In October 2017, it was announced that the number of UK start-ups had reached an all-time high. In response to a lack of opportunities within traditional workplaces, and with the help of government-backed initiatives, this new “Start-Up Britain” culture has inspired creative resurgence amongst entrepreneurs across the nation.
One of the biggest challenges for start-ups, and indeed, companies who have experienced considerable growth, is establishing a brand sentiment. As we’ve seen with some of the biggest brands out there, they would be nothing without their well-known values and concepts, from “every little helps” to the famous golden arches. This may be why “shortcuts” to an effective brand can seem appealing in the short-term.
The limitations of computer-generated designs
From CVs to business cards, there’s a custom template with almost all software nowadays. This has now extended to free online tools to help create your own logo design. Whilst this is great in principle, particularly for those mindful of the costs associated with starting a business, there are myriad drawbacks to choosing the cost-cutting option.
There is very little room for customisation in an online logo generator: only standard web fonts may be used, and additional graphics cannot be uploaded to complement the logo. Imagine the Shell wording without the eponymous yellow and red graphic – if your business relies heavily on visuals, this is a huge drawback.
The same principles apply to other media, for example, business card templates. If you’re looking for branding that’s truly bespoke and can evolve with your business, then it’s best to consult with a trusted, experienced creative.
The human touch
The benefits of using a creative agency are obvious, but one of the key points is human interaction. By working with a dedicated account manager and design team, you can communicate your ideas freely either face-to-face or via conference call, creating a collaborative process that is the foundation of all effective design strategies.
As opposed to outsourcing via a freelancer network, engaging with an agency means you can enjoy the benefits of regular communications with a team of experts whose shared goal is to build your brand. It is notoriously difficult to communicate a brand strategy via email – sharing ideas with a creative face-to-face will prevent wasted time on numerous revisions.
A multi-faceted approach
Agencies generally offer retained services with access to a team of creatives. This provides businesses with a multi-faceted approach – not only can agencies give you access to experts in web design, SEO, graphic design and more, but each staff member comes with his or her own years of experience.
What’s more, there’s no breakdown in communication – graphic designers can liaise with web designers to ensure the message is consistent across all platforms, for example.
With you from the start
Branding doesn’t just apply to start-ups: as businesses grow, evolve and revise their target markets, their brand must continue to reflect them. Working with an agency team who are experts in brand development helps to maintain that consistency: they will take into account your business’ history and character – you may be branching out into new markets, but you want to maintain your core values. A personal connection with a creative agency will ensure you hold on to the principles that matter most to your business and your customers.
With increasingly saturated markets, personalisation is integral to success, which is why you need to be able to build a brand that is free from design limitations. You don’t need to be a designer to understand the importance of getting it right – with the help of a diverse, expert team, you can create a holistic marketing and branding strategy that evolves with yours and your customers’ needs.
For more help with bespoke web development, graphic design, digital marketing and more, contact Hydra Creative.