What does comprehensive branding mean? And why does it matter?

You’ve been thinking about this forever. Your daydreams have been filled with the thoughts of “What if…” and “I know I can do it!” Then your daydreams turn into plans. And lists. And a BUSINESS! You’ve done it! And inevitably, one of the items on the seemingly never-ending lists of tasks is: get a logo. Sound familiar?

Now, let me tell you about it from your designer’s point of view. As a small business owner, I understand the tasks you are challenged and faced with everyday. As a graphic designer and marketer, I understand how much of a mistake it is to underestimate and under prioritize your branding. After all, how will you make your dream and vision come true if your audience can’t see or understand your vision clearly?

Whether you are thinking about a rebrand or building your company from the ground up, it is important to start at square one. It is important to go through the process of defining your goals and personality on your own, but it is also something we go through together in the first meeting we have. How do you want people to describe your business? What are your goals? What sets you apart?

Once we pin down these thoughts that have been floating around in your mind, we have the beginning of your brand’s voice. From there we begin working on your brand’s visual identity. All of the steps listed so far are a part of the comprehensive branding approach. But remember that tired and overworked business owner? They want a logo. Hands down, the request I get most often is, “I need a logo. Is that something you do?” And this is where the comprehensive approach really becomes important.

Because imagine yourself getting this great logo that you love. It is everything you hoped it would be. But in this scenario, we haven’t laid out a plan ahead of time for all of your consecutive branding materials. So you have these logo files. You make your own business cards. You throw together brochures and flyers when the need arises. Suddenly the perfect logo you had and the vision for your brand is lost in a mess of files and images that don’t reflect you or reach your target market. Not to mention the time that was lost.  

Imagine instead that before we even begin working on the logo, we identify where your brand will benefit most from custom marketing materials. My standard branding package always starts with your logo, business card design and social media graphics, so you are set up from the get go to start building your brand recognition.

In the questionnaire and planning process we are able to identify the specific needs of your brand. Will you need a pricing sheet? Are you having a launch event for your business? Will you have a brochure in your store? Then we can build a strong, consistent presence from the beginning, instead of realizing a few months in that you wish you already had these elements and now you’re fighting an uphill battle to have your audience recognize you. For that reason, regardless of whether it is me or another designer, I think having someone working with you personally is invaluable at the beginning of any branding venture.