A logo is the most visible graphical representation of a company. It provides an anchor for the visual elements in all of your other marketing materials, and when associated with an excellent product or service, it can carry goodwill and brand awareness. Conversely, if your logo has low brand recognition or a dated look, it’s time to consider a redesign.
If you are considering a logo redesign, here are some things to discuss with your designer:
- What is your unique selling proposition? Where does your product fall on the quality versus price spectrum?
- Who are your competitors and target customers?
- What are your plans for how the logo will be used beyond business cards and stationery? This will allow the designer to create a logo that is appropriately scalable.
- If your logo relies on gradients, reflections, or other digital effects, how will it look embroidered on a shirt or imprinted on a promotional item? One test is to look at your logo in its simplest form. Can it hold its own in black-and-white?
- Can digital enhancements be added for specific applications?
Answering these questions will help your designer position your brand appropriately, both for the market and for the intended marketing uses.
But let creativity abound. There’s no single formula for creating an effective logo. Consider the highly visible Microsoft, Olympic and Starbucks redesigns. Microsoft unveiled its first new logo in a quarter of a century last year, adding a splash of color and a graphical element to its name. Similarly, the new Olympic logo spelled out Rio 2016 and used the yellow, green and blue of the Brazilian flag. Contrast that with the latest Starbucks logo, which uses only one color and no reference to the Starbucks name or coffee. The green, twin-tailed mermaid represents the brand’s personality rather than the product.
If logo redesign is important to these marquee brands, it’s certainly something for your business to consider. However, test market any changes with your target audience before embarking on a full-scale redesign. The price of a logo redesign (again) is more than just the cost of the image. It’s the expense of rolling it out across your enterprise.
Whether you are writing copy for direct mail, email, in-store or exterior signage, or any other type of marketing material, a few simple tricks will increase your ability to grab your audience’s attention and communicate your message more effectively. Here are some fundamental principles of writing great copy that will help you command attention:
- Be imaginative. It’s easy to say the same thing in the same way all the time. Break out of the mold. Look for unconventional ways to communicate your message.
- Be a salesman. Cute and clever doesn’t get you anywhere by itself. Your copy still has to motivate recipients to action. Be creative, but also be clear. Sell benefits. Give an overt call to action.
- Put the customer front and center. Make the customer the center of the message. Talk about their problems, their challenges, and their Let them identify with the message, then talk about how your products and services can solve their problems.
- Build trust. Part of building a brand and gaining repeat customers is establishing loyalty and trust. Represent your products in a way that is accurate, helpful, and maintains your customers’ confidence.
- Hire a professional editor. Make sure your copy meets professional standards. Someone who is “good at grammar” isn’t sufficient. When it comes to marketing, there are rules for punctuation, capitalization, and usage that only professionals know.
Of course, there are other elements to great print marketing, as well. Good layout. Interesting graphics. Compelling offer. But great copy ties it all together.
Before customers can buy from you, they have to be aware of your brand. Whether through direct mail, in-store signage, catalog, or email, your brand must pop up in front of them, prompting a spontaneous purchase, or be part of their thought process when they are evaluating their options as part of a planned decision.
For decades, brand awareness has been the subject of research and study. To what extent does brand awareness influence the final purchase decision? As it turns out, quite a lot.
Here are the results from one fascinating study:
- In a blind study by the University of Newcastle and the University of South Australia, 85.5% of subjects chose the familiar brand in the first trial, even if they actually preferred a less familiar brand.
- Even when testing brands during an initial trial, consumers were more likely to purchase the product from a familiar brand name, even if they preferred the taste (or, by extension, look, smell, or function) of an unfamiliar brand.
- Consumers were not only likely to choose the more familiar brand, but were more likely to make the decision more quickly. In this case, 9.8 seconds faster.
- As consumers become more familiar with the category and interact with other brands, the impact of brand awareness drops over time.
- Brand awareness is more critical among novice shoppers and those investigating products or services in a new category.
What does this mean for you? Get to the consumer early. Stay in front of them and don’t quit! Repetition is critical. One statistic we regularly run across is that the average person remembers three to five brands per category. To get in there, you have to push someone else out—and then stay there.
This is where consistent drips of brand messaging can pay off big. Send a direct mailer and follow up with an email. Invest in retargeting with social media ads for visitors to your website. Create constant reminders of who you are and what your brand offers.
Creating brand awareness is not always about getting someone to buy right now. It’s about staying top of mind—and keeping your competitors out in the cold—so that when your target audience is ready to buy, they think of you.
Source: “Brand Awareness Effects on Consumer Decision Making for a Common, Repeat Purchase Product: A Replication” (Journal of Business Research)
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