The “80% solution”
I’ve heard a very practical yet deep insight from fighter jet pilot David Fravor in a podcast. He explained why he was a big believer of the 80% solution:
“You don’t have to be a genius or super smart to be a fighter pilot. As a matter of fact you don’t. It really comes down to the ability to think very quickly. 80% solution is typically good enough. Because if you overthink it, you are behind.”
This really struck a chord with me. You can imagine what this means when it’s applied to jets. But it’s so true for startups too. There is no time to agonise over every single decision. You need to be agile and pivot quickly. Sometimes you’ve just got to trust your gut. Otherwise you’ll get left behind.
Can this idea be applied to branding without compromising on quality? I believe it can. It's all about combining the right amount of knowledge with intuition, to make fast inspired decisions.
What is a brand sprint?
Jake Knapp from Google Ventures wrote about the concept of a 3-hour brand sprint in a 2017 article. So the sprint terminology is nothing new. Unfortunately a 3-hour session can’t delve deep enough to deliver an overarching brand that can be put to use immediately.
Brand sprints can develop well-rounded brands, ready for launch within a matter of days. They can include the creation of the brand identity (purpose, values and personality), name, visual identity, verbal and written identity.Say hello to our brand sprints, designed to launch brands in just 10 days.
What is the process of branding?
Whether you are doing a big rebranding project or a fast-paced brand sprint, the process should cover the same key steps:
Getting to know your business, target audience and competitors.
Distilling the brand identity: your brand purpose, values and personality.
Creating the visual language and written messages.
Applying your brand across relevant touchpoints, e.g. website and social media.
How much branding do you need for a new business?
Branding is more than just a logo. It should impact every area of your organisation. So how do you know what you really need and when it’s ok to stop?
Some elements of branding are must-haves for almost all new businesses:
- A brand identity, including your brand purpose, core values and personality.
- A good name and domain address.
- A logo, typographic style, colour palette and some graphic artworks.
- Email signatures and a digital presence, including a website.
- Carefully crafted key messaging.
Having a list like the above is the easy part. Knowing when a creative project should conclude is harder. This is why a time-boxed approach can be really helpful.
Interested in costs? Read my article on how much startups should spend on branding.
Keep the branding project time-boxed
Having a fixed timeframe for any project can greatly increase efficiency. It adds a sense of urgency and makes everyone involved more focused on the task at hand. This method can also be applied to branding.
Block out the noise and focus
You need to remove all distractions and immerse yourself in your branding project. That’s the only way you will progress quickly. Book a few days or a couple of weeks in your schedule to focus solely on your brand. Disrupting your flow will cost you time. Branding projects can run for many months. This is necessary for established organisations going through major overhaul. But it’s not warranted for new startups, and probably won’t produce the strongest outcomes either.
Be decisive and embrace the 80% solution
It’s the only way brand sprints can succeed and bring value to your new business. So make time, focus and develop your brand before your moment has passed.
Are you ready to develop your organisation's branding? Get in touch to find out how we can help you.