Stop Asking Me If I Like Your Logo

Stop Asking Me If I Like Your Logo

Listen to this episode. http://traffic.libsyn.com/websearchsocial/0117-blog-stop-asking-me-if-i-like-your-logo.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download | EmbedSubscribe: iTunes | Android | RSSListen to previous episodes on Stitcher, iTunes or Libsyn. Call it a side effect of social media. There’s a constant stream of people, on Facebook especially, posting up three or four versions of a logo and throwing this question out into the general population: Which logo do you like best? Don’t raise your hand if you’ve done this – I won’t make you. Just cringe a little inside because I want to tell you why that’s a bad idea and what you should be doing instead. The Problem With Asking For Opinions There are a few (bad) reasons why people ask for opinions about their logos in the first place, and this is part of a bigger problem that should be addressed before a single shade of color or slant of font is discussed. Asking for opinions says, “I’m designing this myself but I don’t really know what to do so… help!” Asking for opinions says, “I hired a cheap designer and I can’t keep asking for revisions so… help!” Asking for opinions says, “I hired a designer but I don’t really trust him so… help!” I’m not saying this to be critical. I’m saying it because I want your logo to be better than that. Because if you feel any one of the above then it’s time to stop and rethink your approach. Nobody’s opinion will help if you find yourself in one of those scenarios. There are better ways to design (and even ask for opinions about) a logo, especially...
Use This Visual Identity Guide To Make A Splash On Your Website And Social Media

Use This Visual Identity Guide To Make A Splash On Your Website And Social Media

Listen to this episode.http://traffic.libsyn.com/websearchsocial/0060-blog-use-this-visual-identity-guide-to-make-a-splash-on-your-website-and-social-media.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download | EmbedSubscribe: iTunes | Android | RSSListen to previous episodes on Stitcher, iTunes or Libsyn. I want to share a story about our small business that can apply to any small business. Please listen to the audio version above for some additional insight. Branding consistency is important. I think most people would agree on that. But a lot of times businesses get so caught up in their day to day operations that they fail to present a unified visual identity or worse, they don’t portray a strong message about the product or service they’re selling. Today I want to talk to you about a small business that made this error. They failed to unify their branding while at the same time failing to project the message that generates revenue for them. What business made such an egregious error? Mine. Yup. We did that. Or rather failed to do that. The Background In September we launched this podcast. We launched it with the intention of bringing our brand of digital marketing to a new audience in the hope of educating, entertaining and stimulating new business. When we launched the podcast, we created all kinds of visuals: social covers, podcast covers, ID3 tag images and website graphics. We produced this material quickly with the intention of iterating corrections over time. Did we end up doing that? Nope. We just got too busy. Then one day we got an email from a fan who said that she wanted to explore our podcast content but that we made it hard to navigate through episodes. She was right. So...
So You Think You Can Brand… But Do You Know What It Takes To Keep Customers Loyal?

So You Think You Can Brand… But Do You Know What It Takes To Keep Customers Loyal?

What does “branding” mean to you? Does it mean a relevant logo? Effective visuals? A strong message and consistency in your messaging? Some or all of the above? You’d be right – but only partially. Your brand is part image, made up of pretty pictures and power words, but it also runs much deeper than that. And I don’t know about you, but I’ve never done repeat business with a company because they had a nifty-looking logo. If you want repeat customers – nay, fiercely loyal customers! – then here are some things you can do that are even more important than the lovely trimmings we seem to get so caught up in. Listen Ah, the lost art. As people, we’re so often distracted by our email alerts and calendar notifications and the incessantly ringing phone or latest Facebook status updates that we can start to lose track of the other people around us. That’s why families now have “cell-phone-free time”. As businesses, we’re caught up in the distractions too, but they come in the form of Facebook contests and social campaigns and email split-testing. The day that you start to pay more attention to your marketing than to your customers is the day your brand has gone awry. Customers don’t do business with you because you rocked that last email subject line. They do business with you because you pay attention to what they need. You know what they want (and you give it to them!) You value their opinions and hear and respond to their complaints. The next time you’re worried about whether you’ve got the verbs...
Does Your Logo Work Or Does It Just Look Pretty? 9 Design Questions You Never Thought To Ask

