When picking out a design studio for branding – whether for a rebrand or for a whole new venture – it’s tempting to think first about ease. To pick a studio that’ll take the job off your hands and come back to you at some point not long after with everything tied up in a neat bow, ready to use. After all, if you’re going to pay someone else to do your design, you want the job done for you – and by experts, no less. Sure, you’ll give them a brief but after that, you want to able to leave them alone to get on with it, right?
Not so fast.
The issue with this approach is that it plays into exactly the way some design studios want you to behave. They want to be left alone to get on with the work, but rarely for the reason you think. The reason they want to be left alone isn’t so they can focus. It’s because they don’t want you to know about their process.
Hear us out.
Shrouding the process or the mechanics of how something gets from A to B is a sales tactic that’s been used by various service-based industries for decades. By withholding key information, they prevent their client from learning how to do that thing for themselves in the future. This, in turn, increases the likelihood of the company receiving repeat business – and who doesn’t love repeat business?
Here at Design by Country, we like to do things a little differently. We care a lot about lifting the curtain – about demystifying the process of designing and branding so that the client knows what’s going on.
But why do I need to be part of the process?
Good question. Whether or not you’ve had much experience with design in the past, you’ll most likely agree that the best branding is the kind that generates positive memories for you – McDonald’s golden arches, for example. Or Disney’s fairytale castle and signature navy blue. It’s the kind, as Stuart Watson explains in this article, that prioritises how it makes the consumer feel over how it looks.
Okay… but what’s this got to do with the design process?
People buy from brands that feel good to them. The way brands generate this ‘feel-good’ factor is through experience – of the product and of the branding itself.
When a company founder becomes a key collaborator in the design process, it allows them to have more ownership over the end product. It gives them the opportunity to pour more of their personality and brand origin story into the design itself. This, in turn, filters down to the consumer. If you as the brand owner haven’t been a part of the process, your branding is missing out on those serendipitous moments – jokes, anecdotes, memories – that naturally crop up during the process and often end up making it feel authentic. If you aren’t there to supply these things, your customer misses out on them too, which means your customer misses out on the chance to connect, engage and fall in love with the brand even more.
Great designers want you to be a part of the process because they know they will never understand your brand as well as you do. They know that your input is what forms the heart of the brand.
That’s what we do at Design by Country – personality led design for people, by people. We’re passionate about making the design process a collaborative one – about inviting brand owners to join us on the journey. We don’t shy away from clients seeing the mistakes or wrong turns (after all, knowing what you want often stems from experiencing what you don’t want) and we don’t hide the reality of where our ideas come from, either.
Ultimately, whether it’s us or another agency you work with, make sure you take a look at the way they work, as well as the work they produce.
Because great ideas, creativity and inspiration all stem from connection – not just of the brand to the people, but behind the scenes too.
To find out more about Design by Country, who we are and what we do, give us a call 07481 109727 or email firstname.lastname@example.org