Brand Building Basics

So you’ve taken delivery of your new logo design and it’s a great representation of your company, product or service. Now what? How are you supposed to use your new company visual identity to create a brand and get it ‘out there’ into the wild?

The Logo Factor Design BlogThat’s a very good question. Pretty important too, as you should keep this in mind – It’s only by continued and repeated use will your logo gain any marketing ‘traction’ and be connected to your company by already established clients and those that you want to be. Here’s some suggestions of how you can use your new logo. While some are free and can be accomplished by yourself quickly and effortlessly, others might require the services of an outside vendor and spending a little scratch. All of our suggestions will help get your new logo noticed in the quickest way possible.

Stick it in your e-mail.

If you communicate a lot with clients electronically, you probably send a lot of e-mails each and every day. The ‘signature’ section at the bottom of those e-mails is a perfect place to start sending your new logo to those clients and prospective customers. Now, I’m not suggesting that you create a full-blown e-mail template (though you can if you like) as these can be unwieldy and more often than not, the people receiving your e-mail will have their ‘view images’ option turned off (I know I do on my e-mail client). A simple .JPG file, .GIF or .PNG of your logo is unobtrusive, doesn’t interfere with your message and won’t bother anyone while still building your new logo recognition.

Slap it on your website or blog.

If you have a website or blog, as you get your hands on digital files, slap your logo into the header section. Won’t take long and is a real easy way to get your logo in front of a whole bunch of eyeballs. While you’re at it, stick it in the footer as well. You’ll probably want to make your logo nice and big, but there are some sizing issues you’ll need to be cognizant of, particularly when it comes to the aspect ratio and footprint of your spiffy new logo. Read our using a logo on websites & blogs help feature for a more detailed look at that. If, on the other hand, you don’t have a blog or a website, you should probably get one (we’re getting serious about marketing here).

Announce it to the world.

If you do run a website or blog, there’s no better place to announce your new logo to the world (truth to tell, unless you’re running a huge corporation, your blog is the only place that your new logo will seem newsworthy.) Publish a blog post. Tell a little about the evolution of the design. What it means. Why it’s the most important logo in the history of ever (here’s our rather lengthy tale of redesigning The Logo Factory logo). Once you’ve done that, go to your Twitter account and tell everyone about the blog post. You don’t have a Twitter account? Probably time to get one of those too. Ditto for Facebook. Speaking of which, if you do have Facebook and Twitter pages, time to add your new corporate identity to your profile. Read using a logo on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube for more on that.

Plaster it on every scrap of paper at your office.

If your business is in any way typical, you’ll use a lot of paper to shoot information around. Internal memos. Photocopies. FAX cover sheets. All of these have blank spaces crying out for a logo. Your new one. Nothing terribly dramatic or stressful. I’m talking about a small version of your logo printed at the top, or bottom, of your photocopy paper. A nice black and white bitmap of your logo (a linear setup) on a FAX cover sheet. You give out invoices? There too. Shipping memos? Uh-huh. Your logo should be featured on every slip of paper that leaves your office. Every. Single. One. And even those that don’t. Brand recognition means recognizing a brand. So, get yours recognized. By everyone who comes in contact with a piece of correspondence from your company.

Business cards, letterheads and envelopes wouldn’t hurt.

Remember when we said that a new logo should be plastered on everything? You’d be amazed how many people undergo the expense of designing logos, only to forgo getting business cards and other stationery items that feature it. Brand building with business cardsThe rationale usually involves having cards left over from earlier days, when the company didn’t have a logo, or a design that wasn’t particularly inspiring. If you’re in that boat, toss the old ones out. They’ve served their purpose, and it’s time to get new ones. The cost of printing letterheads and business cards is nominal, relatively speaking, and well worth the expense (one of our printing partners has a 10% discount on first orders). If stationery design wasn’t included with your new logo workup, then it’s time to get it done. Business cards and letterheads are how most people will come to know your new logo. Envelopes aren’t too shabby either.

Trinkets and Gizmos.

The term collateral design refers to everything else. Trinkets (often referred in the marketing industry as “premium incentives”) that feature your new logo are a great way to build brand awareness, though it’s going to incur a little expense. Think T-shirts, baseball caps, pens, coffee mugs, mouse pads. Used to be that these cool little marketing items were off limits to the small and micro-business due to minimum orders (you’d have to order 100 coffee mugs to give three out to your pals, your wife/husband or your kids) and prohibitive initial setup charges. That’s no longer true. With services like Zazzle and Cafe Press, you can set up whatever ‘products’ you want, without any minimum restrictions and few, if any, setup costs. You can order one of each (for your own personal use) or you can order several for gifts and promotional giveaways. Another nice feature is that these platforms allow you to set up your own store so when your new logo is all the rage, you can sell stuff to fans. There are some design restrictions, and really professional collateral material might still need the attention of an old-school vendor (time to break out the local Yellow Pages), but online product sites will certainly suffice at the beginning, when your funds may be light and your market small. One caveat – if you’re going to sell merch with your logo on it, probably time to think about a trademark or at least copyright registration of your new mark.

Redo old brochures and advertising material.

If your business is new, and your logo design is but part of an overall launch, you can safely ignore this one. You’ll need to start building an inventory of brochures, postcards, presentation folders and other marketing material with your new logo.Brand building with a brochureEverything doesn’t have to be produced at once (though it’s not a bad idea, for consistency’s sake, to have it designed by the same designer or design company, in relatively short order) and you can produce material as needs arise, and budget allow. But what if your logo is a re-brand, a new version of your earlier corporate identity that had grown long in the tooth? Eventually, you’ll have to replace all those brochures and pamphlets that aren’t current with your new ‘look and feel’ too. How quickly, and how radically, you replace this material depends solely on your budget. And how different your new design is from its earlier incarnation. If you’ve only changed the visual aspect of your company logo, and the name remained the same. No issue. Replace your advertising material as stocks dwindle, or new needs arise. If you’ve changed your company name, it’s time to change everything.

Right now

Advice we need to follow. Like the proverbial “shoemaker’s kids,” most of the photos that accompany this article feature our old house logo, not our recently redesigned one. Working on the new stuff now. For more on using your new logo, see our everything you need to know about logos section.