“There are three responses to a piece of design – yes, no, and WOW! Wow is the one to aim for.” — Milton Glaser
When it comes to building a brand, your web design, digital and print marketing, should portray that “WOW” that Milton Glaser is talking about. Whether you create the branding and the designs yourself or you outsource these to professional designers (my team included), you should always aim for this “wow.”
It’s in my DNA to offer the best “WOW” I can possibly offer to my clients. UI always want to help them create something that represents them, something that they love, and something that will make them stand out.
Achieving that “wow!” reaction can be a bit tricky. We always strive to achieve it, however, if me and my team we don’t have the right information and tools to meet and exceed a client’s expectations, it’s going to be a challenge to get to that level. With that in mind, here are six ways you can help us create a winning brand or design for you.
Six Ways to Create a Winning Brand or Design
1. Plan Ahead
If possible, create a timeline (if you are a DIY-er) or give your branding and design team plenty of time to complete your project. You just can’t do this or expect to have it done overnight.
By doing so it will help you and also helps us (the professionals) to adequately work through the branding and design process. Here is what this process entails:
- client edits, and
- finishing touches.
Like I said, this just doesn’t happen overnight!
When you give yourself or your design team time, you will have the best results and your design team can also give you their best. Deadlines can sneak up on a person. You can get distracted or your design team can’t get backed up with other projects. Follow the deadlines and don’t hesitate to see if we can complete your project, even on short notice.
If you’re thinking of outsourcing your branding and designing — whether that’s digital or print, logo, info-graphics, a website design, shareable content, or something printable like business cards, brochures, handouts, etc. — start by knowing your deadline.
When do you want (or need) everything completed by?
How strict is your deadline?
Is it a hard deadline, such as an upcoming launch, event, or a trade show?
Or, is your deadline loose? Meaning that there is nothing pressing to be done exactly at a certain date, but you want to have everything done around a certain date. Even if you have a loose deadline, it’s a good idea to have a goal for when you’d like your marketing branding, website, campaign, new logo, business cards, or redesign to launch.
2. Know Your Brand’s Identity & Direction
When you think about branding make sure you know exactly who is your “ideal customer.” You need to know who is your target market and why would they come to you rather than somebody else. What is unique about your business? What sets you apart from your competition?
When you approach a designer or a branding and design company about your digital and visual marketing needs, you need to make sure you have a firm grasp on your brand’s identity and direction. You need to know what you do and don’t want to see, project, or feel from your visual marketing. Depending on the project completed, you may want to consider:
The Brand Message – this can either come very easily or it may take some time to create. You need to figure out what REALLY motivates your target market. Is it the price or the value? Also, you need to know what is the differentiator between your product and your competition. What makes your product or service superior?
You need clarity! If you’re struggling because you want to make sure you address everything for everybody, STOP!!!!! Stop trying to make your brand about everything to everyone and focus on connecting with the customers who value what you have to offer.
Eliminate the frustration and the confusion! You need to put first things first and nail down your brand message before you spend another dime or your precious time on creating marketing or ad campaigns.
The Look – Now, let’s talk about the look of your business or company. Is it more vintage or classic, or trendy and modern? Is it industrial, minimalistic, or it is a combination of different looks or elements? Is your branding currently meeting those goals your designs have?
The Feel – Another aspect to think about: how do you want your brand to make your audience feel? When they see your content, marketing, or website, should they feel happy, energized, empowered, bold, safe, secure, taken care of, etc? Do your current branding or marketing projects these feelings?
The Visuals – We talked a lot about branding and feelings, but let’s talk about something more visual. Let’s talk about colors! Have you thought about what palettes you want to be incorporated in your branding and designs? Have you let your branding experts and designers aware of these? What are the colors you want to be associated with and what are the colors you would rather not?
Successful brands and companies portray all these things in their marketing and visuals. Your brand, business, or company should do the same.
3. Provide Samples of Your Idea or Previous Work
Now, this refers more to when you’re outsourcing the branding, marketing, and/or design. The best way for your digital design team can meet your expectations is to give them a visual example of your idea(s.)
This could be something that you scribbled on a napkin or the back of a flier. It can be a competitor or something else that caught your attention. It can be something that you keep circling back to or you simply just can’t take your eyes off. Regardless of what it is, your branding, marketing, or design team should see what you are thinking of. If they are able to do this they will have a much better chance of making those branding, marketing, or design dreams a reality. Your brand, business, or company would have its own visual identity.
