Branding is an important consideration for any business, whether you’re an established firm or a rapidly growing start-up. You may want to think twice about DIY-ing your brand development, though. Here’s why:
The best brands are built by objective architects
Suppose I asked you to write an elevator pitch for yourself. Not for your company. Or your brand. But for you, a real live, red-blooded human being*.
Could you do it? Sure, probably. But I’ll bet your friends and family would describe you in a way more accurate and flattering light.
Why? Because they’re outsiders looking in. They’re not bogged down in the humdrum happenings of your daily life, and their judgment isn’t colored by being too close to the task at hand.
In other words, they’ve got a fresh perspective that’s just not possible for you to have. It doesn’t take much of a stretch to see how that same truth could apply to your business. Word to the wise: if you’re looking for insight, start by talking to an outsider.
*Unless you happen to be an amphibious fish-man. In that case—congrats on winning the Oscar for Best Picture! (Have y’all seen The Shape of Water yet? It’s very, very good.)
There’s no such thing as branding by the book
Now, that’s not to say you should entrust the fate of your precious brand to any ol’ knucklehead on the street. You need a skilled specialist who can tell your story in an authentic and compelling way.
So why not take a few marketing classes (or hire someone who has)?
The fact is, marketing coursework tends to be built around case studies of massive, multinational corporations like Apple, Coca-Cola and Nike. That’s all well and good for illustrating core industry concepts, but in practice, what works for the big guys probably isn’t going to work for your business.
In all honesty, brand development isn’t something you can master through classroom learning alone. It’s an art, not a science; a craft that demands creative thinking and a constantly evolving approach. By consulting an agency, your organization stands to reap the benefits of working with experts who have real-world experience building brands of all sizes, across many different industries.
You’ve got enough on your plate already
Brand encompasses so much more than a logo, a tagline or a boilerplate “About Us” blurb. It’s not about what your customers see—it’s about how you make them feel. (Sounds like some corny, kumbaya-drum-circle nonsense, I know. But it’s TRUE. Scout’s honor.)
And all that magic “brand stuff” that makes your customers feel the way you want them to? It takes an awful lot of strategy and creative thinking to engineer. And time. Lots and lots of time.
Time you’d rather spend nurturing leads and growing your business, not racking your brain trying to figure out what the heck your brand voice is supposed to sound like.
With the help of a talented agency partner, you can avoid the potentially awkward pitfalls of do-it-yourself brand development and nail a polished, professional result on the very first try.