The difference between Amateur Vs Professional branding


How do you tell a local brand from a Nike or a Reebok, though you are a hundred yards away? They are both sneakers and look almost identical to the untrained eye.

You saw the famed Nike Swoosh or Reebok’s patented drop-R and Vector logo.

Thanks to the hard work of creative branding agencies, both logos have achieved cult status.

Every business finds ways to make its face the one you’d recognize in a crowd. They do it by building a brand. 

Specifically, a business develops unique product design, packaging, logo, and messaging. The sum total is known as a brand and the exercise as branding.

Wrong branding

Can branding be a DIY exercise?

Sure why not?

Anyone can open Canva, slap together some shapes and colors, and create a logo.

Unfortunately, nothing looks worse than a DIY logo.

There is far more to branding than a hastily put-together design.

How can you gain by employing a branding design agency? Simply put, what are the advantages that professional branding has over amateur attempts?

Let me lay it out in detail.

Read More: The impact of New technologies (such as AI) on Logo design

Where does amateur branding fail?

1. Amateur is plain

Maybe I meant plain and ugly.

A logo is not meant to be ‘safe’. The purpose of the symbol and text is to evoke a powerful reaction.

Brand recall is important to every business—from a premium smartphone that costs four figures to the neighborhood pizzeria not doing so well for the past six months.

Why is it so?

Because brand recall saves advertising dollars. If you could advertise constantly and draw attention to the product, you would probably not need a well-designed logo.

In the absence of that, your brand would be a favorite if you have an attractive and professionally designed logo.

2. Amateur lacks creativity

It is not a straightforward task for a branding design agency to create a logo.

There is an immense amount of work involved.

It all starts with a core concept. A logo is essentially about what a company represents.

The apple logo of the Apple brand is about the thirst for knowledge (Eve bit into the apple).

After the concept phase, the design is refined. Several patterns, colors, letterings are explored.

Ultimately one is selected after careful and objective study that might involve focus groups.

It is near impossible for you to run your business, set up a supply chain, work on product development, and also devote that much time and energy towards creating a design.

3. Amateur is expensive 

I can hear you saying, “But if I do it myself, I save dollars.”

Ask yourself if that is true, or are you deceiving yourself? 

A great logo is an integral part of marketing. It brings customers and that footfall drives revenue.

Maybe today you will save a few hundred or a thousand dollars on logo generation. But think long term. How many customers do you think you missed out on?

A hundred a month? A thousand a year? That is vastly more than employing a professional creative branding agency and costs you the topline.

Read More: Branding is an investment, not an expense, here is why.

How does professional branding succeed?

1. Objective outlook

They have no skin in the game. It’s as simple as that.

Looking at a business from a neutral perspective has its advantages.

A branding consultant can judge its performance, core values, and credo far better than an employee or the owner.

Of course, it’s not wrong for anyone from inside of the business to favor it. In fact, if it were not so, it would be amiss.

But emotions put a wrench in the works when it comes to branding.

2. Greater innovation

Most probably you do not know graphic design. There is a chance you have never even heard about it.

Maybe you are not even an artist and have never drawn a sketch in your life.

How do you expect to create a design from scratch? A design that has to be attractive, can be remembered easily, and encapsulates your business?

I can’t do so many things. I am terrible at repairing gadgets, awful at preparing tax forms, and forgettable when I cook.

I get an expert to do these. It might cost a few dollars here and there, but the end result is perfect.

Same with innovation and design inspiration. An expert would be probably not 2X or 5X but 50X better.

3. Better tools

Do you know how to work with Adobe Illustrator?

If not, are you at least a power user of Canva?

It takes time to learn to use these softwares. A lot of training and several hundred hours of practice goes into making them jump through the hoops.

Can it be possible that a free tool, a scratchy web application, can do the same job? Why would these tools cost hundreds of dollars if a cheap website could do an equally good job?


4. Proven record

This is last but definitely not the least.

Experience matters.

Someone designing their fortieth logo is better than someone on their first (and only) one.

Branding is not a matter of impulse. It evolves through careful management and nurturing. A logo is an aspect, but there is a lot more.

A brand strategy agency can do a lot more than you imagine. An experienced brand designer can literally craft a story, create an image that goes along with it and sum it all up with a bespoke logo.

For those who are not creative, it is stressful to be one suddenly. 

The job is better left to illustrators and designers who work with colors and know the difference between Absinthe Green and Lime Green. 

The sum and substance…

A recognizable brand is a potent weapon in your arsenal as a business owner.

When the economy is down, a great brand can get you through tough times because your customers keep on returning.

When the economy is buoyant, a great brand can propel sales to the stratosphere.

DIY can never supplant the efforts of a professional creative branding agency. Make your choice wisely and you will reap the rewards for a long time to come.

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