Even if you are not a Picasso or have a perfect design, help your branding, marketing, or design team by sketching your ideas, collecting URLs of ideal website palettes, layouts, or creating a Pinterest board of designs (info-graphics, logos, printed materials) you’d love to see work for your business. Bring these to your meetings with your branding, design, or marketing teams! If using online productivity boards like Trello, upload all this information on a board you create specifically for this, then discuss everything with your team when you have your chats or convos.
If your company already has a strong branding or design direction, provide your designers with examples of previously completed work. Doing so will help them create consistent, on-brand work.
4. Have a Plan for Content
Branding and looks are great! But, what do you want your designed work to say? Should your content help your audience learn something (about you, your business, your product, or your industry), or should it entice a particular action (likes, clicks, shares, signups, engagement, etc.)?
Also, do you want to create this content yourself, or do you need help creating it? Your team can help you write or re-write the content that goes into your website and marketing materials. Your content will be much stronger and more efficient when you have experts share their expertise.
If you need help with content regardless if it’s just a post on social media or your blog, if it’s for a Facebook ad, display ad, or any other marketing material, here are some ways you can help me and my team when you hire our services:
- Make lists of items, areas, and keywords you’d like covered.
- Provide us with an insight into your products, services, or the focal point of the design.
- Provide a quick bio or resumé for your about page.
- Tell us a bit about your company’s history.
- Provide your mission statement, company slogan, motto, brand message, or slogan.
- Tell us what makes you, your products, or your services unique.
- What message do you want to convey in digital ads, such as Facebook ads and display ads? Along with the visual components, what are you trying to accomplish with your digital ads, and what actions do you want people to take when they see it? This also applies to any print marketing materials.
5. Organize & Share Your Design Files
Organization is key in everything. Having an organized system for your files as well as design files can do wonders for your internal and external marketing teams.
For outsourcing projects, the best way to get anything done is to have an organized file system. I use Trello the most to communicate ideas and brainstorm with my clients. We can create boards, to do lists, checklists, keep track of deadlines, etc.
Whenever you are contracting branding and marketing experts and designers, you should give them access to:
- Your logo in .ai and .png formats. Whenever you need just a spruce up of an existing design or logo your designers need access to original ai. files or pdfs. Otherwise, your designers will have to start from scratch. This will increase the cost of their services….and your goal should always be to keep the cost down while getting the best work possible.
- Branded typography and fonts.
- Branded colors or HEX codes.
- Any artwork or graphics.
- Company photos.
- Past versions of the file being updated or reworked (if possible, in the original format, such as .indd or .ai files. If a .pdf is the only option available, your designer may have to start from scratch).
- Examples of past marketing materials that you’d like new marketing materials to stay consistent with.
- A brand guide or style book, if you have one.
- Online Cloud Platforms: Google Docs is a great way to store and share files with your design team, but there’s also Dropbox or OneDrive. My team’s personal favorite is OneDrive from Microsoft.
6. Create and Send All of Your Design Changes At Once
You do not want this dragged out forever. When you create an action plan with deadlines you should plan everything to be done around those dates. Each stage of this process needs to include completed pieces, and when you are outsourcing, this also includes giving feedback to your designers.
From samples and initial designs, all the way to the finished product, your branding and design teams want to know what you like, what you don’t like, and what changes you would like to see.
Although it is hard to meet every request we get (we may be limited by what a program can do or the budget of the project), my team and I, we would love to get your feedback regardless.
A caveat, however, if you want your team to be rocking your project, a good idea is to consolidate all your changes and suggestions at once. This will allow us to work more efficiently. Working efficiently will reduce the cost of your project’s proposal. Now, don’t be afraid to send any changes you may have forgotten! We’ll always take them into consideration!
Your Wow-worthy brand and designs have to combine digital and print. As a branding and digital marketing team our only goal (besides you being happy with our work), is to make sure your online presence is not just good, but it also kicks ASS!!! Both your digital and print content needs to do just that!
Our goal is to create beautiful, consistent-with-your-brand-message websites and other types of content. If you need a new design or a redesign of your logo, brand, website, social media, images, or any other types of content, we do it all. Occasionally, we also create other types of highly visual, print, or promotional materials.
No matter what you need to fulfill a highly visual digital marketing or print marketing create a plan of what you want to be accomplished and determine if you can DIY or if you need to outsource. We’d love to be the ones that help drive your business to the next stage of successful digital marketing.
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