Results by Design Blog

Corporate Identity Guidelines: Your Marketing Depends on It

Corporate Identity Guidelines resized 600First impressions count. Have you made the mistake of launching your business without thinking strategically about the image you want to portray in the market? The good news is that it’s never too late to start building a corporate identity that works for you.

A corporate identity is the visual interpretation of your value proposition. Consider the impression you want people to have of your company. Most of us want to project an image of excellence and the capability of delivering on our promise.

Development of a corporate identity is the first step to achieving this. Your corporate identity consists of

  • your company name
  • a logo or unique mark
  • your tagline or position statement

Along with the typeface, color and paper selection it helps you establish a professional graphic standard for your business and provides a powerful, memorable, unified image of your company and what it stands for.

Here are some corporate identity guidelines to consider:

  1. Identify and understand your target market. Who are they, what do they care about, how do they make decisions about your products and services? Where do they go to do research, what do they read, watch and listen to?
  2. Determine your company’s mission and values. How do you want to be known? How will you conduct your business? This is where you think about what you want to accomplish and how you want to do it.
  3. Develop your value proposition and messaging. What messages will resonate with your prospects and customers? How will your solutions make their lives easier or better? Your key messages will be about them, not you.
  4. Engage a professional designer. A designer that has done other corporate identities will save you time and money in the long run. A professional designer will understand the impact of colors on people’s perception, how easily a graphic element can be used in all mediums, and how to create a design that can be used for years. A graphic designer will also know how to evolve your existing logo over time.

    The right branding has the power to distinguish your from your competition, build market recognition and increase client confidence. Don’t treat it as an expense; consider it an investment in your success.

    Learn more.

    Create a Great Corporate Identity

    7 Skills of a Great Designer

    Topics: Corporate Identity, Branding

    Brand Development: 3 Ways to Engage Your Employees

    Brand Development, Engage Employees resized 600You likely have spent a lot of time, energy and resources thinking about the best ways to engage your prospects and customers. But it’s important not to forget a third critical audience, the ones who are often on the front lines of your business.

    Your employees can make or break your marketing. Leave them out of the brand development process and they could potentially send mixed messages to your customers, miss sales opportunities or lose interest in working with you. Get them excited and they can proactively make every interaction with prospects and customers more powerful.

    Here are 3 ways to engage your employees in your marketing:

    1. Educate

    Does your team know everything about your products and services? Your company values? The charitable contributions your business makes? The presentations you give or publishing you do for industry audiences?

    Keep your employees informed with consistent updates on all the good your company does. In addition, share all your great customer news with your employees. Celebrate new clients together, publicize your customer success stories to them. Keep it real, too, by sharing the areas where your company has opportunity to improve.

    2. Motivate

    A knowledgeable workforce is not all you need. They also have to be inspired. Get them excited about your brand with in-house signage, photos, employee contests, awards for top performers, and other initiatives.

    Demonstrating an interest in their professional development will also keep your employees motivated. If they ask you to contribute to a class that will enhance their skills, do what you can – maybe even incent them with a monetary bonus for getting an A or achieving a relevant certification. Show them that you care not only about the job they do for you but also for their career as a whole.

    3. Appreciate

    Employees who feel valued will perform better for you. Recognize any and every positive step your team takes to build your company's brand. Newsletter spotlights, company bulletins, appreciation events, and bonuses will help to communicate your appreciation.

    At every touchpoint your employees have with your company - from the first interview to their goodbye parties - give them what they need to understand and communicate your brand. And do what it takes to make sure they want to do just that!

    Learn more about building your brand.

    Topics: Branding

    5 Branding Strategies that Work

    branding strategiesIf you are like most firms, you have taken time to create a brand for your printed marketing collateral and your online presence. But have you been able to leverage your brand successfully to get even more bang for your marketing buck - and better results for your business?

    Consider these 5 branding strategies that work to extend your brand:

    1. Client Touchpoints

    When delivering your products and services to clients, brand the delivery mechanism, whether it's a shopping bag, a box, package, 2-pocket folder, binder or CD.

