When we start talking about logos, we stop looking ahead for a while and stop our association with it on the borders of the branding frontier but logos have had a deep, rich and an immensely interesting history with most of them having intriguing histories into their formation and budgets.
A logo is an artistic personification of your brand ideology and it is used to serve the purpose of providing a “Face” which people can associate with the name of the brand but there is more than which meets the eye in some of them which are sure to make you interested in finding more about them, let’s look at some of the most amazing stories that iconic logos hide beneath their immense popularity and mass appeal:
Who would have thought that one of the most recognizable logos would be made in Spencerian script, which was one of the types of fonts used by people pursuing penmanship at the time. Frank M. Robinson was an initial partner and a bookkeeper by profession when he designed this logo as he believed that two C’s would work wonders in marketing the soft drink, hence the logo came to life.
It might now be worth billions of dollars as a trademark of the company but it was designed for $0, funny thing isn’t it?
London Olympics 2012:
The organizing committee shelled out £400,000 to acquire a logo for this iconic competition which still retains a massive audience over the whole globe. The committee assigned the task to Wolf Ollins in 2007, but it didn’t live up to its hype, instead became controversial due to its resemblance to a woman performing oral sex and being quite untidy at the same time.
The BBC Logo:
Commissioned in 1997, it is still in use due to its wide application capability that allows the organization to use it simultaneously to represent every department, whether it’s television or radio but the price tag is a bit more complex as compared to the logo’s simplicity and brevity. Designed in Gill Sans font, the cost of the BBC logo was a mind-boggling $1.8 million when it came out.
British Petroleum (BP):
When it comes to spending through the nose when acquiring a logo for your brand, BP outstrips everyone by a distance by getting a logo for nearly $211 million from Ogilvy and Mather back in 2008 in an effort to revamp its image in the mind of the people as firm which is committed towards people’s concerns as an energy company. What a belligerent attitude this firm retains when it comes acquiring the best!
Interestingly when there was an oil spill related to BP around the same time this logo was commissioned, it caused image problems which couldn’t be solved by this logo alone.
Google for Zero:
When it came to designing a logo for the now most famous search engine on the planet by a fair distance, Google’s co- founder Larry Page designed it on the free graphics program GIMP with a vibrant design using a lot of color iterations. The logo has undergone major transformations but it still retains immense resemblance to the original one prepared by Larry.
The green color used for the letter “L”in the Google logo signifies Google’s ideology of not follow predefined rules as all the other colors used in rest of the letters are primary colors.
A logo certainly has avalue which cannot be ascertained in monetary terms but having said that logos are certainly influential in building your brand image and positioning in the mind of the consumer. Each company has its own ideology to follow when it comes down to getting a logo as these logos have just as rich stories as works of art, so when the next time you need a logo for your organization, try to get a story going behind it as well as in its portray of your brand to create a mesmerizing and memorable effect which can linger in the minds of the consumer for the times to come.
It is an unarguable fact that businesses do not need an online presence to reap benefits, rather an online presence has become an absolutely vital need if the business is to compete in today’s world. Many small businesses are now getting their websites developed to make a mark on the online world. It is nice that people understand the value of having a website, but now just “having” a website will not cut it.
So what do you need after you get a website?
Let us talk about a retail store and how it is arranged for success. First thing you pay attention to is the location of the store. It has to be easily accessible for your customers. Once you get the store, you then set up a good looking entrance. After that you arrange the shelves, checkout counter and a couple of special products in their special shelves. You also ensure that the shop looks good overall to the customer. That is all of the things you need to do after you get a website. All these things make for a good website and that is exactly what is needed to get an edge in today’s world.
If you had a store, you talked location. For your website you talk about where is your website hosted and how fast it loads for your customers. Once your website is up, then you go about its design. Are the menus user-friendly? Which products go where? Do you make banners for the special products or products on sale? Where do you keep the check-out button, or do you give an instant checkout option? What are the payment methods that shall work on your website? Setting up these requires technical knowledge but knowing what you need for a good website, requires more business acumen than technical knowledge. A good designer will get you the website, but you should be actively involved in the design process to get a website that the customer will love.
Some of the main features that you should focus on are:
Get a professional logo designed. This should be visible on the top of your website. It should be easily readable and yet look good.
Put your phone number somewhere it is easily visible and put a call to action button right next to it.
Invest a good amount of time in how the menu bar will look like and the pages that it shall lead to.
You cannot make banners for each and everything. Choose which things you want to show-off to potential customers. Work on where should you place these banners on the website, so they are visible but do not feel like they are being thrusted in ones face.
