I noticed a huge number of Retweets in one of my followed areas about a new beta experiment called Buildabrand.
According to their own blurb, it’s ‘an online branding system that allows entrepreneurs, businesses and individuals to create, manage and apply instant and personalised branding to their business.’
Wow, that sounds clever. Maybe even too good to be true.
You tell it what your name and values are and then it automatically generates a brand for you.
So, referring back to my previous post about what branding was and what branding is, it clearly isn’t a system to build a brand, it’s a system to sell you merchandise with logos on it.
Ever the cynic about systems like this, I have registered to se whether it will generate a new brand for me or for Purple Circle, so I’ll let you know if I get ‘accepted’ into their beta programme.
It seems like it could be a progression from the plethora of $50 logo sites out there, but it certainly won’t generate you a brand or anything close to a brand using their automatically, powered ‘algorithms’. (A pseudonym for seeing which logo they have in stock which seems the least wrong when compared to your values)
Years ago, I was on a TV programme called Love at first sight, which was quite like a low rent Blind Date. The idea was that you said some comical things about yourself and then Cupid, the Love Computer matched you to one of the three lovely ladies in front of you. What actually happened was that you wrote down on a piece of card which one irritated you the least and if they picked you too, you won a prize.
I suspect that the Buildabrand algorithm uses similar technology.
Building a brand is far more than throwing a logo at a set of values. It’s about living them in everything you do and the logo showing people they have arrived at the branded experience.
I added a link to this piece on Twitter and it obviously got picked up by the people at Buildabrand, who posted the following reply.
I think they do have a point in that they are lowering the barrier to entry for start-ups in that they may be able to produce decent logo design on the cheap. What they will not be able to do however is build a brand. They can possibly do one tiny element of what constitutes a brand.
My issue with this as a service is that they are claiming they can sell you something worth many thousands of £££’a for a few pence. Anyone who thinks they can shortcut their way to a brand is deluded.
Branding takes time effort and consistency, not throwing a few values into a computer and seeing what pops out.
I have to give great credit to the people at Buildabrand in that they have clarified their position a little further in what is quite a brave piece directly responding to some of the criticisms that myself and others have levelled at them. You can read that here.
What they are now saying is that they are not trying to replicate what true branding agencies provide, but offering a low cost solution to those who need a quick and dirty logo for a project they are looking at but can’t afford to do properly. They say they have a bank of 1800 logo ‘solutions’ built up ready for the onslaught. Maybe I’m being unkind in saying that sounds remarkably like an adaptation of clipart (which is exactly what the likes of $50 logo do), but only time will tell.
I’ve applied for the beta, so lets see if I can get onto their scheme (now extended to 200 freebies from the original 50) and then set them a worthy challenge. I’ll let you be the judges, by sharing the results here – when and if I get selected. They are now following me on Twitter, so it will be a test for them to decide whether they want me as a customer.