So you want to hire a designer to re-design your logo, create promotional materials, or build a new website? While it may seem like wizardry to some, you should know that designers are not mind readers! But we do know brands. We know so many brands, in fact, that we might not be sure what makes yours special. This is where you come in; you know you!
While it may take some digging, the more you can tell your designer about yourself and your brand, the more unique and on-point the designs will end up. Here’s a few things you should look into before meeting up with your designer or marketing team, so you can be prepared for the barrage of questions they are about to ask you.
1. Who is your target audience?
What type of person buys your product or uses your service? Is it mostly women who want to stay fit? Young men who are into gaming? What industry are they in? What are their hobbies and interests? How do they typically find out about you? Writing down a few marketing personas can really help you nail down the particular traits of someone who can use your business, helping drive your marketing team to the right solutions particular to you. Don’t be afraid to get specific about your audience.
2. What story do you have to tell?
While marketing professionals and copywriters can polish your brand, your story is the thing that really comes from an individual place. Now that you’ve thought about who your audience is, you should think about what you want to tell them. Your roots and where you are coming from is a good start. What made you want to do that thing you do? What can you offer and why does someone need you? What change are you seeking to make? If people talk about your brand, what do you want them to say? These types of answers inform our marketing strategy. If it seems like a lot of questions, just focus on your mission and we’ll start to build a story from there.
3. Do you have any previous marketing materials?This may not apply if you’re just starting out, but if you have any previous marketing materials it can definitely help us get a feel for where you’re at, and where you could be headed. Do you have a logo, color scheme, tagline, photography or previous designs? Make sure you gather all of these things for your initial meeting with your designer. What hit the spot and what missed or feels dated? Most of the time we are building on a brand you’ve already had around for a while, so whether you’re looking for a slight refresh or something completely fresh, we want to hear your opinions! Examples of things you like that other brands have done will also go a long way in helping us help you.
4. Describe yourself in a few words.
Words are very precise and are often used to pinpoint how you see your brand, but in a non-visual way. It’s our job as designers to translate that description into something visual and tangible. So think about a few adjectives that you can stand behind and will describe to us what you’re all about. If we know your focus is on being clever, innovative and bubbly, our approach will be different than if you say your brand is sincere, expert and timeless. You’ll want to take your time with this step and go through several rounds of narrowing your list down, until you have just 5 words or less. Sleep on it and see if they still ring true. Feel free to put them in your own words and definitely pull out a thesaurus; the more specific the better.
Now, if you’ve got this far, you probably have a pretty good handle on what your brand is, how you’d like to be perceived, and what you still need help with. And that information is sure to make your designers happy because we’ll have a better idea of how we can help you achieve your goals. It’s a win-win. Happy marketing!