I am a big fan of marketing and brand awareness for companies or products. The art of attracting people through ideas by way of art and design is part of the reason why I love doing what I do. I learned a long time ago during my tenure in college as well as from real world experience that if you are looking to create something for all to see you need to display it as much as possible and everywhere you can in the most innovative way.
Creating brand awareness is the best way to imprint your vision in the minds of your target audience. I have my logo(s) placed in as many outlets as I possibly can. On social media, websites, business cards, brochures, mugs, t-shirts, and even video. My work is now seen in different parts of the country as well as some regions around the world. I protect my brand(s) as if they were children I would nurture and raise. Much like children you want to see it grow and mature. You can’t do that by isolating your brand from the public eye. Isolating your child from everyday society could be damaging. Your brand commits to the same theory. If you choose to isolate your brand from the public eye it will only hurt your progress of having your potential target audience even know who you are and what you do.
You remember what services and products McDonald's provide the moment you see that legendary logo of the golden arch. You see the XBOX or PLAYSTATION logo you know there selling video games and home entertainment. Your company logo and business philosophy should be synonymous with the people you are looking to provide goods and service to.
CREATING AND MAINTAINING AWARENESS:
When I see people not using their logo(s)(or having someone else use them) inappropriately it is disappointing to see how someone invests money in starting their dream project or business venture and don’t have a clue on how to market their brand. As I mentioned in the 4P FORMULA blog, you have to do your homework and be prepare to invest in your brand and/or product. It is a total waste of time and your money to not show your logo and brand. I often mention the word “invest” because well, that is what you are doing. You are sacrificing a large amount of your capital to make your dream come true in hopes to make it all back and more. Why go half hardily? Do you honestly think that you will succeed by going little to half way to gain a whole?
For the record, I don’t believe anyone has ever provided little of their efforts and got a lot as a result. For example, some people believe that they can start a business, get a client or two by doing a little promotion (distributing out cards and flyers for instance) once or twice and think that it they will get more client(s) or customer(s) through hear say or word of mouth. The truth is that it doesn’t work in the long run of your business journey. One or two people can’t get to the ears of thousands or even hundreds for that matter.
Eventually you have to keep at it and come up with other ways to get your name out there. You have to keep posting you ads in store, newspapers, magazines, commercials (if you have the means). Branding is something that you have to do on a consistent basis. It is and will be a part of your business’s life blood. No matter what form of business you are doing, it will involve you having to get people to notice you. That means if you have means for social media forums, use them. It is rather foolish to not use those means especially when they are free exposure.
Try networking with people in order to get yourself some needed connections and notoriety which will allow people to gain interest in what you do. To summarize it all, you need to put EFFORT into your brand.
PROTECTING YOUR BRAND PART 1:
Another issue that I notice at times which I mentioned briefly is when a person allows other people such as contractors or associates to handle their business logo in the wrong way. I have witness this at times where I would look at a flyer or an ad and see a business logo displayed in the worst way on an ad of sorts. I would see these ads with logos that are distorted or crammed, or missing its signature color into a flyer just to fit it into the promotional content.
The biggest pet peeve I have is when I see logo pixelated because the person creating the ad is using the wrong size file. A lot of times it is due to the person not wanting to pay the required fee to have it done professionally. I can’t tell you how unprofessional that is on the part of both the owner and the person they hired to do the promotional advertisement. I mentioned how one should take care of their brand like they are nurturing a child. This is one of those situations where you need to put your proverbial "child" in the guidance and protection of a day care service (which in this case would be a well qualified designer and/or developer) that will make sure that you logo looks the way it originally should look like.
Big companies like Coca-Cola, Pepsi, NIKE, UFC, WWE, and the biggest brand out there Disney would never allow their logo to be used inappropriately because they understand that in the eyes of their target consumer(s) they want to be considered as top quality and the best in their industry. So if a customer looks and see your logo not looking up to standard, they will automatically think that your company is not a big deal at all because you do not treat it as a big deal. Your logo and brand grows in value depending on your level of success. You as well as the people involves are supposed to project the image and quality you want your target audience to see. In other words if you show it with the highest of quality and care, people will in fact believe in what you are promoting. Of course you will have to follow that by producing what your brand is promising however, visuals is the first step to attracting people to what you are providing.
