Blue is your colour. You like script fonts. You love butterflies. You have the beginnings of your perfect brand identity…..except you’d be 100% wrong. Vanity branding is a common trap when dealing with personal branding or a business that has you as the face of the brand.

Vanity branding is rife. And in the online world, many small business owners find a designer to carry out their own design ideas. Or they might DIY their branding. Then they hop on Facebook or Insta to ask people “which logo/colour do you prefer?”

It’s not a strategic question, and asking a random audience on Facebook is not a strategic marketing exercise.

It’s whistling in the wind. You will get a thousand random unqualified opinions. 

You need to understand:

  • Who your brand needs to appeal to. 

  • Which product and service category you belong.

  • What this audience is expecting to see. 

  • Which aesthetics and semiotics position your brand in the correct marketplace and price point. 

  • Your competitive landscape – even your aspirational competitive landscape. Where would you LOVE to see your business in 2 years?

Strategic design is all about growth and forward thinking.

If you ask a designer to design only what you like, it’s a beauty contest. You like teal blue and you like brush fonts. You’re paying the graphic designer, so it’s fair enough to assume that you should get what you like.

But that’s missing the point of branding.

A good designer won’t be an ‘order taker’  or ‘pixel pusher’ and allow a client to tell them exactly what they want. 

A good designer will listen to your personal preferences of course, but the will also lift their eyes beyond your horizon. They will push you to do a strategy session first and help you see what you can’t. Open you mind to new possibilities.

Do a brand and visual strategy before you even think about colours, logos and the fun bits – I promise you that your new brand identity will not only delight and surprise you aesthetically, it will do the job it was designed to do…to grow your business and appeal to the right audience. 

If you do need to ask advice on your logos, first ask your designer why they designed it that way. Voice that you are uncertain about which to choose. If you did a strategy session, you will be able to refer back to the foundations of the design and brand identity. Your designer will be able to guide you to a decision.

If not….

Then ask relevant stakeholders in your business; past clients, business partners, a small sample of your actual audience. 

This is much more useful and strategic, and won’t be overwhelmed with a hundred versions of “I like A”, “I prefer B” or “C”

Hope this helps when you are thinking about your next steps in branding your business. ☺️