For any business that’s just starting out, a brand launch offers the opportunity to make a splash and announce yourself to the world. For graphic design businesses, in particular, your brand launch is the ideal time to showcase the creativity and talent of your team to potential clients. However, not all brand launches are created equally. In order to maximize the benefits of this exciting event, it’s essential to approach your brand launch strategically.
The following tips will help your graphic design business break into the field with a bang.
Top Tip #1: Give yourself enough time
Don’t rush things when it comes to your brand launch. You only get one chance to introduce your business and make a first impression, so take the time to ensure it’s all the things you want it to be. Additionally, the more time you have, the more hype you can create surrounding this much-anticipated occasion (more on this to follow).
Top Tip #2: Create a really really really great logo
Ready, set, go! Now is your time to show off what you’ve got. All eyes will be on your graphic design business to see just how capable you are of, well, graphic designing! Your logo is one of the ways you can capture the essence of your brand and exhibit your abilities right off the bat. Your logo will help define your brand, and as such, it should be memorable, unique, and creative.
capture the essence of your brand and exhibit your abilities right off the bat. Your logo will help define your brand, and as such, it should be memorable, unique, and creative.
Graphic Design business DesignBridge put an incredible amount of thought into designing Guinness’ updated harp logo. In order to ensure it was as realistic as possible, team members actually went to one of the oldest harp makers in the UK to spend time with the instruments in order to gain a better understanding of them. The result is a logo that is accurate, meaningful, and comes complete with an extra-special backstory (always a plus!).
Top Tip #3: Find your niche
As a graphic design business, you’ll need to determine what your specialties are. Logo design? Website design? Signage? Animation? While being a one-stop shop may sound good in theory (and there’s nothing wrong with providing a wide range of services) narrowing your focus will be beneficial for promotional reasons, it will help you define your target audience, and will also make it easier to distinguish yourself in the field.
Top Tip #4: Define your audience
If you capture the right attention, you’ll have no problem getting clients. Knowing the clientele that your brand will target, and the people that will be most in need of your services, will allow you to specify your demographic. This will tell you the channels and techniques you need to be using to promote the launch.
Multinational design firm Landor markets themselves as strong innovators, and targets brands that do the same. The first thing visitors to their website will see is their mission statement of sorts, that reads, “Landor builds some of the world’s most agile brands—brands that thrive on change.”
Top Tip #5: Create a portfolio
As a graphic design business, you’ll want to have concrete evidence of your art to show potential customers just what you’re capable of. Since you’re just starting out, you may not have as large of a portfolio as you’d like. In order to bolster your portfolio, consider enrolling in classes that will not only help you hone your technique, but will give you the chance to complete projects that you can then add to your portfolio. Another great idea for expanding your portfolio is to offer to do some pro-bono work for local businesses. Charities in particular would be great to volunteer your services to, and would also create valuable publicity for your business surrounding the launch.
Pentegram, one of the most famous design companies in the world, does a stellar job of showcasing their past work. Visitors to their homepage are immediately immersed in the various projects they’ve completed, presented simply and professionally. The experience of scrolling down their homepage is as visually stimulating as it is informative.
Top Tip #6: Establish your website and social media, and ensure your branding is consistent across all platforms, always
Digital is everything in this day and age, so your website and social media platforms must be on point. This is especially pertinent for graphic design businesses because it is yet another opportunity to prove just what you’re capable of. Your branding should be consistent throughout all channels—online and offline (business cards, stationary, signs, etc). This conveys professionalism and helps visitors know that it’s unmistakably your business.
Top Tip #7: Build your blog
Having a content-rich blog is not only good for SEO, but it will also help your business establish itself as a thought leader in the field. As a graphic design business, you can use your blog to feature recent work, testimonials, useful advice, company news, employee profiles, etc. Ensure your blog is well organized and easy to navigate.
A websites blog does not need to just be for writing blog post articles it can be used for other things as well such as using your blog to announce awards, introduce your employees, share company-related news. Your blog could include helpful navigation so that visitors can easily filter by “Awards”, “Announcements” or “People.”
So if your not much of a writer think of other ways you can utilise your blog for the good of your company and your brand.
Top Tip #8: Build Anticipation
You’ll want to create a “buzz” around your brand launch to get people talking and eagerly awaiting your big day. A great way to generate this buzz is through a thoughtful and creative social media campaign. Develop a hashtag for your launch and start using it in the lead up to the event. Engage your audience with thought-provoking content, run a competition to reach a wider range of users, publish behind-the-scenes pics and videos, show off your skills with amazing graphics, and garner exposure with uniquely creative subject matter
Top Tip #9: Promote your company culture
People value brands that are accessible. Don’t be afraid to show the personality of your brand and the people that make it what it is. What is important to you? What are your company values? You’re more than just a brand—you’re a business comprised of unique individuals, and allowing your audience to see this will make you seem more approachable and intriguing to work with.
Global design firm Saffron have pride themselves on their diverse mix of employees, that each bring something valuable to the table, and take every opportunity to mention this. The heading to their “About” section reads, “We come from many different places speak many different languages and bring diverse skills and perspectives.” It is accompanied by thorough profiles of key team members and professional, colourful headshots—each aspect helping to make the company feel more friendly and accessible.
Top Tip #10: Consider hiring an account manager
It can be overwhelming to be tasked with the job of dealing with clients as well as trying to create innovative designs. Graphic design businesses should ensure they have someone to manage clients so that the designers can focus all their efforts on the artistic side of things. Have this designated person in place before the launch so that you have someone you can offer clients as their point of contact.
Launching your graphic design business is an exciting time, but a time that can be stressful as well. Luckily, the above recommendations will help you launch your business the right way, with ease. For even more expert tips to help your design business reach new heights, check out our blog.
Also published on Medium.