Preparing you for the initial branding meeting
— September 1, 2016 —
You did it! You were able to narrow a list of 30-something (or more) business names down to one name that best suits your company's identity. You then reserved your business name and settled for a domain name that compliments your company.
What’s next is probably one of the most exciting parts of building your business. Branding! After finding the most compatible graphic designer to start building your brand, you most likely scheduled a consultation meeting. This blog is about preparing you for the initial branding meeting so you and your new company will be set for success.
- Have confidence. So many times I feel there is a lack of confidence from my clients especially after they say, “I’m sorry, I don’t know the design term for that.” Good news! You don’t need to know any design terms AT ALL. All you need to know is what you like and what you don’t. Which brings me to my next point…
- Research other companies before the meeting. Designers are not out to copy any other businesses or designs. What we are trying to do is get inspired and to understand what you are envisioning for your business. It is best if you bring printouts of favored company designs to the meeting or even better... make a Pinterest board and share it with your designer! There are so many different looks your brand could portray — modern, vintage, traditional, corporate, masculine, feminine, trendy... just to name a few. Check out Adorn Studio’s Pinterest page for design inspiration.
- Speak up. I can’t tell you how many times a client has told me to “just go with it,” giving me full creative freedom on a design only for them to tell me that my design wasn't what they envisioned. For me, this isn’t an issue as I charge hourly, but I do respect the client’s budget. Therefore, if you have a design idea in mind from the beginning do not be afraid to speak up. I promise you will not sound silly. We want to hear EVERY idea you have to better accommodate you. A good designer’s goal is to exceed the client’s branding expectations.
- Talk about the designer’s contract and ask questions. Every designer has a different way of approaching different scenarios. You may LOVE their designs but something about their contract just isn’t sitting well with you. Make sure you understand what the contract entails and have complete peace about it.
- Don’t be afraid to talk about the price. This goes hand in hand with the contract topic. I have heard horror stories of people paying an outrageous flat fee for a logo, which may only consist of two logo designs and three revisions. So this means you have paid $400 that consists of two logo comps (hopefully the designer really understood what you were looking for at the initial meeting because you can only pick one of the two logos pitched) then you only get three revisions to that one “favored” logo. What if the logo is nothing how you envisioned it? This can add a lot of stress to a client, so that’s why you have to be upfront with your designer about their contract and pricing beforehand.
- Be open about deadlines. You may want to launch your business on a specific date. Make sure your designer can accommodate that request.
- Be open about how the design process will look. So for me, I have a very organized work process when building a brand. In my opinion, it is extremely important for the designer to guide you through each step. This helps keep a good working relationship between client and designer. If things are unorganized from the beginning you might want to consider researching other designers who can better fit your needs.
- Be open with your graphic designer's opinions. Ultimately you have the final decision on everything, but a graphic designer is there to advise whether you should or should not do certain things. Keep an open mind because a good designer is only looking out for your company’s best interest.
This new company is your baby and you have every right to ask as many questions to make sure your baby will be handled with the proper tender, love, and care. Hopefully, these tips can better prepare you for an amazing business to come!