Are you experiencing brand overwhelm?
If you’re pinning brand logos, screenshotting ideas on social media and collecting all of the magazine clippings, you could be suffering from a dreadful case of brand overwhelm. Don’t panic, it’s completely curable! Today Heidi Lou Design is going to talk you through how to diagnose this condition, how to treat it and how to get your brand identity looking amazing so you aren’t questioning it constantly.
Overwhelm is a feeling that many of my clients’ experience in the initial stage of gathering ideas for branding their business. They see so many things they like and they want them all! Or they’re unsure of what direction to take. Here are some examples of what brand overwhelm can look and feel like.
You’re suffering from comparisonitis.
You’re looking at your competitors’ branding and falling into the comparison trap. You think you need everything they have – from colours and patterns to typefaces and illustrations. But every business is different. It’s likely that someone else’s unique style isn’t going to be right for your business.
You have repetitive rebranding syndrome.
You can’t make up your mind about what brand image you want to project. So, you’re always changing your fonts or colour palette. You know that your brand is inconsistent, but you don’t know how to get it back into line. Or your brand has moved in so many different directions that both you and your clients feel confused.
You’re experiencing brand growing pains.
Your business has outgrown your current branding and no longer represents who you or your clients are. You feel it’s time for a refreshing change, but you’re uncertain where to begin.
Don’t panic my friends, brand overwhelm can be self-diagnosed! Chances are that you already have an inkling that you’re experiencing brand overwhelm. Maybe things have felt out of alignment with your brand for a while. Or you feel your business isn’t getting seen.
If you still can’t figure out what’s going on with your branding, talk to a professional. A graphic designer
like myself can help you get to the bottom of the problem. I’ll bring my trusty stethoscope!
It can feel overwhelming to develop a brand. It needs to represent your business and vision and that might feel like a hard task! But it’s so essential to your business’ growth and bottom line to get it right. Good branding is the basis of everything you do.
Hit the pause button my friend! It’s time to stop experimenting with your brand and to take some time out for reflection.
You need to go through this process to find that one idea that will communicate your brand values and unique selling point.
While it’s great to check out your competition when collecting brand ideas, you need to strategically design for YOUR business, not anyone else’s. Focus on what makes your business unique and you’ll find that one idea to hone in on.
- What makes my business great? What makes my business stand out from my competitors?
- What’s my unique selling point? What is the key message I want to convey to my potential customers/clients?
- What are my business values? How can my branding communicate these ideals?
- What works with my current branding and what doesn’t? What needs improving?
- Who are my potential customers/clients? How can my branding attract them?
- Where is my business heading? How can I incorporate my ultimate goal into my branding?
Once you’ve narrowed down your focus you can go old school. Get out big pieces of paper and mind map. Or create a mood board. Talk to colleagues or clients and ask for their feedback. Take your time to do it properly. Rushing the process will only cost you in the long run.
Some business owners can find this process tough. Maybe you’re too involved with your business and you can’t take a step back to see the big picture. Or you don’t have the necessary design skills. You know what looks good, but you have no idea how to get there with your own brand. If that’s the case, consider working with a graphic designer. We have the experience and expertise to help you strategise and plan.
Once you’ve answered these questions, there should be a glaringly obvious idea that you can work with. For example, when I branded a tutoring business an idea that kept coming up was that the education system “puts kids into boxes.” The director wanted to create a place where kids felt encouraged to embrace their individual learning style and flourish. This led to playing with design that was “out of the box” too.
Choose colours and fonts that will stand the test of time. While it’s easy to be swayed by the latest designs, trends do date. Instead, go for something that’s timeless and most importantly reflects your business. Also consider future-proofing your business. Choose branding that is flexible enough to adapt to future changes in your business.
How do you prevent brand overwhelm from recurring?
- Once you have a brand in place that you love (because it represents everything you stand for) the key is consistency. Make sure you keep your brand consistent across all mediums: from your website and social medial tiles to emails and print collateral.
- Avoid using quotes on your socials that aren’t in keeping with your brand style or colour palette.
- Refer to your branding manual and make sure any current and future employees are familiar with it.
- And always ask for help when needed. There’s no need to struggle alone. Reach out and get support and advice from a graphic designer. Working with a designer can help make the branding process pain-free, positive and less overwhelming.
Heidi is a Queensland-based graphic designer and owner of Heidi Lou Design.
She’s passionate about collaborating with female business owners and bringing their branding dreams to life. Heidi helps women connect with their ideal clients through gorgeous branding backed by strategy and down-to-earth advice. She is running a promotion for all of our Oh My Digital audience. Book a brand experience package and receive your business card and flyer designed FREE (or items of equivalent value). Contact Heidi for a chat