biznik article of the week

how saving money on branding can cost you by Maria Ross

another great piece on branding and why it’s so important to put together a strategy from the beginning. ross summarizes it best herself here:

Hiring unqualified people or designers who don’t ask you anything about your value proposition, differentiators, or target audience is not the way to save money. I talk to many people that threw away money because their brand strategy was not baked yet. Good design is a skill: it’s a skill that involves taking a message and communicating it visually, not just creating a pretty picture. You will lose more in lost sales by getting this part wrong than you will save on cutting corners.

And guess what? That brand strategy will do more than just inform your visual identity. It will serve as a compass for other marketing investments: partners, advertising, events. Basically any decision your company makes will be a smarter one if you start with the brand strategy first and use it as a compass. This helps you avoid throwing away money on what I call “random acts of marketing” and ensures that you only invest in activities that move your business forward.

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