Ensure that in the footer you mention all necessary contact information, business/support hours and social media buttons leading to all of your social media accounts.
Choose a reliable hosting plan that has credible reviews. Also ensure that you have an auto website backup feature and check at what interval is the auto website backup taken.
Last but not least you should choose an agency that does not out-right tell you what would be right for you. Choose an agency which first makes an effort to understand your business model and then explain to you with examples the option you have.
Evolution is as much a phenomena in the online market as it is in the natural world. As things change, you also need to alter your strategic mix to keep up with the trend and stay relevant but logos are a lot different from other marketing strategies in that they serve as identification marks to represent the brand but do not constitute as much in the process of selling the product to the consumer. Logos make for easier brand recall and instant recognition, so they should the purpose by personifying your ideology rather than just become a thing on which you splurge exorbitant amounts of money just because you can. A lot of businesses commit the mistake of redesigning their logo just because the old one has been around for a pretty long period of time and they believe that it must be done away with now.
When, in 2009, Tropicana changed their logo, there was huge outcry from the customer base who believed the old logo sufficed for them and the change was highly unwelcome. What happened there was that, you cannot do much with a beverage which has a certain fruit at the helm of its flavor in terms of changing it. The flavor was the reason the brand was taken up by the consumer in the first place. When they don’t require a change in the taste, a logo redesign which they have come to associate with their loved brand would be very unwanted at that point in time. Logos shouldn’t be like that, they should be changed when there are enough reasons to change them.
A lot of marketers fail to recognize these changes and don’t play by the rules. Here are some of the reason you should look for in your logo to decide whether a change is really required in your current logo design:
Technical Problems arising with the Current Logo:
One of the most basic reasons to change a logo or redesign it has to do with its technical aspects. Check whether your logo doesn’t lose its image quality when its put down to scaling or is it too multi colored, making it expensive to get it printed by the company. Issues like this certainly signal a sign for a minor revamp in the logo design to improve its technical viability across different aspects.
Does it live up to the current vision of your business?
When talking about a logo redesign we need to look deeper into the ideology behind the initial logo when it was first created. Businesses have a tendency to evolve over time and they could end with doing something entirely different from what they started out to do initially. It can be either the inclusion of more brands into the foray or a fit to match marketing strategy that the business straddled upon due to trial and error to maximize its consumer base. When looking for logo redesigns, ensure that your logo now is too different from the ideology behind your workings today.
It is not as appealing as others in the market
When your business started off, you needed to work with the resource you had in hand at that point in time which could have resulted in initial logo design that was enough to begin work with but now as you continue to grow, you now need to upscale your logo to make it more appealing than your competitor’s. This is sometimes the single most important factor in deciding whether to go for a logo redesign or not as other things can surely be worked over or out looked but once you are in with a competition, it is wise to go a for a logo redesign or if possible, for a completely new one to go one up one your competition so that your brand identity gets better and leaves a much more impressionable mark on the consumer.
In current times, every company and brand is out with all guns blazing, trying to dominate every inch of space they can lay their hands on and spending millions of dollars in the process. The advertising and branding industry has become more crowded than it previously was and it is not just increasing but increasing exponentially which is a major cause of concern for all those who also want their branding and advertising campaigns to reap expected benefits for them. The consumer is now being consistently overwhelmed by this branding onslaught and has reduced attention spans to a bare minimum, the consumer now just gives a fleeting glance at everything, with a very rare chance that something will be able to catch and gaze and keep it long enough for the connection to become possible.
Your company’s logo is the first and most important branding tool and it has the power to effectively register an overhaul in your company’s recognition and success. Logo is what defines brand and conveys the ideology and purpose of the brand to the consumer. If it’s instantly recognizable, then rest assured, the sales will look north. Your custom logo design can immensely help you in carving out a niche among your target market, but with a gazillion logos out there, how will your logo stand out among them and gain consumer attention? Lets look at some of the factors that have the power to make your logo design unique and effective at the same time highly increasing its chances of getting noticed.
One of the worst things you can do to your logo is to make it difficult. We humans, when on the design side, have a tendency to create things which are complex, but what we forget is that, when we flip sides, we ourselves don’t like to view complex things if they don’t belong to us. Your logo should never be covered under a blanket of complexities. It can have a connotation or a hidden message by cleverly using the space in between the letter, but keep it simple. Minimalism is a concept that should highly be considered when creating your logo design. Remember those Golden arches, they have become an iconic symbol and have helped a company catapult into one of the biggest fast food chains in the world. The arches have nothing complex in them and that is their unique selling point.
