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Recruitment businesses (or “people businesses” as they are increasingly known) can appear, on the surface, to be relatively straightforward. As such, you may think creating a new logo or website may be a similarly simple exercise.

But the truth is, like all businesses, recruitment organisations have their own unique ways of doing things and a bit more investment at the beginning to understand this will reap much greater long-term benefits.

So, before you embark on your own branding journey, Jonnie Galvin Wright, MD of Stuff (as TIMESTWO Investments brand agency), thought it might be worth sharing some of the most common mistakes to make when thinking about how best to tackle a re-brand.

Thinking it’s “just a logo”

A logo should be part of a complete brand and a brand affects the entire way you position and promote yourself as a business. So, it pays to get under the skin of your company, to review its unique features and benefits before pulling together a well-considered and structured brand strategy that all design work flows from. This will take a bit more time, but the resulting brand will have much firmer foundations.

Not standing for something

Wallpaper. We all have it. Some of it even looks nice. But what does it mean and what does it stand for? Likewise, a new sparkly logo or website design may look nice but not clearly carry the communication punch it needs. And, even worse, it may look like everyone else’s. Any good brand strategy should be crystal clear about your proposition – preferably in as few words as possible – while also ensuring you stand out clearly from the pack.

Forgetting it’s everyone’s brand

It’s crucial to the success of any brand that all team members buy in to it. And change always throws up problems. So, sharing some of the thinking up front, involving people and creating internal communication programs can dramatically help to increase brand success. Similarly, your staff and customers probably know more than you think. And their responses to what the business stands for may surprise you. There are a range of techniques that can used to unearth real insight and it’s probably that insight that is going to make your brand stand for something.

Believing a newly branded website will solve everything

It can be tempting to think your new website created as part of initial creation or rebrand will suddenly act like your best salesperson ever and all your headaches will disappear. They won’t. But it will give you the best opportunity to improve your sales. Remember websites are projects in their own rights and ensure you get the branding nailed before considering the technical aspects of a website and all that comes from that. Also see below.

Failing to create great content for the long-term to keep up marketing momentum

So, you now have a shiny new logo and website. But it now needs nurturing, updating and managing and aligning with PR and much more. So, longer term marketing should be part of the original brand discussions, new marketing assets should be built around your brand strategy and budgets given to drive this forward.

Assuming your competition is minimal or not as good as you

Do you know what your competitors are up to, what they say, how they position themselves, what colours they use, what straplines and trademarks are in place? If you don’t you could be about to waste a lot of money. Even worse you could be about to underestimate their performance in your sector. A new brand must take all this into account.

Not being consistent

Six months in (and often earlier) the temptation starts. Tweak a colour, add a new typeface, use a photo that does not match the others. This is the beginning of the end. Before long you have a brand that looks like mess. So, ensure brand guidelines are agreed, stuck to and always put a brand guardian in place. No excuses

Jonnie Galvin-Wright is the Managing Director of Stuff. Stuff is an integrated design and advertising agency and is a specialist in branding people businesses. Stuff is also TIMESTWO Investments approved branding partner and as such is actively working alongside TIMESTWO’s associates to accelerate their business potential through considered and creative branding strategies.