What to do when you realize you’re branding the wrong thing.

Emily Johnson Unparalleled | Changing Your Mind & Branding Who You Really Are

So you have an idea for your brand and business and you’re convinced it’s the “one”. You’ve talked to everyone you know and trust and they’re all behind it and rooting for it. It’s got you all lit up, fired up and you’ve already started dreaming up all the things you’re going build within this perfect new container. 

You hire a designer, fill out the questionnaires, sign off on the first few iterations of the designs but as the process continues you start feeling like something isn’t right. It’s not that the designs or the typography or the colours are wrong. It’s more than that. It’s deeper. There’s something bigger about the whole thing that just isn’t sitting right with you. Suddenly you realize that the brand that’s being created isn’t you. And so you start to panic.

When this happens you’ve got a few options - but I’m only going to give you two: 

Option 1: Sit quietly with your realization and hold out hope that things will eventually start feeling right again (spoiler: they probably won’t) 

Option 2: Speak up about your concerns and talk about how you’re feeling with both your designer and the people in your life who know you best and figure out what needs to be changed in order to make things feel right again.

Although those are technically both options, the only right way to go about the situation is option 2. If you’ve identified that the direction you’re taking your brand in is the wrong one don’t continue for another second and whatever you do, don’t keep it to yourself. 

Any good brand designer, not just a logo designer, wants nothing more than to create a well rounded brand that’s completely in line with who you are and what you want your business to be.

If that means the project needs to pause halfway through, or even well past half way, so be it.  

Branding a business that’s an extension of who you are is a huge undertaking. You’re going to be faced with all sorts of challenges as you come into who you are as a business owner and things are going to come up that will shake you. You’re going to be confronted with parts of you that need tending to before you can move forward with building your brand/business - and that’s ok. Great even.

Because tending to those things and figuring them out in the early stages are what will set up a solid foundation for your brand and your entire business moving forward. So what if you realize you’ve been branding the wrong thing out of fear of fully stepping into yourself. It’s a terrifying thing to do. If you’ve realized that what you’ve been branding is just one of your offerings and not the whole brand, speak up! Your designer is going to want to know and, if they’re truly a brand designer and not just a logo designer, they’re going to be stoked for you because they know the importance of building the right thing. They aren’t going to scold you for learning more about yourself on this crazy confronting self-discovery process that is creating a brand for your own business. Chances are they were in the same place once too.

So if you’re sitting with the realization that the direction you’ve been taking things is the wrong one, this is the go-ahead you’ve been waiting for to speak up - send the email or make the call. You deserve to have a brand that represents exactly who you are.

Emily Johnson