Last week, I was chatting to Emma Weise from FreshSage. We were on a call for a mastermind she put together to create a 1-page business plan (that’s another blog post entirely). I’m a huge fan of her work, I’m a member of her Facebook group, and it’s because of her that my rebrand took place a few months ago. You can read about my brand revamp part 1 and my brand revamp part 2. Summary, Emma is brilliant and she can really help you find direction, intention and purpose in your brand and business strategy.
Business Strategy & Branding: The Mickey Mouse Plaster Analogy
The intro above is for context. During our call, we discussed a few topics, and then got to talking about designing brands, and that it’s actually a very in-depth process. Emma is a brand designer. What I mean by this is that she spends a lot of time learning about you, about your business, what makes you awesome and unique in your industry space, and she translates your essence into a logo and branding collateral. Her process results in her being able to provide you with insights into your business that you would not otherwise have come by. You learn so much about yourself, your business and about the direction in which you can take your business.
I mentioned to her that this value add (discussed in the previous paragraph) is not what a business owner would get if they commissioned a logo for $20. To me, spending $20 on a logo is actually a waste because you don’t know if it’s going to be right for you and your business for the next 5 years. I likened a cheap logo to sticking a Mickey Mouse plaster on a big gaping hole in the skin – pretty pointless. Let me explain my analogy and the connection.
A new business venture is full of potential, you’re teeming with ideas for what you want to do, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed at everything you feel like you should be doing. If there’s no focus or direction for the business, it can quickly feel like you’re being distracted by every single new idea you have. This gets messy. Hence the wound analogy. It’s a tenuous link, but let’s just go with it. Having a cheap logo designed when you’re not sure of your business strategy or direction (or even your business’ personality/image) can look and feel like a temporary solution – hence the Mickey Mouse plaster. You’re having a logo designed merely to have a logo.
You’re basically sticking something cute and pretty on the front of your business to create what looks like a professional image when what is actually needed is surgery. By “surgery”, I mean a deep examination of the business, your strengths and what you’re passionate about, and then building a focused plan and strategy around this.
Business Strategy & the $20 Logo
Commissioning a $20 logo means that the designer you’ve hired isn’t given the time to work with you to delve into your business, find out more about you and infuse that essence into their finished product. It’s not because they are a bad designer or are unable get involved in the business strategy – they’re definitely capable of doing this. They just aren’t given that option when the budget is $20. That work takes hours, and spending (for example) 10 hours on a $20 logo equals $2 an hour. It’s not feasible to work for that amount of money (not being greedy, just being realistic, because bills).
Exactly the same can be said of a $60 website. If you spend $60 on a WordPress theme, you should expect it to look like every other website that’s using that theme, unless you know how to work around the limits and get into some more advanced customisations. If you aren’t editing your website’s look and feel to suit you and your business’ aesthetic, you’re doing your brand a disservice. That’s another topic for another blog post that I have in the pipeline.
Designing a website sounds like a difficult task, and it can be if done without the solid groundwork of a business strategy and without a defined brand identity. Let me help you align your digital media strategy and your online presence with your brand so that you communicate exactly what it is that makes you an expert in your field.
How do I do this? Well, we organise a call to chat about your website, and I give you the steps you can take right now to level up your online presence. Click here to book a slot on my calendar.
Melissa De Klerk
Writer, Web Designer, Digital Media Strategist, Typophile, Inspiration Junkie, Yogi
Melissa is the owner and creative brain behind Fox & Owl Media. She loves creating content strategies and has considerable experience with Website Design and Brand Management.
You can contact her here, and find her on social media by clicking the links below.