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Please Don’t Rush the Creative Process When Creating Your Brand Identity

If there’s one bunch of workers who are particularly used to tight schedules, it’s those of us who operate within the creative space.

“We’d like our new logo yesterday, please,” is what a lot of clients might as well say, such is the speed with which they want their shiny new thing.

The problem is that you really don’t want to rush creative endeavours such as branding. The result is rushed ideas which get in the way of concepts that’ll never see the light of day, simply because they weren’t given enough time.

Here’s why you need to stop underestimating the time it takes to build a successful brand.


How long does branding take?

Do you want to be a pioneer or a follower? If it’s the latter, your brand can arguably be created pretty quickly.

But then, you’re simply capitalising on an existing product or trend, and that probably isn’t as sustainable – or exciting – as being a pioneer.

This is why people usually underestimate the time it takes to build a brand. They see something they like, and assume their own version of that logo, strap line, or website can emerge quickly.

They did it… why can’t we?

But there’s so much more that goes into creating a brand, and it all takes time.


How do you create a brand?

When businesses reach the creative phase of a branding project, they often think those tasked with the design simply hit the computer and ‘create’.

But there’s so much more to do before we get to that stage.

In fact, jumping straight onto the computer is the worst thing you can do during a branding project, because you’ll have absolutely nothing to go on other than a hunch or desire to copy someone or something else.


It starts with the competition

If you want to beat the competition at branding, you need to look at what they’re doing, first.

Simply dismissing their branding as “rubbish” isn’t good enough; which opportunities have they missed, exactly? What is it about their logo, colour palette, or website which jars? What have they got right?

Competitor analysis should take a long time – even if you only have one competitor. Assuming you can simply do betterwon’t get you very far at all.


Finding white space for your brand

Most creative projects take inspiration from elsewhere, but they don’t simply copy what’s already out there.

Think about it: if your brand identity is simply a “better version” (that’s subjective, anyway) of your competitor’s, how will you stand out? To onlookers, you may even be indistinguishable.

This is why it’s important to find the white space for your brand. It’s there, somewhere, and with the right branding, you’ll leap into – and out – of it.

That white space must enable you to stand out, but it must also fit – it needs to suit your business. Finding it isn’t a quick task but it’s a much more important one than creating a pretty logo.


Creativity creep: it’s OK!

We’ve all heard about scope and mission creep – they set projects wildly off course and needlessly increase delivery times.

But there’s one type of creep that’s OK: creativity creep.

Things change. New stuff is discovered. Sometimes, an entirely new route appears during the creative process which clearly needs to be followed.

Remember that white space your brand needs to sit within? Sometimes, it’s only discovered halfway through the project (that’s how hidden it often is), and when that happens, it’s important to follow your intuition and your nose.

This is creativity at work and it’s why it takes time.


Is it possible to gain a solid end date for a creative project?

No, it isn’t.

Let’s not beat around the bush – anyone who gives you a definitive end date for a creative project will either miss it or deliver something that isn’t worth the money you’ve paid.

Understanding how a branding process, for instance, will pan out, is incredibly difficult. This is the nature of creativity; new avenues can present themselves without warning.

Designers are a passionate bunch, but that’s what makes them so good at their craft. It’s also why we all have to concede that they’re not fond of being pushed.

Push a creative to do something more quickly, and you’ll receive a poor finished result. And that’s because they won’t have the time to explore the avenues that are likely to suit your business and place it within that all-important white space.

So, if you need a new logo, video or marketing campaign – don’t rush it or those undertaking it! The secret to great creative work really is… timing.

Need help with your creative project and want to avoid the perils of rushing? Get in touch with the Be Smart team, today.