We've been at the forefront and sidelines of dozens of design projects, and most times, we notice that businesses go to straight to their logo and/or website designer with an incomplete strategy or understanding of who they are, what they do, who they do it for, and why. The problem with this is that it puts their designer in the position of needing to make some core strategic decisions.
This isn't a knock to designers – they will have lots of great ideas that can enhance the vision and direction of a business – but ultimately, if the client doesn't come in prepared with a strong strategy, vision, and clear message & positioning, they actually end up spending more money than they need to on having their designers help figure their business out.
This is where we start to see some budgets get overrun, because the design meetings actually turn into strategy sessions. You can go sit down at a bar and have the bartender give you some great life advice, but they're not necessarily the licensed psychologist or psychiatrist who can really help you work through your problems.
Usually, by the time clients find us (and at Co.Creative, our focus is on building the brand strategy foundation first), they already have a new website or logo, and are now looking for some additional consultation, strategy, or design work... and they always say "I wish I had found you sooner", because they've gone ahead with building certain things without creating a strategy first. Building a strong brand strategy first definitely entails more work and cost upfront, but results in exponential savings and greater results in the design process (and beyond).
Each time we've built a brand strategy prior to creating a website or logo, the design process happens much quicker and easier because we know the messaging, the intention, who their ideal customer/client is, and why we're creating it in the first place (the purpose).
So, if you want to save money in future design efforts, do some of that pre-work first. Take the time to really understand your business strategy, and especially your business strategy through the lens of your brand, so that your designer can do what they do best – which is make things beautiful and bring your vision to life – and you can feel confident that you are engaging in this process from a place of being rooted and grounded in knowing who you are, what you do, who you do it for, and why.