It’s an opportunity to tell your story!
In today’s competitive and brand sensitive marketplace, many of our clients have posed the question as to whether their logo is relevant; modern; eye-catching, etc.
In general, I like to boil this discussion down to one key question, and then reverse engineer the logo in order to determine whether it needs to be revised.
The Question is: Is your logo effective in communicating your brand and value to your target audience(s)?
What’s your ‘Brand Story?’
Now, this discussion can take on a life of its own, and we need to keep this blog to something less detailed than ‘War & Peace,’ so I’ll trim the discussion down to a few key aspects that apply to either a logo redesign or new development.
1. Is it you… or someone else?
Ask yourself these questions:
Q: Does your logo ‘appropriately’ represent your company; products and services to your target market”?
Q: Is your logo meaningful / relevant to your target clients?
Q: Does your logo provide brand differentiation?
Prior to entering into any detailed level of logo redesign or development that you research your competition to determine what is currently in play so that you can address these three questions effectively. Perform your research now to pay dividends later.
2. KISS (keep it simple… silly) I don’t want to imply that a logo necessarily needs to be simple and once dimensional; however there’s a tendency with some eager business owners and graphic designers to try and make the logo a catch-all for their brand… BIG MISTAKE.
One ‘big mistake’ that comes to mind is a re-developed logo for an aerospace parts company that went from being a fairly simple and recognizable logo to one that looks like a rainbow coloured Etch-a-Sketch blew up!
This company’s logo now looks like a poorly rendered version of a popular sun tan lotion… I’ve spoken to maybe a dozen other aerospace execs about the redesign and the consensus is: its hideous!
Here are a few guides to consider in design:
The inexperienced and over-zealous (yet well-meaning) designer may be tempted to add myriad graphic effects including drop shadows, gradients, various font styles and a variety of graphic elements… all of which add to the potential of creating an unrecognizable and difficult to recall logo.
This design / branding error creates a strong potential to nullify effective memory recall; making your logo and brand irrelevant.
Another major consideration in developing a logo is the colour and colour combinations.
Experienced graphic designers and art directors will advise (correctly) that certain colours and colour combinations impart specific feelings and emotional responses to viewers (mostly subliminally).
Additionally, certain colours may have significance and application to specific markets and industries. But remember; your logo may be used in multiple media applications and in a wide range of sizes.
Applications may include:
print and web advertising, branded marketing materials, websites, stationary, promotional materials, building and vehicle signage, packaging, uniforms and clothing, etc… so it’s in your best interest and most effective to use the KISS principal here.
So, once you’ve covered off these bases and you feel comfortable that you’ve addressed the potential pitfalls to ensure your logo will be strong, recognizable; only you and your designer will know the details.
The next step is to now develop a brand guideline document.
This provides your staff, partner organizations, media and external designers specific details as to how your logo shall be used to ensure your up-front work was not wasted.
The goal here is consistent and effective employment of your logo to help ensure brand building and recognition… so your current and perspective clients know who you are (brand development and recall).
The brand guide documents will include a variety of brand adherence and development aspects including:
logo variants and formats; colour versus black and white, effects, use of whitespace, typography, primary and secondary colour palettes, use of imagery, materials creative development, basic design templates, and much more.
The brand guide clarifies important details and conveys YOUR BRAND’S STORY!
Finally, Tell Your Story To THE WORLD!
Why did you go through a brand exercise anyway? Are you a new start-up, or an existing company?
If you’re going to invest the money and time (and we all recognize… time is money!) in a brand or rebranding initiative; you need to share that information with your stakeholders; ranging from internal (staff) to external (suppliers, vendors, current and perspective customers, and possibly banking and financial institutions, regulators etc).
In addition to the obvious updating of websites and marketing materials, advertising, social media etc, a very effective manner to ‘get the word out’ to a broad audience is to have a professionally developed media release, and ensure distribution occurs to the correct target audiences.
If you elect to use this technique to promote your rebrand; your company position and value proposition to your market, ensure you hire a professional to perform the job…. done correctly, media release development and distribution has strong potential to pay big dividends for your business.
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