Tempted to ask your network’s opinion on your new brand identity? Here’s why it’s the worst possible move.
Words: Simeon de la Torre, owner of SIM7
Let’s say I post a picture of four shoes on LinkedIn. There’s a brown brogue, a smart trainer, a Chelsea boot and a black lace-up. My accompanying message goes something like this: “I need a new pair of shoes for an interview, but I’m not sure which is right for me. Which would you choose?”
Pretty soon I get plenty of likes, comments and opinions. LinkedIn networks love this kind of request; they’re a chance to (be seen to) help, with the minimum effort or expertise required. Win/win!
The results are in. The black lace-up gets the most votes! My network loves the sensible shoe more than any other option, thereby making it the obvious choice.
Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory
The only trouble is, I wanted the shoes for an interview with Google, where even the HR director wears Nikes to board meetings.
Perhaps the above is a simplistic analogy, but I use it to illustrate a simple truth: the better the research, the better the brand.
Decent branding agencies won’t give clients four logo options to choose from. In fact, (arguably) the best agencies won’t offer any options; they’ll simply design the best identity for the job.
How? By applying creativity to a distillation of information. And while that sentence might make some readers want to vomit into their Chelsea boots, it’s nevertheless true.
Here’s how it works…
Ms. Foster wants a logo for her Personal Training business. She sets up a meeting with ‘Decent Branding Agency Inc.’ and they ask her probing questions such as:
What are your ambitions for the business?
What is the opportunity?
Who are your key competitors?
How do you stack up against them?
What do we want people to feel or believe?
Who are we talking to? What do we know about them? Do we know what they respond to?
What tangible outcome would you like to achieve?
Are there any existing brand attributes that need to be reflected?
Are there any creative solutions that should be avoided? Why?
Yoinks. And that’s just the start of it.
Decent Branding Agency Inc. will question, analyse and experiment. They’ll choose the colours, fonts and creative approach that suits each and every one of the answers they’re given and, if there’s budget, they might even do some market research and refine their thinking before coming up with the ideal logo.
And if you’re thinking ‘that sounds expensive’, you’re right. Decent Branding Agency Inc. can often be expensive. But there are many, many smaller agencies out there who employ the same rigor, process and judgement to create brand identities that shine. (Ahem: hello!)
So if you’re looking for a logo that means something, shouts out loud and really does the business, don’t ask a bunch of strangers on the internet what they think. Talk to us at SIM7.