PROTECTING YOUR BRAND PART 2:
Arguably the most important thing to do with your brand first and foremost before even bringing awareness to the masses is making sure your IP (intellectual property) has a copyright and trademark (if you have the financial means to do so). By having a copyright or trademark on your logo and other important content, it will protect you from those who may try and use your IP for their means.This will in fact protect you legally.
While copyrights and trademark are means of protecting you ideas and creativity, there are some contrasting effect when applying either of these to your brand.
A copyright is a set of rights which involves you having in an original creative product that includes that allows the right to change it, sell it, display it, or allow other people to use it. However, if you ever find yourself in an infringement situation, federal law requires that you have a federal copyright registration on a work before you can file a lawsuit for infringement. Secondly, the reason why it’s important to register your copyrights is that having a registration entitles you to collect statutory damages in an infringement situation, which are frequently higher than just actual damages.
Although there are some limitations to the protection of copyright it still gives you a means of protection.
And do make sure that you have your copyright info on as much of your work as possible much like you will see in my work such as the title graphics for the VIEW POINT blogs like this one. Also it is a good idea to at the "TM" on your logo. The "TM" means that you have an unregistered trademark. However, it still states that it is a mark that you are using on a consistent basis. Getting your logo does not cost much to get it registered. In fact, it is only $75.00 to set and secure it. Don't worry, I thought it would be a fortune too.
Whereas a trademark is also type of intellectual property that can last forever as long as you continue to use it in commerce to identify whatever you are selling. It would be best to invest in trademarking your logo and product to provide you with absolute assurance that you own that IP and that no one can touch any part of your investment. However, the price to trademark you IP is not cheap unfortunately. It could cost you thousands yet it is worth every penny. When acquiring a trademark you have the ability of using the "R" Mark as seen here.
It means that you do in fact have a registered logo and there is no other like it. Any one try and use this without your permission will result in some serious legal action on your part.
It may be recommended that you find a lawyer to help you understand your rights to owning your intellectual property as well. Especially if you are not comfortable with these legal matters. And be sure that the concept of your logo is in fact original otherwise you can get in a lot of trouble both legally and financially. I actually had a client that decided to work with a certain "PR/Marketing" company that would allow them to work on other projects outside of the ones I was working on already. The PR rep and founder had her own supposed web designer and graphic designer on her team. The "graphic designer" created a logo for the project that they putting together.
The logo that was made for them was much to be desired to say the least. So my clients turned to me to recreate their vision and make it the true reality they needed the world to see. Before I began the process I needed to see what was out there in the world wide web. The name that they chose for the project was not original and like my firm name, there are plenty of VIEW FINDERS out there.
So I Google the name in order to see what images came up for logos. I do this to make sure not to mimic others hard work. While we try and create original concept many artist tend to think alike at times. So we have to be careful otherwise we can fall into a case much like Christian Louboutin vs. Yves Saint Laurent or as I called it "The War of the RED SOLE SHOE!!!
As it turns out, I plenty of logo utilizing that name. However, I found something even more significant. I manage to find a logo that looked virtually the same as the logo that was "created" for my client by her PR/Marketing rep that they hired. If I did not find that image on Google that could have turned into a very bad situation for them. Especially because that logo belong to an extremely big company that has been established for generations.
It would not have gone well for my clients. So I was able to create them a true original concept that met their demands. Now all they have to do is create a small business plan and brand awareness and the project can only go up the totem pole in no time.
Again, the point of having a logo is to present it to you peers, clients, customers, and the general public which then creates value to what you are producing. If you truly are looking to build a legacy based of your brand you will have to protect every inch of your investment. There’s that word again. I wouldn’t say it if it weren’t true.