    2. On-the-Go

    When your staff is in contact with the public or traveling within your marketplace, use vehicle graphics and company apparel to maximize your brand and create a professional image.

    3. Communications

    When communicating to employees, clients and other target audiences via emails, memos, newsletters, policy/training materials or company events, use branded materials - email signatures, manuals, signage at events, slide shows, etc.

    4. Speaking Engagements

    If you do speaking engagements, think about offering branded products for purchase or as giveaways (booklets, CDs and DVDs with your material on them). Make sure any handouts are branded, and if your audience needs to take notes you can provide branded pens and notepads.

    5. Trade Shows & Exhibits

    When exhibiting at trade shows, make sure your booth and any materials you pass out are branded. Consider offering branded promotional giveaways such as an item relevant to your business. Your sales team that is staffing the booth can be outfitted in branded apparel.

    Following these 5 branding strategies will help extend your brand and leverage your marketing dollars.

    Read more:

    Build Your Brand

    Topics: Branding, Marketing Collateral

    4 Keys to a Successful Company Logo Design

    company logo design resized 600When you see the logo for Apple, Nike, Twitter, you immediately know what company is represented. Whether you see these logos on a website, a sign or a product, it's clear which company it belongs to. These logos communicate a unique personality and highlight the company's core values.

    Are you ready to do the same for your clients? You can, and you don't even need their marketing budgets to do it right.

    Your company logo design serves as the foundation of your marketing collateral. It needs to be able to stand alone as well as integrate seamlessly into any marketing piece you create. It needs to serve as the visual representation of your value proposition so that your target audience responds to it in the desired way.

    Maybe you want to highlight the quality you deliver, the knowledge you bring to clients or the experience you've gained in the marketplace. Your company logo, when designed strategically, can help you communicate these attributes so that you build the brand you want, with the audience you've identified.

    Here are 4 keys to creating a successful company logo design:

    Distinctive and Memorable

    The right logo will differentiate you from the competition and allow you to stand out in a memorable way.

    Practical

    Your company logo design should render well in print and online so you can use it for brochures, postcards, your website, social media sites and any other print or online media where it may appear.

    Consistent

    A company logo design needs to look consistent in all media and help you to build a strong brand in your market.

    Focused

    Going through the process of creating your company logo design forces you to focus on the most important things you want to communicate to your target audience.

    If it's time to address your company logo design, remembering these 4 keys will help ensure a successful process.

    Learn more:

    Frequently asked questions about the graphic design process

    Examples of company logo design

    Marketing materials on a shoestring

     

    Topics: Company Logo, Marketing Collateral

    How to Market a New Product or Service: Brand It & Plan It

    how to market a new product resized 600You've spent endless hours creating it and it's finally time to unveil your new offering. When you are considering how to market a new product or service, remember this one thing: it's all about branding strategically and planning successfully.

    Branding means different things to different people. But it always means more than just designing a logo and putting it on your marketing materials. It's about strategically integrating who you are and the value you deliver into every interaction you have with prospects and customers.

    Branding Your New Product

    When launching a new product or service as part of an existing business, it's important to consider your company brand and make sure that the brand of the new entity integrates into it successfully. How do you do this?

    1. Define your new product or service, the value it delivers and how it fits into your organization's offerings.
    2. Decide whether the product or service is an expansion of current offerings or something completely new and different.
    3. Create the brand for the new entity and plan its launch!

    Planning Your New Product Launch

    It's easy to get excited when thinking about how to market a new product or service, and many companies make the mistake of launching too early.

    It may tempting, for example, to give your sales team the new print materials you've created before your website has been updated with the new product information. Or when rolling out a service,you may be eager to launch an email or telemarketing campaign to generate leads, but if you do it before the marketing collateral is ready, you run the risk of appearing unprepared and unprofessional to your prospects.

