Mike Heighway sent me this gif, at which I laughed louder and longer than I have at most things in a while.
After working on many brands, after birthing several real gems of brands, and working with clients and businesses to achieve this specific piece of identity with its values and its visual, textual and experiential translations (to say the least), i am still surprised when some businesses under estimate the value and time needed for that process.
You might not know it yet, but branding is not designing. Shocked? Good. Now stop asking for a Logo when you don’t even have a Brand.
To “make” a brand the first thing we do is not to start colouring or drawing, and especially not sketch a logo. We need to sit with you so that you tell us about no other but your business. Yes your business, with all the details of how you created your product or service and how,where and by whom is it delivered. We also want to hear about you mister owner/product developer/company founder/god who was behind the company/product/service. We want your business plans and your thoughts about the economy and just about anything you have an opinion on. Does it feel we’re like auditors or psychologists? Well we are. Both.
Why are we doing this? Asking all those pesky little questions and getting into some details that you thought only your lawyer or wife/husband would have to suffer through… well we need to know that as we are secretly and knowingly building up a profile in our minds of what it means/feels like to be your company.
It doesn’t stop there. This profile we just created is something that we develop using our marketing/creative/business/strategic powers so that it all makes sense. What it means is that our sole objective is to clearly write down what you stand for and how you express it and how people would/should perceive it and experience it.
What you have now is a document that explains the above. Yes just words. Nothing drawn or designed. Yet. Now comes the work of translation. Not into Mandarin or Cantonese (unless you need to be in the Chinese market) but a visual, tone and experiential translation of the above. So now we bring in the designers, the copywriters and just about any other specialist (musician, interior designer, architect, engineer, programer, carpenter…) that is needed to create a full and complete experience that exudes you.
Without that first part, no one would have a blueprint of what it means to be your company and all that. They’re just crazy people doing their thing. They’re worth nothing to you. That first blueprint document is the only thing that brought them together and allowed them to concretize the divine calling that is your brand.
And without us, the marketing communication specialists, there would be no maestro/psychologist/auditor to write the blueprint or to conduct the work according to the blueprint.
That blueprint is an integral part of your business plan (financial and other). It is not an option. It is not less important than the space you will be renting/building, or the staff you wil be hiring, or the secret recipe you will be feeding your customers. If anything it is the source and inspiration of all of these things to happen right.
That work on your brand, is the light house to guide every business decision you make, and ensure it works with you and your future customers.
As we say in Lebanon, “3ateh khobzak lal khebez law akal nosson”, which means “give your bread to the baker to bake , even if he eats half of them”. For brand creation it’s almost the same, we just don’t take half. We don’t even take a quarter. RoundTable consult for one has very competitive and efficient costing. Find out yourselves, call Omar and have a talk.