It carries a soul in itself
We as humans, react to things that we identify with thoroughly. If something catches our fancy then it has got to be something that has a certain feel and soul to it. A logo is no different. When your logo design is just a run of the mill branding gimmick, people will ultimately lose their traction with it, no matter how great the design is. When a logo is intended to carry a message just like Amazon’s famous arrow from A to Z, which signified a certain vision the company believed in, people will be able to identify with that logo a lot more as they see a great vision entrenched inside the logo itself making it easier to remember and the company which it signifies.
Intriguing in nature
The insanely famous “Swoosh” logo owned by Nike is simple and unique but what purpose does it serve? The Swoosh is Nike, the Greek Goddess of Victory’s wing. The philosophy behind it has made it insanely popular among the masses as people now consider it as iconic. Your logo design needs to carry a story and a striking association with itself that is to be conveyed to the consumer. This has the ability to pique interest levels to no end and make your logo design stand out amidst all the branding mayhem.
If you want to run an e-commerce store then the first thing you need to understand is that it is not so different from running an actual storefront. You need to focus on customer service, product availability and make sure your shop looks inviting enough for a customer to step in and then have their curiosity piqued enough to stick and wander about. You need to do pretty much the same with your website. Make the website look inviting and have the perfect combination of looks and effective responsiveness (the equivalent of shop layout and checkout system) to ensure that the customer enjoys their shopping experience. However trends change very fast in the online world. Sliders were a must have last year, but not feel antiquated. Let us talk about the design trends of 2016.
A hero image is what we call a large banner image that is placed in the front and center of the website, essentially making if the first and (only) thing your visitors encounter on your website. They are meant to aesthetically please your website visitors.
A picture is worth a thousand words. And this is exactly the thought that is driving this design trend. There is nothing as relatable or descriptive as a photograph. A photo that is the perfect fit entices the customers and makes them delve further into your website. The website of Maaemo is a perfect example of a hero image being used to its full potential. This shows how crafty designers can get. The photo is not just beautiful but a moving one and loads up very quick. This is the time of photo that actually makes you curious enough to scroll down and find out more about Maaemo does. You can go and check it out yourself. We won’t spoil the experience for you.
Full screen note and Scrollable
These are finally gaining traction again. Non scrollable websites are like getting used to the taste of dark chocolate. On their very first bite most people hate it but by the second or third nibble, one starts to get a small hint of the appeal of dark chocolate.
Non scrollable websites can be navigated using the keyboard in most cases. They tend to be used when you opt for a simple design. One of the best examples of a full screen website that has done away with scrolling is of Facebook Privacy Basics. Not the most responsive website but still looks good and delivers the info very well.
If it is possible to create a crazy visual treat, that loads up easily then why not. Waaark is the perfect example of a beautiful color riot visual experience.
So the next time you want to make your website look up to date and enticing enough you should go to your designer firm and ask them to tell you more about the latest trends. Keeping up with the latest trends is important. Many people do ask, what if they cannot keep up with the latest trends? Well then you better be an innovator of trends. Anything other than that and you are setting up yourself for failure.
The most important thing startups should consider is how to build up a diverse and multi-faceted initial brand recognition strategy. Focusing on increasing brand recognition is an indispensable strategy as far as startups are concerned, no matter how powerful or innovative your product or service is. For brand recognition to be powerful, it has to cover all mediums to ensure that all niche markets are effectively covered. The trend nowadays, which is undoubtedly immensely successful in garnering attention towards your brand, is to focus all of your attention on building a great online presence whether it is through SEO, PPC or even getting a great app built. But as effective as it is, online presence doesn’t cover it fully and is not something physical, that as humans, we have a tendency to latch on to and remember it for prolonged periods.
The prevailing opinion among a great chunk of marketers is that print advertising is on its way out and investing in online advertising is the only way to do effective marketing. Well, they are half right. While online advertising definitely ensures great returns but its main problem lies in the fact that the market is highly saturated and with gazillions of ads being churned out every second vying ferociously for the user’ attention, your campaign will not be realizing its true potential. What will complete it is engaging print media and integrating it with your online presence as this will bring in more people and their attention towards what you are trying to say.
The most effective print tool to do this integration is the brochure as its features are the perfect way to go about your way successfully. Lets see how your brochure can be a powerful tool for integration and increasing brand recognition for your startup venture:
The most qualified leads!