    Avoid this pitfall by making sure that all of your marketing pieces associated with the launch are created and communicate a consistent brand and message before going live.

    See how Boston University launched into a new offering by branding and integrating successfully.

     


    Topics: Marketing New Products

    Business Card Design: 5 Common Mistakes & How to Avoid Them

    business card design resized 600Your business card design says a lot about you and your company, so it’s one of the most important pieces of marketing collateral you’ll create. It’s also one of the most least expensive ones, so doesn’t it make sense to do it right?

    Here are 5 common mistakes I’ve seen over the years in business card design – and how you can avoid them:

    1. An unprofessional look.

    Business cards that are printed off your own desktop printer on plain or pre-printed paper look like business cards that are printed off your own desktop printer! Nothing turns someone off faster than thinking "They just started and can't even afford business cards." It does not instill any confidence in your company. An investment in professionally designed and printed business cards will come back to you two-fold.

    2. A generic format.

    Going to a printer and having your name and address centered on the card and printed in black ink because you think it doesn't matter is a mistake. It does matter – no logo, no brand, no identity, no credibility!

    3. I don't know what you do.

    Often when a company is named for its owner, we have no idea what kind of a company it is or what the company does! What happens when I look at that card six months from now? Hmm, I wonder what they do. If I can't remember; I throw it out. If your company name is generic use a tagline that tells people what you do.

    4. Failing to use the back of the business card.

    If you are not using the back of your card you've left half the space blank! The back is a great place to tell us more about your products or services, especially if you can use it to differentiate yourself from your competition. The extra cost to print the back of the card is minimal, so remember to use it!

    5. You don't have them when you need them!

    I attend many networking events and it astounds me when I ask for a card and someone says, "Oh, I forgot to bring them with me or I only have a couple." You should have business cards on you at all times, lots of them! Always order large quantities of business cards – the cost difference is minimal and you will always have enough to hand out when networking. You never know when you might meet someone you want to give your card to. I even bring them with me on vacation!

      If your business card design is making any of these mistakes, it's time to consider a new one!

      Topics: Marketing Collateral

      Marketing a New Business: How to Spread the Word Successfully

      Marketing a New Business-How to Spread the Word SuccessfullyAre you starting a new business? Or maybe you’ve been in business for a while but have yet to do an official launch?

      Either way, you need to spread the word when you are marketing a new business. After the initial splash of communications about your business, you need to keep telling people about it.

      Here’s how.

      First Splash

      Plan a big announcement or a grand opening if you have a physical location. The old "build it and they will come” mentality is rarely successful. You also may want to consider:

      • Advertising – make sure you advertise in a way that allows you to track results of your investment with specific offers and tracking mechanics included

      • Email Campaign to your existing database to let them know and encourage them to spread the word – maybe a referral gift?

      • Direct Mail Campaign to your target market or geographical area offering something of value to build your client base.

      Keep the Wave Going

      Avoid the trap of making a big splash and then going quiet. You don’t want your business to be “out of sight, out of mind.”

      Whether you are communicating with existing customers, prospects you are looking to convert or potential prospects you are looking to engage for the first time, you need to communicate regularly with your key audiences.

      Consider creating the following:

      • An online/email newsletter with valuable tips and information

      • Product/Service reviews (something your clients will care about)

      • A creative direct mail campaign

      • A promotional product that grabs prospects’ attention

      Final Tip: Start Your Branding Early

      Thinking through your brand and your messaging when you are beginning the process of marketing a new business and spreading the word is worth the time and investment. Once you start to build your brand over time it becomes more difficult and costly to start over.

      The other advantage is it clarifies who you are, the value you bring, and who your customer is – and makes it easier to communicate with a designer who can create the visual brand experience.

      Learn More!

      Advertising Campaigns that Create Excitement for Your Offerings

      Direct Mail Marketing that Generates Revenue Quickly

      Product & Service Launches That Make a Splash

       

       

       


      Topics: Marketing a New Business, Marketing Tips