They just don’t get it
“They just don’t get what I’m trying to do!”, said Sharon frustratedly as we talked after she’d just come back from seeing her designers.
“What’s the problem?”
“I just don’t like what they’ve produced. It doesn’t work for me.”
“Can I take a look?”
“Of course.” Sharon took out some prints of the logos her designers had come up with.
“From a professional point of view they look fine, but I don’t know how you briefed them.”
“Well I told them I like the style of John Lewis and M&S.”
“Well these logos do look similar to those brands, so there’s not much argument there.”
“Yes, but they don’t work for me.”
“Can you tell me WHY they don’t work?”
“I just don’t connect with any of them.”
“Did you tell them about your vision and what you’re trying to achieve? Or who you are trying to target?”
“Yes, I shared a bit. They had a lot of questions delving deeper into my vision that I couldn’t answer as I’m just not clear on it yet.”
“Well I’m sure you can appreciate that if you’re not clear, then your designers don’t stand a chance.”
That was paraphrased from the many real conversations I’ve had like this over the years. It could be a person taking their fantastic new idea forward, having a logo developed, a website built or other marketing material designed, only to end up frustrated as the work of their designers never hits the spot.
To a large extent good designers will be asking you the right questions and –let’s be honest– turning the job down if you can’t provide them with the information they need.
But the onus is still on you as the proprietor of the idea, founder of the business, to have at least some clarity on what you are trying to achieve and why. That said, it isn’t always easy.
Part of the problem is that when it comes to a new idea (or changing an old one), we all want to get to the visual stage quickly. It’s tangible, it’s exciting. You can see things taking shape.
However, not many people enjoy working on a brand guidelines document that helps to develop their idea and brand further. It’s just not as exciting for most. Let’s be honest, many people haven’t even heard of a brand guidelines document, let alone want to create one.
And from a financial point of view it’s much easier to find out the costs of having a logo and website developed, but the bit before –often seen as more nebulous– is harder to quantify. So you end up putting the cart before the horse in a situation not too dissimilar from Sharon’s.
In fact, it doesn’t have to take a long time and it doesn’t have to cost the earth. BUT, if you really believe in your idea then you should be prepared to invest both your time and money into it, as this stage is far more important than your logo, website and other marketing materials.
Elements of your branding will naturally change over the years; look at how many logo versions Coca Cola or other big brands have had. But their vision, values, personality and –to some extent– target audience stay the same for much longer.
The path to clarity
This is why we developed The Clarity Programme. The aim is that after a clarity session you will be clearer on your vision, values, personality and target audience, making it much easier to approach designers, copywriters, web developers, illustrators and the like.
One participant of one of our workshops said: “We’ve been talking for two hours but I can now describe succinctly what I do in 2 minutes”.
Being able to quickly and effectively describe your business is key to really understanding what you do and then communicating it with your target audience.
Our half day workshops enable you and your team to get together to inspire each other towards a greater understanding of where you’re heading.
So often it can start out with a sense of ‘is this really worth it?’, but very quickly as the programme begins the value of it becomes more and more apparent.
Recently when running a workshop, one attendee came up to me and said,”I was actually quite sceptical at first, but especially when we got to looking at our values I could see it was worth it".
Less frustration, more clarity
So many businesses have websites and branding developed before they are really ready, leading to frustrations with their lack of knowledge and their designers who just don’t seem to get them.
This doesn’t have to be the case for you. Whether you commission one of our clarity sessions, or you find another way of discovering your vision, values, personality and target audience, don’t leave things to chance. Make sure you get some clarity.
Ps. You can now sign up for a Clarity Assessment. We’re currently offering a discount so get in there quick! Don’t commission a logo or website before you have Clarity.