by Calvin Cox on July 29, 2008
We hear these words tossed around the marketing round table all the time; branding, logo design, typography, personal branding, brand you, brand me, brand us. But what exactly does that mean to you. Well frankly it should mean a lot to you. With the introduction of the web base economy a company’s logo design and branding are probably two of the most important factors in achieving success in today’s highly competitive market.
A lot of us choose our company names way before we know what products the company will sell or what kind of service the company will offer. Our logos are based on the hottest trendiest typography that just hit the graphic design scene. We hire a graphic designer who’s ‘up’ on the newest trends and pay for a cool trendy logo that looks great but says nothing about our product or service.
WHEN TRENDY ISN’T COOL:
This is not an uncommon practice, especially for designer entrepreneurs. Our background in design makes us an easy target for this kind of short term thinking. Let’s take the idea one step further: So you’ve designed your killer logo and created your website around it. 6 to 8 months later it’s no longer cool to use the ’28 Days Later’ font for anything but a reference of what not to use. But you -Genius, you have this font in your logo… oops. Yes, my thoughts exactly. you have two options: keep the dated logo, which will more or less create an old image for your company and brand (not recommended) or redesign your logo; which will set you back about 8 months of your company’s branding campaign; not to mention all the time and money that went into the logo design, business cards, marketing materials and… oh yeah, the company coffee cups.
HERE’S A BETTER IDEA:
Take a breather and think about your company’s name, the product or service, your target market and your competition. Ideally you’d like to create a synergy between all these factors: The company name speaks volume about your product or service, the logo pushes that one step further, your image logo marries well with the former two and the product or service simply brings it to life and finally all together marries well with your target market.
THE EXCEPTION TO THE RULE:
Please don’t take what I’m saying so literal as to call your company DAN’S COW HOUSE, have a logo design with a black and white cow skin color typography and have a branded cow as your image logo, selling to local farmers. Depending on your market you may have to employ more forward thinking exploring out of box abstract ideas and concepts when branding. Remember that your design should be centered around your number one priority, your customers. Knowing your customers habits and thought process will help a great deal. Companies that have created a brand around names that may not seem literal are of course Apple, Google, Nike and Yahoo. Their vision and market shift thinking contributed greatly to their successes. I came across a cool website that gives you an idea of what people think about some of the more popular brands in the marketplace. Take a look, it may inspire you when considering your company’s logo and branding strategy. And finally make sure when your logo is finally finished that your gut agrees with the decision your brain made. Happy Branding, CHEERS.
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