This series includes:
Small Business Marketing 101
Step 1: Position and Plan
Step 2: Create an Identity
Step 3: Spread the word through Internet Marketing
Step 3: Spread the word through Internet Marketing
Step 5: Measure your Social Media ROI
If you were to take a stroll down your neighborhood, you will notice a variety of businesses that sell products and services, some of which are very tempting to the eyes. There will also be some that are doing exceptionally well, that have the Yelp! sticker on the window indicating that they are known and very well liked on the World Wide Web. You may or may not have heard of Yelp!, but it is an online product and services resource for entrepreneur’s and franchises alike. Did you notice that some of these businesses are just like yours, except that they may be taking measures to increase their business? In other words, they could be using the World Wide Web to get orders via e-mail, telephone, but not the traditional foot traffic. The environment has changed, people are now searching for products and services online, and if they can get same service with a click of a mouse, or a quick telephone call, 9 times out 10, they will continue to come back to you.
Now that we have your attention, if you were to walk into that same store you will notice that they have updated their storefront, have a distinct design and logo, perhaps a fresh coat of paint, investment in new technology, a innovative website, you get the idea. You sit there and think how can they afford such things in a recession? Well, it could be a variety of factors, but one thing is certain they managed to create an identity both traditional and non-traditional.
This is just one example of a business that is taking their marketing strategy to a competitive platform. There are several key issues to consider in the process of strategic design. You must take into account 10 fundamental criteria when you execute an identity for your business and/or organization. Keep in mind that this design should endure the test of time.
The criteria listed below will help you to execute your brand identity, or even assist you in asking the proper questions before you start the process – or at the least it will help you to get started!
Take into consideration the typography and graphic treatment when you are working on your logo design. Many people make the mistake of overlooking the most important image of your business. From what we have come across, businesses sometimes are hesitant to make such changes not realizing that perhaps they could be losing out on potential business. Some questions that you need to ask yourself are: What is the message that you are trying to convey to your niche market? Will the logo withstand durability under the conditions of light, atmosphere, or different mediums? Will this logo capture my market?
Many companies today use their logo through the use of applications. Examples include, but are not limited to, websites, print advertisements, newspapers, outdoor signage, silkscreen printing, embroidery, packaging, etc. It is important that your logo is compatible through any form that is applicable for your business.
You know that cliché ‘less is more’? Well, it is true. It is really easy to take a simple concept and turn it into a logo that is so complex that you won’t even know what it represents anymore. The golden rule is that the brands that hold the greatest equity today have embraced simplicity.
Does your logo allow your business to set itself apart amongst your competition? Does your target market understand the product/service that you will be selling/providing? However, if you were to ask yourself the following question then you might want to take a step back to create a new strategy. Does your mark have a similar look and feel as your competitors? If the answer is yes, you may want to consider a new direction.
Does your logo spark an interest to your target market? At first glance, will your logo be able to provide a quick recall, or will it get lost in the clutter pile with the rest of the images in the market?
Don’t get so carried away with colors and the use of gradients. Technology is constantly changing so we can push the limits when it comes to presentation. It is important to begin design work in black and white, taking color into consideration as you progress. Keep in mind that despite the fact that technology is always changing, businesses today still utilize printers and fax machines that deliver in black and white. Make sure to take extra steps to ensure that your logo can be used in any medium without compromising presentation. Don’t ever take the risk of misrepresenting your brand. This can either make or break you.
Relatively speaking, logos used to last between 15-20 years. Today, the life cycle is approximately 5 years. Many companies redesign their logo to move forward with trends and they strategize to maintain themselves in the competitive market. It is important that your logo conveys your position in the market. It is not just about having the best look; it is about having a conceptualized meaning behind the logo that sells your product and/or service.
How will the logo work with other design applications, images, and typography treatments? If you plan on having other marketing material, your logo should blend with ease when integrated into your supporting material. The last thing you want is for your logo to compromise your business, that would be fatal.
Will your logo be easy to read and interpret? Will it conceptualize your business? What will your target market say about your company when they view your logo? Your logo should positively describe your business, no matter what!
Will your logo be recognizable by a group of audience members? Will they be able to recall your logo ten to fifteen days later?
Designing a logo is a crucial part of a business. An indicia creates an everlasting impression on an organization, and what it will reflect as a business. Follow these ten steps to guide you through your strategic design process. After all, if you don’t put that investment into your business, then who else will?