Through our association with business incubator The Food Foundry we were recently approached by the founders of The Wings Co. – an Australian start-up specialising in buffalo chicken wings – to design their brand identity. They’d already been tempted by and, not surprisingly, disappointed by the efforts of one of the many bargain basement outfits who knock out logos ‘for a fiver’. This had resulted in a logo accurately described with typical Oz frankness as “a pair of flying b*ll*cks”. It’s debatable if this was worth even a fiver but without question to fly with it would have ended in a humiliating crash landing for The Wings Co. The lesson here is that as far as creativity goes, you get what you pay for. Okay, they hadn’t lost a lot of money but they had lost faith in the creative process and their pride in their business acumen had been dented.
Lesson learned, The Wings Co. came to Mascot. We reassured them that a limited budget didn’t mean they had to settle for unconsidered creativity and impersonal treatment. We’re keen to encourage start-ups and understand that they may need extra guidance through the creative process. We took time with The Wings Co. to find out exactly what their objectives and aspirations were so we could design a fitting brand identity. After some friendly negotiation we agreed a cost (quite a bit more than a fiver but substantially less than we’d charge an established business) and started work.
We suggested that ‘The Wings Co.’ might be too generic a name to define the unique character of their business and we provided a selection of alternatives. ‘Dingo Wings’ was settled on as a distinctive name relevant to the Australian founders. Initial sketches were quickly transformed into a couple of quirky logo options with chicken/dingo hybrids. At this point the client’s backers decided that in Australia the dingo is a dog without the right pedigree, and requested a name change.
Subjectivity hiccups like this are often part of the process and it’s important that creatives are able to bite the bullet and start afresh even if it’s through gritted teeth. After all, collaboration and challenge between client and designer more often than not lead to more effective solutions.
Perth being on Australia’s West coast ‘The West Wings Co.’ was the name ultimately approved. It’s relevant to the business and provides opportunities for additional brand assets. The final logo design emphasises the location with a weather vane featuring a chicken rather than a cockerel pointing West: a solution pertinent on more than one level. The strapline ‘Go where the wings take you’ is another nod to the ‘go west’ theme.
The West Wings Co. is now ready to launch with a brand identity they’re very happy with and we reckon the initial investment in their branding will help them fly further than they would with a logo costing a fiver.
Although the temptation to look for the cheapest option is understandable, working closely with designers who care is a better way of maximising budget – especially for start up businesses who need to make immediate impact. A uniquely tailored brand identity is vital – and it doesn’t have to break the bank.