• Sarah Gullickson

Invest In Your Branding!

Your brand is the first impression a customer sees before they pick up the phone to make an appointment or walk through the door.

Branding and style will tell a customer if they are who you're seeking to do business with and what they can expect before they ever interact with you.

Think about some iconic logo marks and what they're telling the public: Wendy's and Saint Laurent.

Wendy's has a smiling young lady at the center of their logo, along with a bubbly fun font. Whereas the Saint Laurent logo is made up of elegant and strong serif lettering. Wendy's is telling you, yeah, I'm approachable, we'll welcome everyone to dine in our fine establishment... and you will love it! The Saint Laurent logo is standoffish to some, a little more picky. It has a bold balanced core, does not ask for too much attention, and calls back to a time of majestic refinement, like wigs and moles are aplenty.

But one thing these two logos do have in common is a clean and professional style. There was care and thoughtfulness put into the curves and color that set them apart. Plus, they both achieve their branding goals and get their target audience in the door to consume their products.

And this is why investing in your brand is so important. Budgets are a very real and important issue to small businesses and individuals, but I would ask you to take stock in the everyday expenses you make to present yourself to the world. How much are you willing to pay for a professional outfit for a job interview you've been dying for? Or perhaps you shelled out a few Benjamins for a new haircut and color to get ready for a big presentation. Now, I wonder why a business or individual would not invest in their brand to put their best self forward?

Whether you are looking to revitalize your existing branding to cater to a changing demographic, or have a professionally designed resumé created to wow job recruiters, investing in your brand can create a return of investment that you could only dream of! People will be interested and invested in someone who knows what they're worth.

Just think about how many businesses you've glossed over while watching a local ad on tv. Maybe their logo was outdated and pixelated, or perhaps there was an obnoxiously loud jingle that blasted your eardrums to hell and back. These are elements of branding that affected your experience and your impression of that business.

So say you're ready to take the plunge, who should you contact to help get your branding on track?

I would suggest a real person for starters. I know there are many automated services that can populate one of their stock images and say it's your very own personalized logo, but please, for the love of all things creative, don't!

Next, know your budget! There are artists and studios with a range of experience that can help with your goals and keep your pocket book happy.

Finally, find local artists and studios who would love to help you! If you aren't sure where to start, or aren't convinced that your google search results are very helpful, find local businesses whose logo marks you love, reach out to those business owners, and ask who designed them. By keeping your business local you are sure to build a relationship with someone who wants to invest in your future and see you thrive as well.

Remember, investing in your brand is investing in you, just like that rad new pink hair-do.

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