Does Your Logo Work Or Does It Just Look Pretty? 9 Design Questions You Never Thought To Ask

You can get a logo designed for five bucks. Or ninety-nine. Or several – or many – thousands. You’ll probably see a vast difference in quality, attention to detail, service and about a hundred other things, but logos of all styles and at all price points have one thing in common: they can all miss the mark completely. Of course, if you paid five bucks you’ll be a little less heartbroken than if you just coughed up two grand, but the end result can still be something that might look pretty but fail to do its job. What’s the job of a logo, you may ask? Simple: it’s to be a visual representation of your brand and business. We’re visual creatures. We recognize shapes and colors long before we can speak and we continue to identify with symbols throughout our entire lives. So what your symbol says about your business is important. It will stick in people’s minds – or not. It will create a connection with your company – or not. And it will be part of your core identity – or not. How you approach the design process is what matters. And it has a lot less to do with the pretty colors than you might think. If you want an effective logo, here’s some homework for you. Answer these questions and if you can’t, stop until you can. A logo isn’t your brand but it’s an integral visual component of it, so take the time to make sure yours speaks for you. 1. How Do You Want Your Name To Appear? This may sound like a...
8 Things You Should Know Before Designing Your Logo

8 Things You Should Know Before Designing Your Logo

Ready to start developing some branding materials? Maybe you have a new business or one that’s starting to take off and you want to represent it visually. Or maybe you’re ready for a bit of rebranding… shedding old skin and old ways and refocusing your business values and goals. Either way, you’re ready for a logo! But before you start, here are a few things to consider that will make the process easier and the outcome better. 1. What Should Your Logo Say? I don’t mean literally “say” as in a tagline, but what’s the message you’re trying to get across? This speaks to your goals and values and also to your company culture. A logo is part of your identity which means – no surprise here! – that you need to know what your identity is. If you don’t have a value proposition, a USP or something similar, you’ll be hard pressed to capture any meaning in your logo. And yes, your logo should have meaning. It isn’t simply someone’s art school project or a cool-looking symbol to spruce up your business card. It’s a visual representation of your brand. Figure out who you are and what you stand for and then decide what essence you want to capture in your logo. Do you want to convey a message of forward thinking? Or one of tradition? Risk-taking? Or security? Non-conformity? Or conservatism? Retro, modern, friendly, reserved, sophisticated, simple? Yup, you can say all that with a logo. The colors, fonts, styles and other elements will derive from your identity so knowing who you are before deciding how to...
Creating A Logo For Your Business Does Not Have To End In Disaster

Creating A Logo For Your Business Does Not Have To End In Disaster

A logo is a fundamental part of any brand’s overall marketing mix. What isn’t usually recognized is that developing a quality logo is not easy or fast. It can be a gut wrenching process. It requires that the business be in tune with itself and have a unified vision of its mission. You would be surprised by how many businesses I meet with that draw a blank when I ask, “What is the mission of this business?” All of a sudden the “just make a logo” project turns into the “who are we” project. This article isn’t about defining a mission or even really about how to design a logo. The purpose of this article is for me to share my experiences working with businesses on the creative process and where things have the potential to go awry, in the hopes that these experiences will make your logo development process smoother. So how can developing a logo end up in disaster? 1. The Sales Department Has A Say To be fair, you can replace “sales department” with any department that isn’t marketing. The point here is that creating a logo is a process that should be driven by the marketing side of the business; whether that’s an in-house process or a process driven by an outside agency, the concept is the same. I’m not suggesting that “marketing” is better than “sales” or any other department, but every department has its function and typically the marketing department’s charge is to sculpt how the outside world perceives the business. It’s an entirely different set of very necessary skills. What’s a better...