no-logoOn a fairly regular basis we meet someone and they say, “We need a logo…a website…a mobile app…” or some other marketing asset. After doing our initial consult, we find there is quite a bit of work to be done before we can actually start talking about the asset they initially approached us to build.

During discovery, we start with the basics. We ask the client to tell us about their story/brand, their customers, their strengths and weaknesses. We try to understand the audience/users as best we can. We dig beyond the “what” and try to get to the “why”. Because if we are going to build a strategy, asset or design a logo/brand to represent your company, we need to know all those details to make the beautiful, functional and effective things we all want (and you need).

Surprisingly though, many owners/founders struggle to answer some important and basic questions we pose. We find, in truth, they haven’t actually thought about many of the factors that establish their brand and company culture. Even more surprising, they often haven’t considered some that can make or break their business. You see, it is easier to say, “We need a new website, than to identify and develop a solid marketing plan and try to research, identify and detail personas of those that will buy what your selling. We know that we all need logos, but we might not want to do all the work of establishing the framework and culture that logo needs to convey to our viewers in literally microseconds. It’s like painting your house. Yes, of course you need to paint your house, but you need to plan and build it first.

In extreme cases, we find that they don’t actually have a sound business plan at all or that they only have an idea for a business and haven’t thought through the details of how to execute that idea. They think the logo/website/app are where to begin. They never consider how important it is to formulate a solid plan and to test their assumptions before building anything. When you look at the failure rates of small businesses and start-ups, you have to wonder if blind spots like these aren’t a huge contributing factor.

So, before you run out and pay for a new logo, or a slick new website take a look at your foundation. Have you really thought about who you are as a brand and who your customers are? Does your product answer their needs? What exactly do you do? (You would be surprised how many people aren’t clear). Most importantly, why is it that you are doing what you are doing?

Otherwise, if your marketing assets don’t convey the answer to these simple questions, why are we going to want to buy/use/view what you are offering? How are we supposed to know who you are and whether or not to trust you?

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