for” often rings true when developing a brand identity. Some argue that taking a less-expensive route to branding is one of the worst mistakes a business owner can make. Luckily, there are a number of resources available to those who wish to develop branding for a shorter-term project.
For more temporary ventures, taking a cost-effective route is often more productive because it can help deliver results for an affordable price. For example, if your business is hosting a one-off concert, party, festival or gala, you may not need to invest buckets of time and money to get results. Likewise, if you are branding a wedding, family reunion, conference, sporting event or similar occasion, a do-it-yourself logo maker might be the ideal solution.
A DIY logo can help boost awareness without the upfront costs of a team of designers. Here are some of the benefits of taking a do-it-yourself logo approach to branding:
- Efficiency: Creating your own logo is a great way to save both time and money so you can leverage your resources elsewhere, such as planning and organization.
- Flexibility: Since you’re not looking to create a logo or brand that you intend to keep around for years, it allows you to freshen things up and make changes whenever you see fit.
- Speed: With a DIY branding solution, you receive your new logo as quickly as you can create it.
There are other situations when a short-term DIY logo and branding effort makes sense as well. For example, if your business has a recreational sports team, you can design a new logo each season to match a specific team and let others in your league know your squad is a force to be reckoned with.
Deluxe offers resources for every situation
Each brand journey is unique. Whether you’re seeking a brand that stands the test of time, or promoting a more temporary entity, an impactful logo will set you apart. Deluxe offers the logo solutions to fit your business and your budget: explore custom logo design services or experiment with our DIY tool.