It’s okay to be nervous.
We understand. We go through the branding process with clients 20-30 times a year. In contrast, most of the people we work with will only do this once in their careers. It is stressful; you don’t want to screw it up.
We get these questions all the time, and our answers below might help alleviate your stress if you’re thinking about hiring someone to work on your brand or if you’re in the middle of the process.
Thinking about your brand – even if you never actually hire a branding agency – is worth it. If you hire an agency you trust and respect, it will be invaluable. True branding ROI is complicated because it is multi-faceted. The largest return will come from bolstered internal morale. When your co-workers are energized about their company, a real transformation will take place.
But it doesn’t end there. What is the value of an additional customer? What is the value of a second chance? Great branding buys you a second chance – it helps you get your foot in the door.
You may not. In fact, we’re moving away from that word. It doesn’t ring true. You aren’t starting over. You are acknowledging that some things are going really well. You want to keep those things. Some things aren’t going quite as well. You want to revisit those. We help you decide which is which. Maybe your logo is fine. Maybe it needs a minor tweak. Maybe it needs an overhaul. We will decide on a path forward together.
That’s a legitimate concern. You spend all your time thinking about your business. It’s hard to imagine someone else fully understanding its intricacies. We take this seriously. The success of the branding work depends on how well we can translate you visually and verbally. That requires a deep understanding.
Here’s the truth: Every time we finish a presentation, we change how the next one is structured. We are always fine-tuning our process, learning how to work better. And while our process’s evolution is a result of self criticism, it also requires that you be honest with us. If you feel like there’s a gap in understanding, do not be afraid to bring it up. We want to improve.
We also spend time honing our soft skills. We work on our ability to hear between the words you say, to read body language. We work on our ability to empathize with you. The end result is that we have become good at quickly understanding what a business does, how it operates, and its cultural subtleties.
People expect a “eureka” moment. But that isn’t how it works. We will take small steps. We will understand what you do, who you are, your competition. We will present recommended brand strategies. Not until all of that is agreed upon will we start to design anything. By this time you will have abandoned the expectation of the “eureka” in favor of the much more effective “of course.” Our work does not come from our subjective preferences. The conversation isn’t about whether we like it or you like it. The conversation is about what will work best for your business. And what will work won’t come as a surprise. It will come from a solid strategy.
Getting a new brand can feel like getting the keys to a race car and being pushed onto the track. You think, “This is cool, but what do I do now?” We take the end of the branding process as seriously as the beginning. This is where the tools we build you really come to life or flop. Depending on the size of your organization, we can integrate with your design team to make sure they understand how to drive the new car. Or we might stick around with you. We often stay with clients who don’t have designers. We build a launch plan and help push the new brand out into the world. We build websites, design marketing collateral, trade show booths, packaging, store/office design. We will stick around as long as you need to make it a smooth transition. Our success depends on how successfully your brand is expressed in the world.
In conclusion, it’s okay to be nervous. But, don’t be nervous. You can trust us.