I’ve talked about the most important pre-launch first step when launching your business, and why customer and market validation, before launch, can save you a fortune. But once you’ve validated the idea and done some planning, at some point you need to think about the brand. And that means a lot more than just your name… it’s a logo, colors, words, basically everything that someone sees that will impact how they feel about your business – and the things they’ll use to make snap judgements about you, even before reading much content on your site.
I’m working on a new brand to be released over the next few months. I have the ideas and the name, but I openly admit to being a bit creatively challenged. I’m no good with graphics programs – and even if I was, getting the creative inspiration to know what to actually do with the program would stump me right away. Colors and other parts of branding are also hard for me to come up with. I can look at things and have a pretty good feel for whether they are good and will work or not – just the creation part seems to be beyond me.
So, I’m going to spin up a design contest over at 99 Designs. They have a Brand Identity Package that starts at $599 and includes a custom logo, business card, letterhead (do people still send letters?), and envelop (meh), and a Facebook cover image. Actually, now thinking about it I’ll consider this a little more. Perhaps I’ll just run a logo design contest first and from there use it on a business card and on Facebook. Consider me still undecided. :) BTW – if you’ve used 99 Designs for this specific package before, please comment and share your experiences… I’d love to heard what others think about their services.
Anyway, back to the branding page, they have options that run $599 (30 designs), $899 (40 designs), $1599 (50 designs), and $2499 (30 “premium” ?? designs).
At this point I’m leaning toward the $899 package to 33% more design submissions. By the way, if you don’t know how this works, you submit a description and other details, and then designers submit ideas. You can then ask for changes and clarify your message, and they’ll submit updates. You get to pick from dozens of options before committing any money. I like the idea of seeing designs up-front versus contracting with a designer and hoping I like the results. That might just be me though.
Your thoughts, comments, and shared experience would be appreciated. Is there a better service? Is there an ideal way to handle the contests? What have you learned that can help this be a more efficient process?
Okay, the contest is over and the logo is done. So I want to share a few more thoughts…. I decided to go with the logo design versus the brand identity package. The main reason is that the brand package included a few things that I’d really never use (letterhead, envelope) – and in the case I did need those things, I could easily just drop a logo into a file and make something simple.
I like how 99 Designs allows you to “run a poll” – you can select up to 8 different designs into a single poll then send the link to people. That allows you to collect both ratings and also comments from people on the designs. It will also rank the designs based on votes by the viewers. I used this feature three different times… each time adding new designs after sharing some of the feedback to the designers. This was a very helpful part of the overall process.
The venture is a personal financial coaching business… helping people eliminate debt, build wealth, and live the life of their dreams. It’s targeted for gen X and gen Y people who recognize their personal finances aren’t quite where they want them, and understand the value of education and coaching to help them develop a personal plan and strategy toward financial freedom.
To host the site/content we acquired MaximizeYourMoney.com, and here is the logo we selected that won the contest…
Thanks to everyone who gave feedback to help with the logo process! The site is still very much a work-in-progress as of me updating this post in early 2016, and actually it will likely always be a work-in-progress (I’m a huge fan of continuous improvement). While also working on things there at MYM, I will write some blog posts about different things we’re trying and working on – to share our successes and failures in different areas – and help you save time, save money, and save headache when working on the same topics (largely business startup and growth).
“Turning your passion into your job is easier than finding a job that matches your passion.”
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