Why do I need corporate design? Many small business owners and freelancers are asking that same question. Logo design, brand identity, corporate branding: is all of this really necessary? The answer is simple: Yes, it is. But don’t worry: it doesn’t have to be costly. All you really need to invest is your brains – and your time.
Why You Need Corporate Design
If given the choice, many entrepreneurs would rather user their time and money for creating a sustainable business than implementing a fancy brand strategy. But listen up, small business owners: creating a brand is a big part of creating a sustainable business! Why? Because you need to tell your story. To tell your clients what your business is about. And you need to do that with every part of your communication. Your website, your business card, and even the invoices you send out.
Brand Identity Is More Than Free Logo Design
The whole is more than the sum of its parts. This is one of my favorite sayings – and it is especially true for brand identity. Finding your brand means to capture the uniqueness of your business: what it is about, where it came from and what it wants to achieve. If you don’t know who you are and what your good at, you will never come to your full potential. The same goes for your business: if you can’t communicate what your business is really about, you won’t run a business for long. So how to get to the core of your business? Corporate branding doesn’t stop with logo design, nor does it start there.
How To Find Your Corporate Story
Using the right tool, and there are many online tools out there, anyone can design a logo within seconds. Just add it to your invoice, your website and your business card, and you’ll be fine – not! Are you sure your logo is really telling your story? Does it sum up your business? Or does it say “I used a free internet tool to create a fancy logo within seconds”? Probably the latter. As very wise man once said: “You cannot not communicate”. Everything you put out there sends some kind of message. And you need to think hard about what message you really want to send. Really hard. The smartest way to do that is to hire a professional. Even if it seems like an unnecessary expense right now, trust me: it will be worth it. But if you are just starting out you might not have the necessary funds to afford a top-notch branding specialist. I get that. If you really don’t have the funds to hire a branding specialist, ask yourself the following 5 questions for Do It Yourself Corporate Branding.
DIY Corporate Branding in 5 Steps
What is your business about?
This seems like an easy question: if you’re a plumber, you’re installing and repairing pipes. If you’re selling handcrafted wooden cutting boards, then you’re doing just that. But think again: Why should anyone hire YOU and not any other plumber? Why should people spend their money on YOUR cutting boards? The answer to these questions brings us right to question number two.
What makes your business unique?
Finding your so-called USP, your unique selling proposition, is key for corporate communication. Maybe it’s that your plumbing is exceptionally good because you learned from your father who learned it from his grandfather. Or it’s because you’re able to work faster than anyone else because you invested in special technology. Whatever it is: the uniqueness is there. You just have to find it.
Who are your clients?
Now that you know what your business is about, it’s time to think about your clients. Who are you selling to and who should hire you? Are you fixing plumbing in newly built offices or do you specialize in old homes? Define your clientele as precisely as possible – but keep the concept open. Sometimes your target group is not the one you think it is. Go out there, ask around and talk to people to find out what they really need.
What over-all language do your clients speak?
Now, that’s a hard one. Because I don’t mean language in terms of spoken language, like Chinese, Russian or English. Even though that’s important for international business, I mean the non-verbal over-all language that is defined by media, culture and many other things. Teenagers use a different kind of language than their parents, and they prefer different visuals. Try to define the over-all language of your target-group: what visuals do they like, what words do they use, what color schemes do they prefer?
Find your voice.
Now you know what your business is about, and who your clients are, it’s time for the final step: find your voice. You need to find a way to speak to your clients in their own over-all language without losing sight of your own voice. If your target group is law firms, then you should consider using an elegant font, for example. If you want teenagers to buy your product, you need to find a font that speaks to them. The same goes for color and style, as well as wording.
Creating your corporate design is a process. Be precise and fiddle with details, get feedback from friends, family and clients. Give it time – it will pay off eventually. Because when you’re done, you’ll be telling the real story of your business consistently. On every single invoice you send out. We designed zistemo with your story in mind – just add your own logo and template and start working.