25 March 2013

Five Things Business Owners Need to Know Before Hiring a Logo or Brand Designer

Business owners need to give a lot of thought to their company's brand.  The brand is a major way customers reacts and interacts with the company, which influences sales of the company's product or service.

Brand Loyalty: When people think of "brand loyalty," they may think only of a physical product consumers buy, such as soup or clothes, but brand loyalty can also be viewership of a television series or franchise, fandom of a music artist, or membership in a social media website.

Start Making Sense: Consumers react positively when a company's brand (logo, color scheme, slogans, product and sales material design, etc.) make sense and are relatable. For instance, if a company is selling young child's toys, potential customers won't understand a very stodgy logo with a black and grey color scheme.

Consistency: A consistent brand or theme that covers everything a customer will see, from the logo to the website, brick and mortar store, newsletter, posters, commercials, etc. will help reinforce the company's name and products in consumers' minds.

Before a business owner hires a logo or brand designer, he or she should know the following:

1. Who is your audience or market? - Selling to senior executives requires a different style and perhaps marketing tool than selling to teenage boys. Be able to explain who and why the audience(s) are appropriate for your product or service.

2. What is your company's style?
- Do you want consumers to see your company (and your products/services) as fun, cool, conservative, professional, quirky, vintage, modern, or futuristic? List four or five adjectives that best describe you and your company.

3. Are there any cultural considerations? - Are there words, colors, symbols a designer should specifically use or avoid? This is especially important for international sales.

4. How do you communicate and sell to your audience? - Does your company have a store or office visited by customers? Are you strictly online? Do you have a booth at festivals, conferences, markets? Are your sales staff visiting customers in their offices or homes? List every possible method, and rank them by importance and whether they are current or future methods.

5. What do you want? - A good logo or brand designer will help you visualize your wants and needs. Sometimes as good business owners we have to give up our dream of a lime-green and pink store, but if you really love cats, don't accept a dog-based logo. Don't be afraid to tell the designer your likes and dislikes.

Photos from Microsoft Clip Art