I spend a lot of time answering questions for potential clients, active clients, and former clients. I love answering their questions. It’s always fascinating to see what people want to know. Yet, I seem to find myself answering these same 2 questions the most, and today I thought I’d share my answers to them with you!
What purpose does graphic design have in a business?
Most people before they begin to sell anything invest in their name and have a logo created. I’ve seen it so much as a designer and visual marketing specialist. Heck even I did it when I first started.
They don’t know their audience; they have a vague idea of what they want to sell and no clue how to attract customers. Many new owners take the “Field of Dreams” approach and hope that “if they build it, he will come” – the “he” in this case being their perfect customer. As they get into their first few years, they find their niche(s) and core product line(s). Learn how to talk about their offers and where to source clients. It seems like this self-discovery process takes around three years on average.
Unfortunately, after all this self-discovery, they discover they have a logo (and maybe branding) that doesn’t fit them anymore, but they’re afraid if they change it. They’re worried if they do that their current customers won’t know them anymore so they keep it – even though it doesn’t fit who are they or what direction they want to take their business in.
Here’s a little truth bomb for you: You don’t need a logo to start a business, but you’ll want to invest in one eventually along with a good brand strategy.
Why do I keep saying investment? Well, Design is an investment. Think of it as part of the business’ marketing budget.
This where I see a lot of people seem to get confused. They think Design is all about creating logos, but that’s not 100% true. Design isn’t just a logo or a great brochure. It’s not pretty pictures. It’s also not one size fits all. Design is a tool and like any tool, its job is to make life easier. For example, A hammer won’t magically put a nail in the wall by itself, but having one makes it easier for a person to put a nail in the wall than if they didn’t have one. Design is the same thing. It’s a communication and sales tool. It can make getting leads easier, but it won’t magically do it on its own.
Every business needs a logo right and all of the same types of marketing materials their competition has?”
A business with a clear idea of what their product line(s) are, who their perfect fit ideal client is going to be and what reputation they want their images to convey is ready to start to outline a plan for getting customers and it quickly becomes obvious how different types of images and therefore graphic design will fit into that plan. Every business is different and may not need the same types of graphics as a competitor.
At a minimum, most businesses should consider these 3 types of visuals in their design and marketing plan: Leave Behind, Logo, Contact Visual
A leave behind is something shared with clients either in person or via email. It has basic info about what the company does, who they serve, and why the client needs to buy from this particular business. It’s meant to work with a website, not replace it. It can be items such as flyer, mini booklet, or a brochure.
A logo is pretty self-explanatory, but as a refresher, it’s the symbol that reflects a business’s personality and reputation and drives the rest of their brand visuals. The style guide is at least one page and provides details on the brand. It’s fonts, colors, and logos among other pieces of information. This allows for consistency no matter who is creating their graphics.
A “contact visual” is either a printed piece like a business card or a digital piece like a social media graphic with the owner or business’ contact details on it. It’s something a potential client can save somewhere and a way for people to connect with and refer the business.
The bottom line is this: Each business has unique needs and a unique way of getting customers that graphic design may or may not fit into. Graphic design is a super useful tool to help the process of getting leads, by using text and visuals to catch attention and communicate a message. Over the course of a business’s lifetime, it is going to create a lot of different graphics. I truly believe the customers are the heart of everything a business does and its desire to serve them needs to shine through no matter what you create.
If you’re ready to see how graphic design can massively uplevel your impact and income, drop me an email & I’ll hook you up with a FREE 1:1 Branding & Design Strategy Session where we’ll chat about your business, your goals, and give you tips on how design can get you where you want to be and see if working together makes sense!