When your brochure carries your information and a definite call to action with specific hashtags that will enable anyone who gets hold of the brochure to be able to find you online, any conversions or leads coming off through in this manner will carry more strength than conventional ones because the user took the initiative of contacting you as he/she found the content engaging enough, which translates into half the work done. Brochures can get these conversions quite effectively if they have highly engaging content which is supported by relevant imagery as this engages the user in quite a different manner than something online. Everything online is viewed through the same lens as the quality of the image or graphics are determined more by the type of device being used by the user than the quality of the imagery itself while in brochures, if your logo, advertisement, images, content or any other thing is printed and has a high resolution then it latches on to the user’s attention like nothing else. Sometimes just the feel of the paper is enough to do this.
Permanency with lower costs!
The best thing about brochures is that the most essential consideration in any startup’s marketing plan which is cost is pretty low and gets lower and lower per print with bulk printing, something online ads can never offer. Online advertising carries off the same cost for as many as you want and it is far better to have conventional print media pursue your aim of getting a far bigger outreach coupled with online advertisements. This will decrease your costs and increase your exposure.
Brochures will live on a far longer period than online ads as they offer a tactile feel and are mostly retained by people. As they are comprehensive and can offer a great deal of information related to your service, brochures can give you the added advantage of furthering your credibility with anyone who meets you and wants more info about your gig. Legitimacy is a big criteria for a brand’s success rate especially if it’s a start up. Considering the fact that a pretty large number of startups fail, legitimacy can give you your much needed boost and reduce the chances of people not trusting you. Get your marketing team thinking and let them bring up effective ideas for including print media especially brochures into the fray. You definitely need to order your brochures as soon as possible for your start up to get those eyeballs garnered towards your brand!
A while back we talked about the importance of the business card in the digital world of today. We discussed that even in the digital world of today the business card prospers in corporate business circles and is highly valued.
A business card exchange is almost ceremonious in most countries and has its own set of etiquettes. While the business card is important in all business circles, some cultures place great importance not just on the card but on how it is used. You should be well aware of the general business card etiquettes and even some of the norms that are confined to Asian countries and the like, but important nonetheless.
Do not treat the business card like a promotional flyer
The business card is a subtle way to market yourself, but remember the key word here is “subtle”. In no way should you treat the business card as a flyer.
Keep your business card to yourself until you are asked for your contact info. The business card is mainly used for networking, thus it is given to select individuals. Also when asked for your business card by someone, capitalize on that opportunity. If possible write a note on the back on the card, as a reminder of what you were talking about that led to an exchange of contact information. This will lead to your card standing out when they are going through the business cards they have.
Always have business cards on hand, and in good condition
The excuse that you have forgotten or run out of business cards shows you in a negative light. People will judge you as being unprofessional. Ensure that you are always carrying sufficient business cards and carrying them carefully. A business card is like a billboard that is representing you. A crumpled business card sends a very bad impression. Get a proper case for business cards, in order to ensure that they remain in mint condition.
If you are carrying business cards in sufficient quantity and that too of mint quality that ticks two important boxes. One more thing that is often forgotten is that no one likes someone going through all of their pockets and then briefcase just to find something. It makes you look like a forgetful and thus unreliable person. Ensure that your business cards are easily accessible and in a place that you will always remember.
Handing over and accepting business cards is an art
While in North America and even some European countries like Europe the business card is used a formal tool for communication information exchange, some cultures like that of Japan, Switzerland, China and Singapore treat the exchange of business cards very formally.
One habit that you should make is to always distribute the business card with your right hand. Many cultures put emphasis on receiving things of value from the right hand, and it is considered downright rude to put forward your left hand. This applies very strongly in India and the Middle East.
Second, whenever you receive a business card, do not accept and put it in your card case. Take a moment and scan through it. This shows that you are giving due respect to the other person. This is not something prevalent in North America, but Japanese, Swiss and the Chinese value such actions highly.
While the article above covers many important aspects of the business card exchange etiquette, it is not enough. What is required for true success is homework. Before you venture into new lands, always research about the norms existing there. In our environment today information flows with an ease that could not have been imagined 50 years ago, thus ignorance is not tolerated.
Ever saw faces where there were none? Like when the headlights and front bumper of the car gives you an impression that you are seeing a face. This highly interesting phenomenon is called Pareidolia and it’s the best personification of how the human mind sees and perceives things with each thing eliciting a different kind of a response. Brands are not different. We also associate feelings and perceptions with brands due to their external appearance. Stroll down a street and ask someone of what they perceive when they see things related to “Apple”, the highly successful producer of user items such as IPhones & Ipads, and the answers would be close to the words “young”, “edgy”, Futuristic” and lot of similar terms would definitely spring up. The most intriguing part in this is that none of Apple’s visual branding directly refers to any of these words or terminologies rather their brilliance lies in positioning their brand identity in such a manner that the consumers or the general public at large has come to think of it as something really young, edgy & futuristic. This is what the actual purpose of positioning a brand’s identity is, i.e. to elicit a certain response from the viewer each time anything related to a certain comes before him/her.
