Should you crowdsource your logo?
We hear this argument from time to time:
"Why should I pay that much for a logo when I can outsource it to a crowdsourcing company and pay a fraction of that?"
After I staunch the bleeding and bandage my tongue, I still sometimes stumble over the answer. We certainlyunderstand the importance of saving money here - we're a small business that has to watch margins carefully.
But we wouldn't crowdsource things that are integral to our business to people we know nothing about - especially when it comes to credentials and experience.
And you certainly wouldn't want to do that with your personal life. I'm envisioning the conversation now:
"Ah yes, Doctor, I realize that I have a brain tumor. I definitely want to get a second opinion"
Ok, that's smart, right? But what if the conversation went this way?
"I think before I go under the knife I'll just see how cheap I can get this elsewhere. I searched Google and found 99Surgeries. Can you match their price? They say that they can slash - oh pardon the pun - my cost by ninety percent. And their degrees are just as reputable as yours - see, they even say so on their waiver. Uh, hello?"
Sadly, this may actually happen some day.
Like everything else, technology drives prices down over time - and that's a good thing, generally speaking. But as a business owner, brain surgery examples aside, there are few things that should be guarded closer than your brand.
You should be a part of your brand discovery process, and a part of its creation. We often deplore the big box stores because they kill small business. But small business needs to be competitive too. If you can't compete in price you have to compete in quality, originality and expertise. This applies to the original artwork of a brand, as much as it does to a painting on your wall.
de Novo's Branding Process Starts with Art
Here's a simplified glimpse into how our creative process starts. After the brand discovery process is explored, the personas are built and the ideation phase is complete, our art director starts with pen and ink. From there we choose the elements and sketches we feel best meet the criteria and start digitize, then tweak and color the artwork. We keep working with our clients until its perfect.
Could you get this process - from brand discovery to original artwork - from a crowdsourcing platform? Possibly. Hard to tell.
If your brand is your public face - and encompasses what you stand for - is original and creative thought and process important to you?
Crowdsourcing your brand is like buying "art" at Wal-Mart and then inviting your friends over for an art show. There's nothing wrong with mass-produced art if you like it - but just keep in mind that it's just decor that a million other people can get for the same price.
Value Your Brand
In short, if you value your brand, invest in it. de Novo founding partner Heather Smith Friedman is known for saying "Your brand is what people say about you when you're not in the room." When you crowdsource your logo, you're running the risk of wearing the same dress to prom as someone else.