There’s a radio commercial that has been airing locally (A LOT) for a company that provides you with a business logo for $99. The commercial starts out with a small-business owner complaining that a freelance designer quoted $2000 and a timeframe of 4 weeks for a finished logo. No worries, though, because this particular company gave her 73 logo designs to choose from in a matter of just 3 or 4 days – all for only $99!!!!
Sounds like a great deal, right? No, it’s not, and I’m going to tell you why. I am going to take the liberty of speaking for not just our agency, but all agencies and freelance designers alike. Disclaimer: There are absolutely some shady agencies and crappy designers out there that just want to take your money. Do your homework before choosing who to work with on your branding, marketing and advertising. That being said, let’s move on.
Let me start by telling you what that $99 will get you: 73 logos made by a “designer,” who is most likely in another country, and spends his or her days churning out graphics using clip art and various fancy fonts. That’s it. It’s not tailored to you, your business or your market. But, hey, you’ve got 73 designs to choose from, right?
When you choose to work with an agency or designer on your branding, you get a whole lot more for your investment. First, we’re going to learn about you and your business. We’re going to talk to you about your goals, your company culture and learn what sets you apart from your competitors. We’re going to research your market – find out what makes your audience tick and even see what your competition’s branding looks like. We’ll invest a lot of our agency time into making sure we know the ins and outs of your business and what you do. We’ll make sure that with your new branding, you are setting the foundation for success in your business. Your logo and overall branding are what your customers, and potential customers, are going to identify you with for the long haul. We want to make sure that visual mark represents the value of your product or service.
Then we’re going to design a logo that can be used across the board. The design will take into account the many ways you will use that logo – on your website, on your printed collateral, on your product packaging, on signage, screen-printed on t-shirts or other apparel or even embroidered on caps or sweatshirts. A good logo design will work in color or in black and white. The logo you get from an agency will (or should be) appropriate for EVERY application in which you will use it. Typically you will get 2 or 3 logo designs to choose from and/or edit. An agency worth its salt will make sure that it’s an original design that can be trademarked. Once you approve a design, you should get files that you can use for everything: files in color, black and white, vector versions, PDF versions, with and without a background, files with the company name and others that have just your mark.
Yes, when you work with an agency or designer, your initial investment will most likely be $2000+ (for large companies and brands, it can be tens of thousands of dollars); however, when you look at what you get for your marketing dollar, it is much easier to see the value in it. As a business owner, you have to take the time to build a solid brand foundation. If you don’t make that investment, or don’t do your homework on your agency or designer of choice, oftentimes you end up spending even more money down the road to fix your branding mistakes. A good agency can help you not only build the foundation, but develop a strategy to meet your business goals. The $99 guys don’t do that.