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She Have That I Don't?
By : Karen Saunders
Have you ever
asked yourself why a competitor's business gets more attention than yours?
The answer just may have to do with the elements that go into how memorable
the business is. And that has to do with branding.
But exactly what is branding, anyway? Think of branding as predefining what
a company is all about in the minds of its clients. Good branding
differentiates your products and services in a positive way that really
sticks in the minds of potential customers.
Let's say you have been traveling around town without your morning coffee
and are getting just a little cranky. Quick! What's the first coffee shop
chain that comes to mind? Chances are, you thought of Starbucks. Why?
* Attractive and easily read logo;
* Consistency of product, d&eactute;cor, signage, and interior; and
* A great product
Assuming your product is fabulous, it all comes down to image. Graphic
design can play a huge part in that image. But what are some key things to
A great logo is key.
You have already given a great deal of attention to your company name and
believe that it speaks to who you are and what you do. Great! Now you need
to wrap a graphic image around that name to carve out a prime piece of real
estate in the mind of your target customer. That is exactly what a great
logo can do.
Whether or not you eat fast food and regardless of your opinion as to what
might constitute the best in fast food, my guess is that the name McDonalds
conjures up an immediate image of the golden arches. Those golden arches
really work as a logo!
The McDonalds logo is a good example of merging a symbol with a letter in
the company name. It is also a good example of simplicity, another key
element to great logo design. A good logo also:
* has a strong, balanced image with no little extras that clutter its look;
* is distinctive and bold in design, making it easy to see at a glance;
* has graphic imagery that looks appropriate for your business;
* works well with your company name;
* is done in an easy to read font;
* communicates your business clearly; and
* looks good in black and white, as well as in color.
Consistent visual identity is also key.
If you are going to capture that prime piece of real estate in the
customer's mind, you must provide not only a compelling image, but a
consistent one. The Statue of Liberty just may be one of the most compelling
images in the world. But what if you owned the rights to that image, put it
on your business card, then put the image of an American Bald Eagle on your
stationery and the Liberty Bell on your web site. The American Bald Eagle
and the Liberty Bell are also compelling images, but as a group, each
dilutes the impact of the other.
Each of the three images has its own distinct personality. You may be
tempted to give your stationery, website, business card, brochures, and
other marketing materials different visual personalities, but to do risks
the equivalent of having the Statue of Liberty competing with American Bald
Eagle and Liberty Bell.
All of the materials that represent you, from business cards to brochures,
need to have image consistency in order to be immediately recognizable by
your customers...and potential customers...as being related to the unique
brand that is your company. Logo, color scheme, fonts, and layout that are
consistent from letterhead to business card and from envelope to ad suggest
credibility and stability, in addition to taking up more of that prime
mental real estate by virtue of repetition. Inconsistency of graphic
elements among materials not only suggests uncertainty and sloppiness, it is
just plain forgettable.
Creating a great logo and maintaining consistency among all your marketing
materials will take you a long way towards creating a memorable brand that
just might make your competitors mutter, "What does she have that I don't?"
About the Author :
Karen Saunders is the author of the book, "Turn Eye Appeal into Buy
Appeal: How to easily transform your marketing pieces into dazzling,
persuasive sales tools!" Karen has helped thousands of small businesses to
increase their sales over the past 16 years using her award-winning
marketing design strategies. For more free tips by Karen, and to learn more
about the book visit