So you’ve had a brilliant idea for a service or new product that is needed to fill a missing void. You have researched the industry, created a plan and now finally you have come up with a really cool business name either by analyzing the market place carefully and key word research or simply by inviting a few friends over and drinking way too many wines. Either way, you are excited about the prospect of being your own boss. Now what’s next?
There are a lot of things that you need to consider but for now lets just focus on your branding. According to the business dictionary branding is “the process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product in the consumers mind, mainly through advertising campaigns with a consistent theme.”
In this digital world where the competition is becoming fiercer day by day, its important that you not only stand out from the crowd but that you are seen to be the solution to your clients problems and the only solution! To do this, you MUST understand the needs and wants of your customers and potential customers.
So how do you do that? Well, it all starts with your logo and building a consistent brand with that logo throughout your business and everything that you touch the market place with. But where do you start when it comes to creating a logo? There are so many options. Should you have just a name, a symbol or both? Should you be recognized by a colour, or a particular font? Where do you start?
The answer is in your message. What do you want to be known for? What is the feeling that you want your clients to feel when they see your business branding? What is it that you stand for? What problem(s) do you solve? Do you want to be known as strong and reliable or creative and fun? Do you stand for connection or communication? Do you provide precision or price?
I suggest having a brain storming session with a group of friends, business associates, employees or even family members and play around with some words that describe what you do, who you are and what you solve. Then choose the three best ones and go to your computer. (And here is where the fun starts J)
Put those words into Google and look through the images that come up for those words. You can even do this with the key words for your products too. As you look through the vast selection of different options make notes of anything that you do or don’t like. Copy and save any images that appeal to you with comments as to what appeals to you specifically about that image. If you aren’t that computer savvy just putting these into a simple word document will do.
Then put your industry into Google and do the same thing. This will show you what is already being done out in the market place and will give you the opportunity to create an image that will have you standing out in the crowd. Once again, record what you do and don’t like and be as specific as you can.
I usually encourage my clients to go through this process first because your logo is going to be something that you are going to see a lot of, every day, and consequently you need to like it. Turning up to a designer and saying “here is my business name and this is what I do, now create me a logo” is like saying here is my baby now go and name it but make sure that you come up with a name that is unique and that I am going to like. Almost impossible! Designers are creative people but they can’t read your mind!
Now that you have all your images and notes written down you are ready to take that to a designer and have them come up with some ideas for a logo. I recommend getting a couple of different designer from at least two different designers. This way you wont be limiting the potential to just one creative mind and point of view but be willing to pay them each for their time and contribution.
For those of you who think that you don’t need a graphic designer…let me tell you from first hand experience, you need one if you want to look professional. A good graphic designer can be the difference between a business that looks like its run out of a garage or spare room and a business that looks professional and can demand the right prices for its products or services.
Once you have a few designs to choose from and you are making the choices necessary to narrow it down to ‘the one’, you need to think about this…keep it simple! Remember that this image needs to be easy to read, recognize and see from a distance. Think about how your logo is going to look enlarged on a sign or a wall or a car (even if you don’t intend having it on these it’s still a good exercise) and then what will it look like when it is printed small on a business card. Will it still be easily recognizable then?
Another thing to think about too is how will your logo look printed on shirts or even embroidered (which is a more professional look). Are people going to be able to see the detail? If not, then do you really need it? Or can it be done differently?
Then there is the choice of colour. Remembering again that you are going to be looking at this colour a lot throughout your business day so if you really don’t like pink then don’t have a pink logo or it’s going to annoy you within a year. Choose a colour that you like, but also one that is going to appeal to your target market too. Maybe do some research on colours and their effects on people?
Last, but by no means least…how is your logo going to look on a website? Have a look through some websites to see what colours and shapes appeal to you the most and, or course, what you think will appeal to your potential customers. Different colours create different feelings in people but that can also be different culturally too so as a parting point I will leave you with one thing to remember…Know your customers!
Written by Tegan Mathews of Blue Dog Digital Marketing www.bluedogdigitalmarketing.com.au