Good job Brandi! This is a good primer for anyone working in marketing to show their clients. I'm not a graphic designer but I recognize good design when I see it. For someone like me who's focus is on stuff like SEO and copywriting, a good looking brand goes a loooong way to making my job easier.
Branding + Experience = Trust
You work hard and so should your branding. Here are some tips.
A good way to think of branding is that it is your business’ face. It’s the first thing anyone will ever see without knowing who you are. Your logo is someone’s first impression and you want it to be good. That first reaction could very well predict if someone does business with you.
Subconsciously (or not) we all judge based on appearance. Just think if you showed up to your high-paying, executive job in a swimsuit. Why would you clothe your company in a less than professional identity?
A good logo should be easily recognizable, embody all of the positive things associated with the company it represents, and be the envy of its competition. The design should be flexible enough to look stately on all media where it is placed.
Simple is usually best. Too complex ends up complicating everything from market acceptance to trade marking.
Things to keep in mind when deciding how to develop a company logo and marketing materials.
- Research the competition: find out what has worked, is working, and what failed miserably.
- Utilize colors that speak to the psychological make-up of your target audience.
- Consider what makes you different from your competitors and what their pros and cons are, as well as your own.
- Try to envision packaging, labels, banners, brochures, ad campaigns, websites and any other piece of marketing that your logo would go on and how it would look.
- Look for design flaws, possible faux pas or double entendres.
- Think of ways to make the brand stand out and on its own against its competitors.
On top of the branding and proper marketing of that brand is experience. How successful your brand and company can be is based off of the actual experience the client has had with your company. This could be either in person or through marketing materials that make sense, are interesting and well designed.
If customers have a good experience that adds extra kudos for future recognition. Even bad experiences have a way of making you stand out by how your company handles the slighted customer. This builds trust.
So, essentially your brand and their experience with it/you creates trust -- or breaks it.
Other tips for logo design:
A solid color scheme should house between 1 and 3 colors realistically. Utilize examples like Microsoft (1 color), Apple (1 color), Macy’s (2 color), Nordstrom (1 color), Starbucks (2 color), BizNik (2 colors), etc.
Font selection is a big one as well. See above names. A presence that is easy to read is best; sleek lines, nothing jagged, pixilated or too funky -- unless that's what you are going for, but more than likely not. Should be memorable and match the general tone of the overall design. Try to limit the type faces to two, otherwise it may not hold a professional appearance.
If you have any questions, feel free to comment or message me. If you are a fellow designer, feel free to critique, share your experience, or add to the tips.
Learn more about the author, Brandi L Pierce.
Comment on this article
Posted by Elge Premeau, Portland, Oregon |
Apr 19, 2008
Posted by Pamela Ziemann, Bellevue, Washington |
Apr 20, 2008
Thanks for the article Brandi - Amazing how Trust is more and more #1 in people's minds.
Posted by ron zisman, pearl river, New York |
Apr 20, 2008
playing devils advocate. is it the brand that make the company or the company that makes the brand? Would the ibm logo be a world killer if it wasn't for the culture and determination of the company behind it? what makes for a lasting brand? a graphic device? coca cola is one of the ugliest and best know graphic devices in advertising history. and it defined the idea of branding. just causing trouble...
Posted by Judy Dunn, Seattle, Washington |
Apr 20, 2008
I care deeply about the topic of your article, Brandi. (Just completed my first e-book a few weeks ago: The Solopreneur's Personal Branding Toolkit.) It is so refreshing to see a designer who recognizes that the branding process goes deeper than merely what colors you are going to use in your logo. Because the logo may be the first thing a prospect sees, but their experiences, their perceptions and your promise (and whether you fulfill it) are what really brands you in your customers' eyes.
Whatever we define branding as, and there are various definitions out there, it is incredibly important to get it right.
And, yes, your brand IS your trust. Thanks for the thoughtful article.