It’s 2020 – and business owners can access virtually unlimited free online tools and take their branding needs into their own hands. So why pay a marketing provider?
On the surface, this can seem like a great way to save cost – why pay someone else when you can do it yourself? It doesn’t help that brand design studios can be prohibitively expensive either – many business owners feel caught between a rock and a hard place. They don’t have the skills to build a brand from the ground-up by themselves, but they can’t afford to pay $25,000 for a design studio to do the job for them.
In between, there are freelancers and marketing agencies – each of which brings their own set of pros and cons depending on the business’ needs.
This month, Roobix conducted a deep dive into different logo creation options available to business owners to see what’s on offer to SMBs.
The DIY Logo Maker
You’ve seen these online. Surprisingly aesthetic and usually free or cheap, these branding packs are created using low-cost online tools providing thousands of ready-made templates. While these tools can help you create attractive designs and come equipped with instant turnaround time (no waiting around for revisions!), they do come with their own set of major risks.
Using open-source templates means you could start seeing your brand everywhere. Of course, you can make your own changes using the online design tool, but without the proper training you won’t be acquainted with best-practice.
Branding is who your business is at heart – it’s not just a logo superimposed on the front door. By using a DIY logo maker, you can end up with a quick and aesthetically pleasing brand – but you won’t be able to harmonise it with your tone, your collateral or anything else. For this reason, the template brand should only be used by small businesses on a shoestring budget – and even then only as a temporary option until you can afford a professional.
Pros: Quick and cheap
Cons: No support (often no style guide included), often copied from existing logos, logos are often produced lazily, and logos not deployed strategically.
A freelance designer can be the first step toward professional branding. Freelancers often charge lower rates than studio designers, but they still have the necessary skill to build a brand or to assist with rebranding. Freelance designers may or may not be able to offer an integrated branding pack, including collateral materials and merchandise – but what they can’t offer is a holistic marketing strategy. Translation: your logo looks great, but will it work for you in a year? And how?
Communication is cited as one of the biggest issues when dealing with freelance designers, especially when you’re both working online. A discovery session at the commencement of the branding project is crucial to making sure your needs are met and everybody is on the same page. If that isn’t possible, you might want to rethink your designer.
A truly unique and powerful visual language should be constructed from the who, what and why of your business – not just a handful of words and an icon. For this reason, freelance branding options are best suited to established businesses who are simply looking to refresh or rebrand visually.
Pros: Higher quality, and often visual systems can be produced.
Cons: Often slow, and support for the brand once it’s built is often non-existent.
The Dedicated Design Studio
Much like a freelancer, a high-end design studio will be able to provide top-quality branding materials – but they will be limited in their ability to provide top-quality marketing and implementation advice. The price tag on a design agency is the highest of all the previous options, too, placing it typically out of reach for small businesses and startups.
Pros: High quality design, often delivered with a visual system.
Cons: Extremely expensive, delivered without a long-term strategy or management plan in place, and inflexible on timelines.
A Managed Marketing Service (MMS)
A managed marketing service provider like Roobix can offer the full branding experience – without paying a design studio $25,000.
A branding project with Roobix includes a research phase heavily involving the client, outputting multiple logos to choose from. These logos will be explained by the team, with rationales provided by the designer so you can understand the branding choices that have been made.
Roobix is far better equipped to interpret design needs and support businesses – we provide consultation services, extending beyond visual language to provide tone, personality and campaign strategies to keep the overall business image intact for the long run.
For example, consider the impact of all your marketing assets alongside a brand development or rebrand project:
- Website design
- Capability statements
- Brand positioning
- Brand messaging
- Print collateral
- Style guides
- Broader visual language guides
- Advertising activity
- Stationery and merchandise
Wherever you are in your branding journey, Roobix’ celebrated Managed Marketing Service is the best way to start.
An MMS means trusting your marketing needs to a diverse team of specialists. It’s economical and streamlined, with just one monthly fixed-cost – plus, it’s flexible, scalable, training-free and overhead-free. Why have one marketing manager when you could have 60 for the same price – on hand at all times?
Pros: Cost-efficient, quick, comes with a visual system and style guide, and is designed to be supported by a trained team of marketers far in to the future.
Cons: You’ll occasionally have to come and have some coffee with us in the office – there are worse things though!
Call Roobix on 13 30 40 to have a chat about our managed marketing services – we’re happy to get started on your logo project!