When I was a little boy, I would watch both my grandfathers in their respective workshops tweak, fix, or build all sorts of wooden pieces. From actual grandfather clocks (Grandpa Spencer) to child-sized picnic benches (Grandpa Brenneman), they both knew their way around lumber, saws, and, most importantly, rulers.
They certainly didn’t coin the phrase “measure twice, cut once,” they certainly did repeat it. Even though the woodworking gene skipped me, I still think about that whenever someone comes to us and wants to go right to the creative, without doing any of the strategy work. They’re ready to cut, but don’t want to measure.
Ignoring your brand strategy and focusing on just your logo or website is dangerous. And, in the long run, it is expensive. Here are six reasons why:
- COMPETITIVE DISPLACEMENT. If your message is not locked down and consistently presented across your entire organization, you’re giving competitors innumerable ways to displace you. If you don’t tell clients and prospects how they should perceive you, your competitors will. Only when your message is authentic, targeted, and repeated can you block competitors’ advances.
- CONSISTENCY MATTERS. Brands with a consistent message see an average revenue increase of 23%! They also gain 4x more visibility than those without (source: Lucidpress, 2018), which means that your marketing dollars work harder. Plus, if everyone across your organization is explaining what you do differently, customers and prospects will not know what to believe.
- AUTHENTICITY MATTERS. It’s never a good idea to be all things to all people. Having a message and identity that is relevant and competitively differentiated to those most important to your success is crucial. In fact, 80% of people cite “authenticity of content” as the main factor as to whether or not to trust a brand (source: Zimmer Radio and Marketing Group, 2017).
- EMPLOYEE COSTS. People are expensive, especially if you’re constantly recruiting and on-boarding new ones. A brand with a strong, compelling message engages employees enabling you to attract and retain the very best talent. Plus, Gallup research has found that a single disengaged employee costs approximately $3,400 for every $10,000 spent on salary.
- CUSTOMER RETENTION. Furthermore, you cannot, after all, have engaged customers if you do not have engaged employees. Engaged employees care deeply about customers. In turn, 70% of consumers will spend an average of 13% more money with a company that provides excellent customer experiences (source: Quantum Workspace, 2018).
- FOCUS. Articulating your brand and its message also save hours and hours, which is to say money! That’s because you have answered all the core questions about your business at once, not each time a new inquiry comes in. Most of all, your brand strategy keeps you focused on who you are, what you do, and how you do it differently than anyone else.
Plus, when you can articulate who you really are, designers have a clearer path toward creating the perfect logo to tell your story best. Otherwise, they have to guess.
Updating your brand by just updating your logo is a dangerous and costly approach to creating your brand’s identity. It really is the same as taking a radial saw to a beautiful piece of bird’s eye maple and hoping for a masterpiece.