It never fails… I get asked often enough this question when I meet people at various events I attend from delivering workshops to networking events. When they find out I am a brand consultant, the eyebrows go up, the cards come out, and the question starts with… “I just got these printed, (or, we just re-branded) what do you think of them?” They’re wanting expert feedback on the fly.
As much as it happens, it still blows me away that I get asked this question for these reasons:
- This person doesn’t even know me, why would they care what I tell them?
- I know nothing about their brand, at this point, and am clueless what they want to portray to their market.
- Their logo is NOT their brand [click here for more on this issue ]
- They are looking for affirmation instead of the truth
- And at the risk of sounding ‘put-off’; real networking doesn’t start with asking questions that my paying clients get answers to.
As a professional, it is important that I understand what you want your brand position to be in the minds of your stakeholders and market. This isn’t a loaded question, but rather a thought provoking, consultative one, and one that takes a thorough understanding of your unique Brand DNA to answer. Real brand development is a conscious, strategic, and deliberate process that starts way before any visual elements should be developed or even re-vamped. It is a process of strategic identification which flushes out the brand’s unique attributes that carve out and shape your market position, your competitive advantage, your promise within the delivery of your services. Your business card is simply a vehicle to market your brand.
Then, the question from me becomes, “How did this visual representation, (your logo), actually come about?” And, “How does this ‘icon’ (colors, font, image, etc.) represent your brand position?”
So, you see, asking for feedback on your brand visuals it is not an easy question to get posed and put ‘on the spot’ to seriously/professionally answer, in a way that is the most beneficial to the asker.
What I’d rather see happen when I network with people:
When they ask and I tell them what I do for a living, that they communicate with confidence what their brand means to them, why they’re doing what they do [with passion!], and what makes them different from their competition. They, then pull out their business card and walk me through the meaning of their logo and why it aligns with who they are as a brand. This expresses a true alignment with who they are and what they represent – they come across to me as ‘owning’ their brand, rather than asking a stranger what they think. Because that really doesn’t matter, to be honest.
Oh, but wait, I guess if everyone did that, then I would be out of a job. ;0)