What got you here may not be what you need to go farther

At an awards ceremony recently, I noticed an incredible parade of horrible logos flashing across the screen.

These are companies with minimum $2m in annual revenue. These are growing, successful companies.

But the logos looked like they’d been made in Microsoft Paint or by someone’s nephew who took a graphic design class in high school. They were so bad that even my husband who knows next to nothing about design commented on them.

What got you this far might not be what you need to take the next step.

The visuals that represent you tell a story; they are your brand.

And not just to the people in the audience at a huge awards event who see it hyper-sized on the big screen. They tell anyone you encounter what you value and prioritize.  Your business cards, your email signature, your presentations, your website.

If your visuals are outdated and your copy is weak, your story is too.

What else is that outdated? What else do you not have time to handle? What other details do you let slide?

It doesn’t matter what you tell yourself about your company. It doesn’t matter if you say you’re innovative or creative or cutting edge. It doesn’t matter because people form first impressions without hearing your side of the story at all.  Your visuals tell that story.

We know. You’re busy.  Probably too busy to go through the bothersome and tedious process of finding an agency and going through the process of creating and positioning a brand.  

But if you want to play with the big boys; if you want to continue growing your company; if you want to attract and hire the best employees; your visual identity has to reflect your values.

I know you’re probably thinking, Come on, Andi. I run a fire protection company or a commercial construction company.  We do electrical engineering or defense contracting. I don’t a fancy-pants logo to tell my story. Our work stands for itself;  all of our work comes from referrals, and we’re certainly doing just fine.

You have no idea.

The truth is, you have no idea how many referrals you’ve missed out on because the potential customer Googled you and found a dismal website with a poorly designed logo.  You don’t know how many contracts you lost because your proposal or presentation were amateur and child-like.

There’s no way to know how many conversations you missed out on because the door was closed by your outdated visual identity before it even opened.  And those are doors to both potential customers, clients and contracts as well as doors to new, hungry employees who want to be working with a company who gets it.

So why take that chance?  

Believe me — I know a good agency is expensive.  And most new businesses don’t need an agency. They don’t need us.  Something nice and clean, and a Squarespace or Wix website is just enough to get started.  

But as you grow; as you become one of the fastest growing companies in your area or as you find it harder and harder to find good people … consider that you never get a second chance to make a first impression.