Years ago, in my employed status, I used to sit in a busy office not knowing which direction to take the brand I looked after. Looking backwards, now I realise, I didn't really know if what I was doing was right for our customers.
My uncertainty was influenced mainly by the personal opinions of others. I had to take onboard so many comments from key stakeholders, who pushed and pulled in different directions. I was confused.
Whoever shouted the loudest seemed to dictate how the brand looked. All the important decisions were made based on the tastes of the upper echelons of the staff. I knew this wasn't right, but I didn't know there was a way to change things.
Now I know that If we'd have hired a brand strategist, the subjectivity of the branding would've gone out the window, and we'd have known the direction we were heading in was the right one – whether or not we personally liked the look of it.
Branding decisions shouldn't be based on personal opinion. They should be geared towards attracting the target audience. What's the goal? Who's the type of customer that cares about it? This paves the way for how the design shapes up.
Staff preference then becomes needless because everyone involved understands why and where the brand is heading. A good creative strategy makes working lives easier and prevents a lot of headaches.