Ready, set… brand?

One of the questions I get most often is some variation of, “I just started my business. Don’t I need to create a brand before I can tell anyone about it?”

And you’d expect me to say, “Of course. You must run out immediately and design a brand this instant or else!” After all, I’m a brand designer.

But, I don’t actually believe that. Shocking, isn’t it?

What I do believe is that branding too soon can hurt a business in its beginning stages. Why?

  • Good branding isn’t cheap. Why spend money unless you’re sure that it will turn out to be a solid investment?
  • Branding isn’t just about design. There’s a lot of backstory about your business that you have to nail down before you get to design your brand. You have to know what your business is all about, what its personality is like, who your customers are and what they want, and what makes you different from others in your field. If you’ve just started your business, there’s a good chance that you have some theories about some of these – but you shouldn’t commit to them until you’ve used them in practice.
  • Start-ups are subject to lots of change. As your business gets going, you’re likely to make some changes and modifications to your Grand-Master Plan (you know, that big business idea that you had in the first place!) If you design a brand now, it may not be valid by the time you really settle in to your business.
  • You might not know your business well enough to get it right. After all, your business is just a “gleam in your eye” – an idea that looks good on paper. Try it out on some real people, to see how your delivery works and what results your clients really get (they may surprise you!)

That said, if you are clear on your business idea and you’re really ready to step out in a big way with your brand, then don’t let me hold you back. Take the next step that you feel is right for you so that you can go, go, go with your business!

elf@elf-design.com' About Erin Ferree

Erin Ferree is a brand strategist and designer. She works with small businesses to create brands with substance and style that fit their businesses perfectly.
She's designed brands for hundreds of small business all over the world. Her brands help her clients attract their ideal clients, outshine their competition and make them unforgettable. She also works with small business owners to develop complete clarity about their brand positioning and to develop total brand clarity.
Her award-winning design work and her writing on design have been published in many books and periodicals.
Erin lives, cooks and plays tug-of-war with her dog Stanley in San Luis Obispo, California. Her website is http://www.brandstyledesign.com

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