Recently I did some work for an architect – architects plan, design and oversee the construction of buildings. This is pretty important to ensure that everything is done correctly, that light switches are in the right place, that there’s enough space, that windows are at the right level, the building is safe and the right amount of materials are bought in. Useful, essential stuff that means that the building will be fit for purpose, there will be no waste and it will not be an eyesore.
FIT FOR PURPOSE
Architects often plan extensions to make homes more fit for purpose as families expand or needs change. Branding needs to be fit for purpose too. Whatever your business is, you’ll have to ensure that your branding is suitable for the task. Branding is about making your business stand out from others and ensuring that the right message is getting across to your audience. If it doesn’t do that, then it’s not fit for purpose.
Without planning you can waste a lot of time and money. You don’t want to buy too many bricks, or miss out electricity sockets in key places or forget to add the stairs!
To plan a brand you need to consider a range of things including:
- what your business does
- what your values are
- what your business aims are
Here’s a post I’ve written before on some of the things I like to know before I start working on a brand.
If you don’t consider these things then you will waste time by phaffing around with ideas that don’t do anything for you (that aren’t fit for purpose) if you’re doing this yourself then you’ll be wasting your time when you could be doing something that you’re better at and working on a different aspect of your business. If someone is doing this for you then you are wasting their time and your money by not providing them with the information that they need. Of course, a designer should ask you about these things and spend time getting to the bottom of your business before they even start this process to ensure the best possible outcome!
You might also find that it’s worth chatting to someone else about this, a business coach would help you to figure all of this out if you’re stuck, or there’s a programme called More than a Logo which I’d recommend to help you build a strong and consistent corporate identity.
Then there’s additional costs – your brand isn’t appropriate, however, you’ve gone and produced a bucket load of leaflets, you’ve got a website, you’ve given out HOW many business cards? All items which don’t capture the essence of your business and therefore don’t convey the right impression.
Planning can also prevent you making a huge mistake by creating something which is hideous. As no one would want to live in an ugly house, no one wants to interact with an ugly brand either. Your branding needs to convey your message, your values and what you do whilst also being attractive, being something that people WANT to connect with and being something that makes people interested in what you do.
I am currently working on this – re-doing the branding for Whiteacres. Watch this space for a bit of a change!
*Image includes Schoffice architects drawing “Stereographic Sun Study” by Mark Starford Chartered Architect
Over the weekend we went to fantastic family wedding in Scotland and also a birthday party for my daughter’s best friend who turned three. It was a great party – a “proper party” with party games like musical statues, pin the tail on the donkey and jelly and ice cream. Great. There was also a piñata.
If you don’t know what a piñata is (my Dad didn’t) then it’s a papier-mâché container – this one was horse shaped – brightly coloured and filled with sweets that you hang up and bash with a stick until the sweets come out. In theory.
This piñata was solid as a rock. All the kids had a go, all the adults had a go, it was not going to break open. Thump, bash, thwack. Nope. All the sweets remained inside. The piñata still looked brand new. In the end it had to be pulled down and ripped apart to find the treasure within! Very frustrating.
When you create your communication materials how easy is it for your intended audience to find the information they are looking for? Can they put their finger on it in one hit, or do they need to trawl through pages and pages of information, click and click and click through your website or even have to call you up because they can’t find what they need to know? (If they get that far or can find your phone number).
Do people understand what you do right away or do they have to ask question after question to really “get it”? Is your message easy to find? Do they need to tear your brochure to pieces to find that one bit of information – the length of the bookcase you’re selling, or the delivery costs, where an event is or even how to get in touch with you?
If you’re looking for information and you can’t find the information you want, what do you do? You probably go elsewhere don’t you, or you give up. So make it easy for your customers to find the information they need and you might just have more of them. Ensure that your contact details are easy to find. Make sure your information is clearly laid out and easy to navigate.
Don’t make them have to rip you and your business apart to find the thing they are looking for. Not everyone will wait long enough to be showered with sweets.