One of the best things about branding a business is you never know where it’s going to go. Once the inspiration really starts flowing, ideas come out of the woodwork. New revenue streams appear out of nowhere. Making money in your sleep becomes a real, palpable possibility. When open minds collaborate, a brand strategy can go almost anywhere.
Last month I talked to you about flexing the creative muscle. It’s important to understand that you work with a brand strategist for the strength of their muscles. That’s what we do. Everyday. Work those muscles, make ‘em stronger. Strategize until we’re blue in the face. Our clients come to us to tap into that creative energy.
But what is it an agency like ours really does in terms of strategy? Specifically. Why not go to an el cheapo design site that will sell you a logo for five hundred bucks? They’re creative too, right?
True. But a branding strategist gives you much more than just a logo. While a strategist looks at the competition, the dime-store logo guys don’t understand or even look at your market. A true strategist studies your target market intensively. What are the others doing? What does your business bring to the table that’s unique? A strategist is an amateur futurist. We look at how to make your business timeless. Meanwhile, the discount site gives you a logo. Period. Worse, that logo is based solely on name and colour, sometimes not even that.
It can be tempting for a small business. It looks like savings. But if you truly want your business to go forth and prosper, in the end the discount price will end up costing you much more. You’ll have to redo it. Eventually you’ll find out the competition’s angle is too similar or that the type of logo you’ve chosen doesn’t work well for your market. You’ll have to redo it again. Then you might find the domain name is unavailable or the name means something rude in Chinese. And then come the really big bills.
Inevitably, many businesses will still pick up cheap logos at quickie design sites. There are lots of them. I don’t mind saying that if this was even a consideration for you, the work we do at The Sponge is absolutely not for you. What we offer is high quality services for clients with genuine style; businesses who truly understand that you get what you pay for.
At The Sponge we start by asking those crucial questions, generating that crucial conversation. We make sure you only have to do this once. It starts with your own brief. Using an involved questionnaire, we’ll rewrite that brief after looking at a variety of angles you might not have seen before. Our briefing process is something we’ve developed over the last ten years. And it always works. Always? Yes, always.
You may have an idea of what you think is going to work best for your business. You may be unnecessarily attached to a strict interpretation of what works. A strategist brings new questions to the table, looks at angles you may not have considered. Kind of like a psychologist. Or an editor. If you look at it that way, ask yourself this: would you publish a book that had never been read by a second, objective set of eyes? Neither would I.
It’s during those crucial conversations that we uncover many things that haven’t been said. Things that need to be said. Many businesses get boxed in by what they believe to be true about their own industries. They look at what other industries are doing and say, “Oh, we don’t do that.” Fair enough. That’s the typical response. But is that how you would define your business? Typical? I thought not.
As entrepreneurs, we know what’s working in other industries and understand from experience that there is plenty of room for cross-pollination. As a relative outsider to your industry, we aren’t limited to industry standards. We’re ready to go wide and explore, look at new angles, expand your horizons as far as they can go, and then reign it all in by targeting the best angles for your business.
A brand strategist shows you how to be an innovator. Many businesses walk around with blinkers on. They’re limited to what they know. That’s where we come in. And believe me we get radical. That’s why we only work with open-minded businesses. Our clients come to us ready to jam out new ideas, ready to really get wild. Because they know we’re anything but typical. And you know what? We know you’re not not typical either.
Written by Luke Faccini br>
I am a co-founder and Director of Creativity @ The Sponge Pty Limited, a Sydney based Design and Marketing company that's 'Saturated with Ideas'. I relish every opportunity to help you with your design and marketing challenges. br>
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