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How to sell full branding projects instead of logos?

almost 2 years ago from , CEO at Folyo

I run a Slack and one of the members is a logo designer. He recently asked a question about upselling full brand package projects instead of logos:

I have a couple recurring clients that give me somewhat steady work, albiet at a discounted price point sometimes, but I seem to be having trouble selling the whole package instead of one-off projects to newer clients. They don't want to pay for a full brand, because they don't understand the value and I have trouble finding a window to broach that subject. So more often than not it seems they settle for just a logo instead of a brand package because of the price difference. Any advice to convert more brand packages overall instead of just logos to new businesses? The biggest benefit is of course brand cohesion to keep a consistent feel across everything they produce. So the target client is someone that is either freshly starting their business, or someone that has been running the business for a bit and now has the budget to improve their look. The latter is the ideal client, but seems to be much more rare to find in my experience.

Curious if you guys have any wisdom for him?

10 comments

  • Richard BallermannRichard Ballermann, almost 2 years ago

    Easy, don't offer the option to pay for "just a logo".

    From my experience, it's usually just a lack of awareness on the clients part. Most people don't even know what a brand is, all they know is that they need a logo. So if you present an option to pay for just the logo, you're communicating that its perfectly fine for them to do so.

    Show them what a basic brand identity involves, give them examples of work you've done that showcase exactly what goes into it. It will show them how a logo is just one piece of the puzzle.

    For myself, the basic package includes a logo, colors, and typeface. Most companies barely know how to work with anything beyond those three basic elements so its best to start there. If you just handoff a logo, the client is guaranteed to pick random typefaces and colors and they'll almost surely make some dreadful choices.

    If the customer STILL tries to haggle you down to only paying for a logo, walk away.

    2 points
  • Thomas Lowry, almost 2 years ago

    What does "upselling a full brand package" mean? Are you actually talking full gamut of the word "brand" or are you actually talking visual identity? I think that distinction can make a difference since those two are often use interchangeably and not the same thing though the latter is a crucial part of the "greater whole" (brand). There are lots of other drivers of brand perception outside visuals.

    Only tackling the logo means customers only have the logo to rely on when identifying. Having more visual and linguistic cohesion, overtime, will make the things you produce recognizable from many angles without even having to see the logo or your name. It also gives you other visual cues to leverage so you can more tactfully and sparingly use your logo when it makes sense.

    It may help to just get out of the "logo design" business and start selling visual identity packages at different scales that include logo design. In my experience the customers that come looking for a logo exclusively are bad news (and often cost driven) and require a lot of education. You can help educate them and scale up the size of the package based on their budget/needs, but basically you need them to understand that there is not a single successful brand that has been built on only a great logo. Heck...look at Muji. You can always start small and build a more cohesive identity system as they grow and have the need for more, but at least you start off establishing a trusting relationship that you are only prepared to sell them the minimum viable package to be successful (which will most likely not just a logo).

    In my experience, there are a lot of wins for the customer when you convince them to play the long game. It means they are paying you more upfront to arm them with an arsenal of available tools, standards/guidelines and templates to ensure consistency, all while making it easier for them to roll out on-brand deliverables without having to scramble and pay someone more to do these things in isolation as one offs.

    2 points
  • Mitch Malone, almost 2 years ago

    Something I would try is not to "convert" a logo request into a brand package but to first ask what business problem the client is facing and see how you can help. A logo is a solution to a problem. The client might request a logo thinking it might solve a problem but it might not. As you dig into the client's business, you might see new opportunities for larger projects.

    You'll also build credibility with larger clients. When they see you as a business partner instead of just a logo designer, they will think of you when it comes to solving bigger and more complex problems.

    2 points
    • Robert Williams, almost 2 years ago

      Thank you that helps. What's the difference between a "brand package" problem and a "logo" problem in your experience?

      -1 points
      • Mitch Malone, almost 2 years ago

        They are different problem scopes.

        A company might have a fine brand and logo but due to new contexts (app icons, environmental, print, VR, other digital formats), the logo might not work well. It's too small, it has too many colors, it doesn't work well in non-uniform backgrounds. So the designer needs to design a logo that works in these new contexts. The problem scope is localized to the logo.

        A "brand" problem would be is at a higher organizational level. Uber's recent rebrand tried to solve at least two problems: bad PR from a bunch of scandals and a confusing brand system composed of "bits". A new logo was included in that brand problem along with new design language, fonts, etc.

        4 points
  • Pedro PintoPedro Pinto, almost 2 years ago

    The Underconsideration site can be a good place for clients to understand that a brand package is valuable instead of having just the logo: https://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew

    0 points
  • Account deleted almost 2 years ago

    Tell him/her to watch this channel:

    https://www.youtube.com/user/TheSkoolRocks/videos

    I can't remember which video it is but it might be one of these

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Unw8GLHtCso

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mg0V0ARv5Jw

    0 points
    • Robert Williams, almost 2 years ago

      what is the advice that you liked?

      -1 points
      • Account deleted almost 2 years ago

        Basically package it all together and if they don't want to take the full package, walk away. They'll respect you more and listen to you if you show you're serious. In those videos there is also a really good one on how to present logos and branding to clients to sell it better, and get extra jobs out of them like business cards/pens etc

        0 points
  • James LaneJames Lane, almost 2 years ago

    I've found (often with smaller companies) they don't understand the idea of choosing specific typography, colours, layouts etc. because they see the logo 'as' their brand - it's the only visual reference they associate to themselves. Maybe he could up the price a bit and say he will redo the brand which will include a logo amongst other elements?

    0 points