A good brand has power. It transcends its product or service. It symbolizes something greater to people. But what happens if a brand isn’t achieving your company’s vision? What if things change so much that your existing brand doesn’t make sense anymore? Rebranding is common – healthy, in fact. Managing a company rebrand, however, comes with its own set of challenges. To help navigate this exciting and sometimes tricky process, see below for our step-by-step guide.
Biting the bullet and registering for a trade show is something many retailers put off because of the expense, the necessity of travel planning and the inconvenience of having to set aside regular work responsibilities.
If you’re one of the procrastinators, however, you may want to reconsider your priorities. Skipping your industry’s most prominent trade shows may mean you’re missing golden opportunities to network with vendors, weigh your competition, expand your inventory, learn about new trends and innovations, and gain a fresh perspective on best practices.
Such events can give you an up-close-and-personal qualitative view of what’s going on in the real world — a view that often transcends quantitative number crunching and market research. In fact, surveys show 66 percent of all trade show attendees are motivated by the chance to increase their personal knowledge.
Brand positioning is similar to a first date. When you meet someone you want to know better, you put on your best behavior and try to impress them. At least, that’s the goal. You aim to convey who you are, and what you are interested in. If you are genuinely focused on identifying whether or not you are the right fit for one another, you will be true to your character, your interests, and your values. The same is true of your brand.
You cannot be all things to all people, although at times, it does sound appealing. The purpose of positioning your brand is to go a step beyond telling the world about the products or services you offer. Your goal is to create an emotional connection with the customers you want to attract.
In an article in Entrepreneur by Jim Joseph, the president of a New York-based communications agency, Jim discusses the importance of identifying what your customer is looking for, beyond what they need from your product or service.
It’s a new day and you’re ready to launch your business. You’ve developed a solid plan and you’re ready to dive into the development of a new logo for your company. You call a business meeting and discuss it amongst yourselves. You’re on the cusp of making the decision to hire the “Greatest Design Firm Ever” when your business partner says, “There’s so much clip art on the web. Why can’t we just use something like that? Plus, all the stuff on the web’s free, right?”
You’re tempted. It would save the company some money and a clip art logo will be good enough, right? Unfortunately, if you chose that path, you’d be wrong on both counts. If you look at the idea of using clip art for a logo objectively, you might find that it could cost you more than money. Even if you only use it during the startup phase, you could lose brand equity, which could be costly to your entire business.
Branding is a crucial part of building a successful business. Branding shapes the way customers perceive your company’s product, reputation, customer service and standards. A unique brand shapes your business’s presence in the marketplace and differentiates it from the competition.
The cornerstone of powerful branding is a strong logo. Successful logos are memorable, recognizable and accurately reflect their businesses. And as anyone who’s gone through a logo creation process knows, they’re balanced combinations of the right colors, fonts and designs.
Establishing a strong logo, however, doesn’t mean that you need to leave it untouched all year long. In fact, your logo can be decorated much like your home – to represent the seasons, the holidays and what’s important to your business at various times of year.
Take advantage of this seasonal branding to resonate with your clients and benefit your company in new ways.
A great logo can be like gold to your small business. It acts as your abbreviated calling card, summarizing your company’s beliefs, culture and quality without the need for any further explanation. Further, the colors, fonts and unique graphical aspects of each logo are a testament to the brand they represent.
They may also represent a significant financial investment.
“Your brand’s logo is the sort of thing that can have a bigger effect on your business than you first think,” writes John Rampton of Forbes. “The wrong logo can make your brand come off as unprofessional, assuming anyone notices you at all. A good logo will create instant recognition within the minds of your target audience.”
That’s why it’s important to protect your logo from being copied, mimicked or knocked off by lesser brands without your permission, a crime otherwise known as trademark infringement. In the most typical scenario, someone creates a logo similar to yours to confuse customers into associating the two products; they knowingly or unknowingly use important elements of your design; or they commandeer the entire thing. Penalties for such misuse range from cease and desist orders to product seizure, fines and jail sentences, depending on the likelihood the logos were confused, the perpetrator’s intentions, the extent to which the logo was used commercially and the extent to which its elements are deemed generic.
In last week’s blog we learned about the world’s most expensive logo designs. But until then, this week we’ll tackle the question of how much a professional logo should cost.
Whether you own a startup or an established business, creating a professional logo can build trust, increase awareness, encourage emotional attachment, and ultimately deliver new customers. That’s backed up by a recent study published in the Journal of Business Research.
“The aesthetic appeal of brand logos significantly strengthens customers’ commitment to a brand,” the research confirms. “Managers need to consider brand logos as more effective and powerful tools in the management of customer-brand relationships than previously thought.”
Company logos have become something of an art form over the course of time. That said, there’s clearly a wide range of opinions on exactly what constitutes quality of design.
While some logos are fiendishly clever, others can be somewhat baffling. In the clever camp are obvious winners like the movement-insinuating Nike swoosh, which cost just $35 to produce in 1971 and is now recognized by 97 percent of Americans. Landing squarely in the “what-were-they-thinking” category is the “cover the earth” symbol for Sherwin Williams, which is under fire for being environmentally insensitive but apparently kept on board for its longevity.
Business logos have actually been around for several thousands of years, dating back to when ancient Egyptians used hieroglyphs to brand animals and Romans and Greeks marked pottery by manufacturer. Later, coats of arms symbolized status and property throughout Europe, while hallmarks were stamped on the work of craftsmen.
A logo is the face of your business. A memorable one can create instant recognition for your brand, establish your credibility as a leading provider of your product or service, and help you stand out in the marketplace.
You have to weigh many variables when considering the look of your logo. It needs to communicate what your business sells, as well as who you are as a company, what you stand for, and what consumers should expect from you. The colors you choose and the overall design must speak to consumers on multiple levels.
If you’re diving into logo design, you may be unsure where to even begin. Start with the basics and gain an understanding of the four main types of logo designs. Here are four types of logo designs to consider with examples of logos we’ve recently designed: