It’s vital when you hear “brand expert” to know how to tell the real from the charlatan.
Unfortunately, the term “expert” is commonly a self-proclaimed status with little evidence to back it up.
So how do you tell?
The Title “Brand Expert” Isn’t a Fact. It’s Someone’s Conclusion.
I was reading an article in a respected business publication with a headline that started with the author stating they’re a “branding expert” with advice to businesses that they spend way too much on branding — essentially how much and when they should invest in branding.
Then within a couple of paragraphs, the author starts talking exclusively about good design, how the company should look, and goes on to give advice on design, colors, simplicity, and even using templates.
I am sorry, this author doesn’t know squat, most notably, the fundamental difference between branding and design.
As I discuss in my bestseller, Brand Intervention, branding is the art of differentiation at every level and touchpoint of a brand.
Branding is NOT exclusively “design” any more than a single word is a lyric, or a grain of rice is a meal.
And to use templates for one’s brand when one needs to stand out is like selling someone a car off the lot and telling them there’s no other car on the road like it. That’s a bald-faced lie.
The author then goes on to say after you’ve done the above, you can figure out what your company does and who you do it for. What?
How the hell do you create a brand, its design, and its story without knowing who your audience is?
And how do you create a brand design and story without knowing “what your company does.”
Seriously. I am NOT making this up.
That’s how you tell “experts” from amateurs who try to spin their bullshit on entrepreneurs who deserve better.
This is pure lunacy and precisely what has given designers and so-called “brand experts” a crap name muddying up the water for those of us who know what the hell we’re doing.
Just Because a Company is Big Does Not Mean Their Advice is Smart
On top of this, I saw an article published by Squarespace that provided “a step-by-step guide to designing a custom logo for your brand or business.”
In this article, they wrote, “With the Squarespace Logo Maker, you can design and download your own iconic logo for free, if you have a Squarespace account. Simply follow this step-by-step guide to get started.”
I will not rant any further on how absurd I found this beyond sharing with you my reply to their post:
“This is absurd. Here are some other loads of crap advice:
- Learn how to defend yourself in court and get acquitted in just one day
- How to cook steak perfectly like Gordon Ramsay without a stove or pan
- How to look like an Olympian in one week in just 2 minutes a day
- How to tailor your own suit like Tom Ford with no training, no needle, and no thread
- How to negotiate like a Shark Tank star in 12 minutes
- How to deliver a successful Ted Talk easily, with no talent, no topic, and no practice.”
An 8-Step Program to Tackle Your Brand in the Real World
Here are some basics that will help you avoid bullshit solutions like what I told you about above:
- Be clear about the problem your product or service solves
- Determine specifically who it is to serve (e.g., professionals, companies with lots of vulnerable computers, frustrated runners, overweight men or women with bad diets, etc.)
- Review the competition that’s already “solving” the problem you’re seeking to solve
- Establish how yours is different from that
- Name your product or service based on the above and develop a distinct and memorable slogan
- Now design a logo that amplifies the above points
- Add the above what else you need: Website, videos, packaging, etc.
- Above all, ignore templates, swipe files, “name generators” and other “bot” solutions that violate the above.
Want to see actual examples that are the result of following this exact sequence? Click here.
Want to apply for the upcoming Masterclass? Schedule your time to jump on a Zoom call with me here.