When you’re trying to build a profitable business, branding is everything. |
No matter what products or services you’re trying to sell, without the right branding, it’s going to be hard to gain recognition, inspire trust, or communicate the right message to potential customers, and as a result, your business will be more likely to fail.
If your branding looks like it was done by an amateur, it can turn people off and make them think twice about spending their hard-earned money on whatever it is you’re selling.
If your brand isn’t visually appealing, or easily identifiable, it’s going to be difficult to get recognized by the right people.
And if your message isn’t consistent, concise, and communicated clearly, you’re going to create confusion, and potential customers won’t understand what you’re offering.
As you can tell, branding can be complicated, frustrating, and time-consuming, to say the least.
There are a ton of things to consider, and if you’re not a graphic designer or marketing professional, it can be tough to know where to begin.
That being said, when you’re trying to brand your business, choosing the right agency or designer is key.
At this point, you’re probably wondering, “How can I find the right designer? What should I be looking for? And how much should I pay for a brand design?”
If you’re trying to answer these kinds of questions, then it’s time to start paying attention.
Because in this article, I’m going to talk about what to consider when branding your business, how to hire a brand designer, and what to watch out for, so you can be sure you’re making the right decision.
How to Hire a Brand Designer Choosing a brand designer or marketing agency can seem like an impossible task.
There are way too many options, a ton of things to consider, and when you’re trying to brand or rebrand your business, the last things you need are more stress and less time.
But as I said above, effective branding is absolutely essential, so it’s not like you can just skip this step.
So, if you want to relieve some anxiety and make things a bit easier on yourself, then you should do your best to follow the four points I’ve laid out below.
Define Your Brand Positioning Before you or anyone else can design your visual brand, you’ve got to be able to define it.
This requires a long list of considerations, such as identifying your brand’s unique selling position, along with its values, main competitors, ideal customers, brand voice, and the message you want it to convey.
But if you don’t know the first thing about branding, this can be very overwhelming, and you might want to consider working with someone who can help you flesh out the identity of your brand.
For example, here at eVision Media, we offer strategy consulting, where we work closely with business owners to define their brands by considering all the aforementioned aspects, among many others.
Any good designer or agency will do this kind of analysis before they start to design the various elements of your brand, so if they skip this step, it’s safe to say that at least in terms of branding, they have no idea what they’re doing.
In any case, if you want your branding to be effective and provide an accurate representation of what you and your business stand for, you’ve got to be able to define your brand clearly and concisely.
Otherwise, whoever’s designing it will be missing crucial information, and they’re not going to be able to do their best work, no matter how good they are, or how much they’re charging.
READ: How to Define Brand Identity and Maintain Consistency in All Your Marketing Materials
When it comes to branding, consistency is key.
If you want to avoid alienating or confusing your customers, and ensure your brand remains instantly recognizable, you need clearly defined branding, and you need to keep things consistent.
This article explains how to define your brand by creating a style guide, and how to maintain consistency across all your marketing channels, including your website, videos, imagery, and more.
Read more on our website
Consider Your Options If I know business owners (and believe me, I do), I imagine many of you are asking yourselves, “Can I do my own branding?”
To that question, I would say yes, you can do your own branding.
However, it requires a lot of specialized skills that can take a long time to learn if you want it done properly. So, if you don’t have the time to spend dozens of hours learning professional graphic design programs and figuring out how to write marketing copy, then it’s definitely not your best option.
That being said, there is no shortage of options when you’re deciding which company or individual you should hire to take care of your branding.
If you only need a few design elements, like a logo and some imagery, most freelance designers should be able to do this, no problem.
But if you want a more comprehensive branding package, and you’re set on going with a freelancer instead of an agency, make sure they’re actually knowledgeable about branding, and not just designing logos based on their personal style.
Ask them if they’re able to produce everything your brand’s going to need, including things like a style guide to define the colours, fonts and imagery involved in the brand, a social media header kit, print pieces, and of course, the most important part, a website.
In any case, despite my obvious bias, I would still recommend going with a marketing agency, especially considering how difficult it can be to find one person who’s able to do everything.
Also, keep in mind that when you go with an agency, you’re going to have a whole team working on your project, as opposed to just one person, so things should get done much faster.
In addition, each aspect of your brand design is going to be handled by a dedicated individual or group, so the quality of the work is likely to be better than if it’s done by a jack of all trades who’s doing everything themselves.
Look Them Up Once you’ve determined whether you want to work with an agency or a freelance designer, the next step is to start looking them up.
Start by thinking about whether you want to work with someone in person, or if you’re comfortable working with people in remote locations.
Either way, one relevant Google search should provide a long list of potential candidates.
First things first, have a look at their portfolios and make sure to go with the ones whose work aligns best with the vision you have for your branding.
This is really important, and any self-respecting designer or agency will have a portfolio of published work to showcase.
We proudly display our work on our website, so potential clients can get a better idea of what we’re capable of.
eVision brand Portfolio
If a designer or agency doesn’t have a portfolio, make sure to avoid them, as this is a definite red flag.
Now, once you’ve narrowed down some contenders, it’s time to do even more research on them.
Read through as many reviews as you can find, paying particularly close attention to any bad ones.
After doing this amount of research, you should have more than enough insight to weed out any questionable candidates, and at least come up with a shortlist of potential designers and/or agencies.
Don’t Get Burned When you don’t know the marketing industry, it can be tough to know what kinds of questions to ask or what to watch out for to ensure you’re working with someone who’s trustworthy.
With that said, one of the most important things to do when you’re vetting potential designers and/or agencies is to look at testimonials.
We have lots of endorsements from satisfied clients displayed prominently on our website.
client brand design testimonials
But if you want to have even more peace of mind, the best thing you can do is have them put you in touch with some of those clients so you can ensure they actually exist and ask them what it was like working with the agency or designer in question.
Then, you can put things into greater context by looking at the work they did for that client, as well.
If you like what the client had to say, and the work that was done for them, it’s probably a pretty safe bet.
But if the agency or designer makes up any excuse for why they can’t provide these references, my advice would be to run as fast as you can in the other direction.
It pains me to say this, but there are a lot of “wannabe” designers who know how to use the tools of the trade but do not have the underlying expertise needed to design an effective brand. Being creative is not enough for this very important representation of your business.
Remember, branding is a balance between art and science, and there are many psychological and analytical components that go into it, so no matter what you do, be sure to hire someone who understands the full spectrum of brand design.
Are you still struggling to figure out how to hire a brand designer? We’ve worked with many business owners to define their brands and build their businesses from the ground up. Contact us today and let us know how we can help you build your brand and nurture your dreams into reality.
To your business success, Susan Friesen
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