Special to YNOT
If you’ve been putting off building your brand with a professionally designed business logo and original marketing materials until after you get your launch off the ground or land your first clients, you’re missing out on very important opportunities. Just like your personal interactions, your business also gets only one chance to make a great first impression with customers, competitors, vendors, service providers and media entities.
A professional business logo and matching marketing materials aren’t just pretty pictures. They are carefully crafted to improve the visibility of your business while adding a level of credibility and giving your brand its own memorable “voice.” It may sound easy enough to design a business card or logo at a local office supply store, but if you don’t have real design skills and marketing expertise, the do-it-yourself approach might cause more problems than it solves.
Whether you decide to create your own materials or hire a professional design firm, three keys to branding success should always be at the forefront of your mind.
One of the defining factors in the success of any new brand is how quickly it demonstrates a credible level of stability in the marketplace. A do-it-yourself logo, poorly printed business cards, a weak website or substantial changes to your brand in the first few months after launch breed nervousness among potential investors, partners, clients and observers due to a confusing sense of directionless activity. The time to make up your mind about your business identity is long before your brand becomes public.
If you walked into a business meeting dressed like a homeless person, the people looking at you would quickly distance themselves from your company. No matter how great your pitch, the other attendees would be justified in wondering how you could take care of an entire company when you can’t even take care of your own personal hygiene.
Potential strategic partners view your branding and marketing materials exactly the same way. A misguided banner ad or a prospectus full of typos can leave business contacts wondering how wise it would be for them to trust you to create a quality product. Like it or not, the way you giftwrap your ideas matters almost as much as the product ideas you put inside your brand packaging.
Few things are worse than an important meeting for your new business quickly devolving into an off-topic discussion about a distracting element of your branding. When you present your ideas, products, services and solutions to the marketplace, you want to be able to do so with a clear and unmistakable focus on moving forward. That momentum requires removing distractions and crafting a clear message as part of a cohesive marketing strategy that puts your products, plans and professional marketing materials in perfect alignment from the outset.
Sarah is the owner of Zuzanna Designs, a subsidiary of Zuzanna Media. For the past nine years, the company has been rated among the top design studios working in the adult entertainment industry. Among other services, Zuzanna Designs creates logos, banners, email templates and landing pages designed to represent individuals and companies professionally and affordably. A gallery of the firm’s work is here.