What’s in a name? Or to put it fully, what’s in a name and a logo all rolled into one?
Businesses small and large need to project a particular image which combines aspects of both name and logo with the goal of instant recognition. Most entrepreneurs establish initial branding for their website and printed promotional materials upon startup, including brochures or business cards, but a few years in, look to upgrade their branding for optimal recognition, or even fully rebrand.
The logo is branding’s core. International logo successes include McDonald’s (that wide and high-humped M saying “come in now to be cheaply fed”); Coca-Cola (the swift-looking cursive, reminiscent of the rush you feel after a few shots of ice cold Coke); and Nike (that rounded checkmark as if you’re lunged at the starting line, and just heard the “On your mark, get set, go!” gunshot). And we might not even think about it, but there’s a certain logo which has been around for almost two millenia, used on a daily basis by billions of people. Guessed it? The cross. One long line with a shorter line perpendicular at its top-third, and you have a symbol for a religion’s most basic tenet. Talk about recognizable.
Since the logo is the main aspect of branding, and a graphic designer is its messenger, your initial instinct might be to go straight to your designer. But don’t. Graphic designers are not necessarily in the business of marketing – they are in the business of designing. These folks are artists, not business people. So first, define the image you wish to project and then you’ll be armed with possibilities for creativity from a designer for suitable images and fonts.
Who Am I?
That is the question. Who do you want others to know you as? What services or products are you offering? Who is your target market? What image do you wish to project? Time to schedule a brainstorming session.
To get to the heart of a name and logo, ask yourself and your business partners one main question: What feeling do I wish to elicit in my audience about my products or services?
This obviously is variable per company, so to give you an idea, here’s a sample list covering many types: Bold? Calm? Feminine? Macho? Hi-tech? Natural? Fast? Antique? Modern? Communal? Independent? Classy?
One way to get a feel for how your brand’s logo and name will look is to gaze down a list of font types. You’ll see how each font type elicits a different feeling. It’s a practical way to get started on your options.
Tip: You might prefer to give yourself a good few weeks on the brainstorming. Do an hour one day, and then put it aside, scheduling for a week later. The next week, look at font lists, and see what speaks to you. It pays to feel more confident in your choices before going to a graphic designer.
Working with the Graphic Designer
Once you feel certain about the direction of your name and logo (your identity, the feeling you wish to elicit, who you’re marketing to and what image you wish to project), it’s time for the graphic designer. Test her out. Ask for at least three samples which are very different from each other and still keep within your description. Using these samples, request feedback from your business partners, a few people in your target market (read: market research), and friends to see how they feel when they look at the logo. Again, take some time on it.
How a Virtual Assistant Can Help
By and large, branding is done by a marketer or marketing team, and there are plenty of individuals and firms who specifically specialize in branding. The ideal alternative is a marketing Virtual Assistant who can help you brand your company at a fraction of the cost, and on a very personalized basis.
Your VA can be a soundboard for your ideas, perform your target market and comparison research, identify an appropriate design resource, brainstorm with you, and work as a project manager with your graphic designer. Ultimately, your VA’s role is to reduce the many administrative and back-and-forth logistical responsibilities from your slate.
Once your branding is secure, you’ll have the springboard to better broadcast your message in order to increase sales from your target markets.
Submitted by Chaya Leah