This trick happens when you learn how to humanize your brand and then let it work in your favor. It might look like a magical instantaneous type of a thing but its anything other than that. This a step by step process, which if done right will give you a feel from the start that its an identity that’s taking shape rather than a forced narrative. Lets give you the breakdown of how to build a brand identity that feels personal from the other end:
The foundational Questions:
Sit down with your brand team and the ones who have great understanding of what the vision of your brand really is and then ask them some questions like Is the brand masculine or is elicits femininity? Does the brand signify seriousness and maturity or is it funny and friendly? These are some fundamental questions that can go a long way into letting you understand what your brand would look like if it would one day come alive. Once you know the answers to these questions, then see whether it matches what you envisioned it to look and feel like. This will really clear you the path and show you the way to correct the branding strategy from its current standing towards where you want to take it.
Now that you know the traits of your brand, its now the perfect time to start adding components and features that match those traits. This is called creative visualization and it includes all the components of the brand, from the type of the logo to the font used, everything starts getting a skeleton or a foundation, around which we can now start intensifying our efforts and build our brand identity through multiple integral components.
Find the Brand Gaps:
As you are now on the stage of building the components of your brand, you will come across various paradoxes known as brand gaps. These are the things which don’t match the personality of the brand you are currently building. For e.g. your brand feel is that of an extroverted person but your website is too strict and has a genuinely formal feel to it. These are the areas that need the highest effort to rebrand as anything too over the line will cause damage to your brand. The brand personality should match the kind of audience you are trying to serve and not just how you like it to be for e.g. if you are selling medical equipment and your client segment includes hospitals and medical institutions then going for a loud and vibrant brand identity will lead to a complete failure of your brand. Just remember, brand identity is the perception that people take away from your brand and looking at it from that perspective will help your cause immensely. Make your brand possess the best possible identity to garner higher attention and imprint a lasting impression of your brand.
As a social media marketeer or enthusiast; it is important know about the common challenges on social media. These challenges are found to be quite stressing on any social media platform and if not resolved in an effective manner; it can lead to more drastic consequences and people on social media choose to engage with the content on their own terms. A consumer may visit any post regarding the brand activity and then deliberately ignore it just because it wasn’t appealing enough. Social media activities does have the potential to make your content go viral and spread out the message further at a lower cost but if your content is not targeted towards the right consumer; then all your activities may just die or dry out. That is why it is important to know about the common challenges which your business might have to face while dealing with the numerous interactions or crafting out your social media strategy.
Thus this blog would examine the 5 common challenges and how they can be resolved strategically in the light of social media marketing and communication.
Effective Community Management
Social media platforms are built around communities and do need constant 24/7 management. Such communities need prominence as do all organizations. Thus it is important that your community on any social media platform is created, shaped and nurtured to not just make interactive conversations but to also lead those conversations to be engaging interactive and create an environment where all your fans and consumers can interact directly with your brand.
Communicating and Outreaching
There is no doubt and every social media activity should offer an effective two way communication and reach out to the public; after all social media is an effective public communication tool as it allows timely messages. Therefore every social media activity has to tailored around consumer’s interest and make it exciting for them to stay constantly be updated with all your social media activities.
Just as it is important to do fishing where the fish are; it is important to do advertising where there is an audience and what better way to find audience on social media platforms. As more people spend their time in social media; thus there are opportunities for brands to capitalize on as brands can know and learn more about their target audiences and their demographics and psychographics. More and more people on social media can easily be targeted through their profiles and the pages that they like or associate with themselves. The more people like or associate your page; the more chances there are for you to spread awareness about your product offerings and services to them.
Building Upon the Reputation
An important feature on social media is for brands to build upon their online reputation by monitoring what their consumers are saying and identifying any issues or problems associated with their brand proactively. It is also for brands to be able to communicate with their consumers and get their side of the story out as social media platform can be used to respond to your mentions, create a stir to further channel out your own agenda.
Support for the Consumers
Social media can sometimes be viewed as an additional customer service channels for the support of your consumers as most consumers are comfortable by using the social media platform to make their queries, highlight their problems or ask questions about your product or services. Thus it must be viewed as an opportunity for the business to respond to their queries in a friendly way to get the word out. A proactive customer service for your customers on social media can get them the satisfaction to stay royal to your business and product or services offerings.
While dealing and resolving such challenges, you can also be able to craft your content in way that can easily be picked by your consumers to go viral.