How to Find Your Branding Partner: My Shiny New Business Idea, Part II

Finding Your Branding Partner: My Shiny New Business Idea, Part II

Last week, we talked about the tricky timing of when to brand your new business idea. Once you know the time is right, the next step is deciding who you will put on your team.

How do you FIND YOUR perfect branding partner?

You’re looking for great design styling and the business know-how to create the brand tools that empower you to build a rich, thriving brand presence. It’s a big ask, but not impossible with some patience, guidance, and clarity.

In our time as a brand design agency and the many years of small business consulting before that, we’ve seen a wide range of relationships between designers and business owners. Every designer has their own style and every brand has their own needs. Like all matchmaking, there’s an inexplicable element of chemistry. But there are also some common themes in finding the right designer to give your new brand the momentum it needs. 

And so, we present our top tips to consider when selecting a designer for your new brand:

Find a long-term champion.

Your brand design partner holds immense power. They are crafting the visceral experience your customer will have with your brand. Your needs will inevitably evolve over time, so finding a partner who can bring these to life without having to rehash all the underpinnings of your business strategy will save you time and money. Plus, they'll keep your branding consistent. Win!

Avoid the temptation to go cheap.

DIY and crowdsourcing methods have their place. We are big fans of them for certain purposes (even in our own business!). But your brand design is not the place to piece things together. Your brand is the foundation of your customer relationships, marketing activities, and business sustainability. If there’s any place to invest, it’s here.

going big does not predict a "wow".

While the above is true, it doesn’t mean that you should rush off to the fancy agency downtown and entrust all of your brand’s future to them because they light Anthropologie candles and hand you a La Croix when you walk into their well-lit office. A colleague who works at a big agency recently reminded us that all agencies are still just made out of...people. Whether it’s two freelancers combining their respective powers or a whole multidisciplinary team of rockstars, the calculation is the same. Your job is to evaluate the work of each individual and the team  they represent for a deep understanding of your work and a compelling vision for bringing it to life.

Opt for designers whose work gets people excited.

You already know more about your target audience than you think. Step into their shoes for a moment. What matters to them? What will motivate them to gladly pay you for your work? There are designers out there already doing work your customers love. And more than likely, those designers actual like the work they're doing too. Because when designers are excited about their work, it shows. (Sadly, the opposite is also true.) So, follow the energy. Find someone who is already delighting your customers and excited about their work, and the quality will speak for itself.

 

Whether you opt for a nimble individual, a dynamic and balanced duo, or a large team of specialists, you are in the driver’s seat of your brand. May these tips help empower you to make a decision that excites you and propels you toward a great brand launch.

Lest your sticker shock trigger a nervous twitch, next time we'll talk funding. How do you find the dollars to pay this dream designer who’s going to breathe life into your branding dreams? Stay tuned!