When starting up a new business, hidden amongst all the daunting new tasks you’re suddenly responsible for such as recruitment, taxation and funding proposals there is one very exciting, yet incredibly important task ahead – creating your brand identity and company logo.
This is one area where you can really let your creative juices flow and there is nothing more exciting than when the hard work put into starting a new business is reflected back in the form of a logo – all of a sudden, your business idea is no longer just an idea, but a real company, ready to compete in its new marketplace.
But before you dive in at the deep end and start looking through font styles and colour options it’s important to take a moment to think about what you want your brand to say.
Step 1 – Identify your brand promise
A brand isn’t just a logo, it’s a promise between your company and its customer about what can be expected from the organisation. The clever bit is to identify the promises you want to make; a solicitor’s firm would want to promise a professional service whereas a nursery may want to promise an understanding of children, a garden designer may hope to be perceived as creative and a beautician to offer relaxation.
Think about your business and write down all the promises the company could make to its customers. Review the list and choose two or three key items which you feel best suit your target market.
Step 2 – Translate your brand promise into a logo
Once you have your key promises in mind it’s time to contact the professionals to produce a logo. A good design agency will take the time to get to know your company, to understand how you would like it to be presented and how to deliver the promises you want to make.
There are a wide variety of agencies out there for you to discover with a variety of pricing points, but it really is worthwhile asking an expert to produce your logo. Imagine passing a restaurant that is badly lit, with dirty windows and bin bags in the doorway – this visual impact will encourage you to make presumptions about the restaurant, just as your customers shall make presumptions about your organisation from what they see – your logo. This shall be the face of the company for years to come and is definitely one area worth investing in.
Step 3 – Request a logo library
Upon approval of your final logo – make sure you ask for a ‘logo library’ from your designer which should contain the following files:
- RGB jpeg – this shall be used for onscreen use or in Microsoft Word documents
- Vector graphic eps file – this shall be used within printed items, ie brochures, leaflets etc
Step 4 – Be consistent
Now that you have your logo and brand promises firmly in mind it’s important that every piece of communication you undertake uses the brand in the same way. For example, when writing copy for a leaflet, ensure its style makes the same promise as the logo – you would expect a solicitor to use very formal language but the garden designer to sound down to earth. When choosing photography for a website or brochure, make sure they also reflect the promise – images for a children’s nursery should be colourful whereas a beautician may choose images with muted tones to reflect tranquillity.
Consider the brand promises you identified in step one and practise writing a short paragraph about your company keeping those promises in mind. Don’t worry about writing beautiful, flowing prose, just play with using different types of words, styles and points of view until you find your brand’s voice.
Whenever you look at a magazine or go online, study images and examine the presumptions you make about a business from the imagery used in their advertising or on their website. Apply this new skill to your own brand promises to identify styles of photography suitable for your brand.
Step 5 – Let your brand reputation grow
Once you get used to thinking in this way, you’ll soon see how understanding and delivering your brand’s promises becomes key to almost everything your company does. As you grow, your brand’s reputation also grows and with these solid foundations in place, who knows how far you could go? Remember even Coca Cola, arguably the world’s most famous brand, was also just a business idea once upon a time!
About the Author: Natalie Smith, a CIM qualified marketing professional is the Client Service Manager at Blaze Communication, helping clients to build brands, increase sales, excite customers and communicate more effectively. follow her with Twitter on @Blaze_Group and visit the website at http://www.blazecommunication.com/.