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A New Year's Launch
Welcome to our first issue of "Marketing Matters," a free monthly e-newsletter with tips and ideas for marketing your business.  We will cover a variety of subjects this year, including web design and optimization, printing, tradeshows, promotions, direct mail and print advertising, to name just a few. 
 
In a quick, easy-to-read format, we'll keep you thinking about the important aspects of marketing and branding your business throughout 2010. This month we tackle one of the most critical elements of marketing - your company logo.

 What's In A Logo

A logo is a visual emblem that represents your business. It's your fingerprint, your first impression with a potential customer. It has to communicate quickly as well as stand the test of time. 
 
McDonalds has its golden arches. Nike has the swoosh. Macintosh has the apple. A logo is more than a name, more than lettering and graphic symbols. A logo represents the culmination of everything that your business is and wants to be. It's your mark and your statement.
 
A properly branded logo can be so powerful that simply seeing it can send a message or change a mood. The Red Cross logo represents help, relief and hope. And who doesn't know what the happy face means? This one little mark is known and used around the world.
 
What does your logo say about your business? Does it distinguish your business from your competition? If you think this is reading too much into a simple icon, think again. Companies invest millions to get that one-of-a-kind image that is recognizable and memorable.

What Does A Logo Do for Me?
We live in a fast-paced, visual culture, and we are bombarded by thousands of images and messages every day. Consider what a good logo can do for your business. It can...
  • Build image and brand recognition
  • Represent the quality of your product or service
  • Distinguish you from your competition
  • Be used as a means of promotion
  • Send a message
The History of the Logo
Early Greek and Roman rulers often developed a symbol for themselves and stamped them on their coins. Masons carved their special symbol into the stones they placed.
 
Some corporate logos such as Shell Oil and RCA have been so successful that they have endured for more than 100 years. Some businesses find it advantageous and necessary to redesign or adapt their logo to changes in their industries and with the times. Updating your logo can help you hold on to your niche in a changing business environment.
 
Logo Attributes
Logos should be developed with a variety of attributes in mind:
  • Simplicity - Like so many other things, less is more.
  • Scalability - Your logo should be readable on a highway billboard or at postage stamp size.
  • Flexibility - Your logo must adapt well to wherever it will be placed. For example, a logo that looks great at the top of your letterhead must also fit the proportions of a hat, website or signage.
  • Color - Most graphic logos today use color, but purposefully. A thoughtful selection of colors allows you to use them throughout all of your marketing materials. Whatever colors you choose, your logo should also work well in black-and-white. 
There is an art to crafting an effective logo. A professional graphic communications firm can help you determine if your logo is effective and if it works for your business. Ultimately, you want to develop a logo that is relevant to your business, memorable and flexible for a wide range of marketing venues. After all, Marketing Matters.
 A Case Study

Don's Johns has been in business for more than 40 years, and is a leading provider of portable restrooms, toilets, restroom trailers and sanitation services in the Northern Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, DC, Metropolitan region. The company was struggling with decisions about promoting its corporate identity to new generations of customers. It called Brand Design for assistance.

DJ old logo

Brand Design recognized the value and brand strength of the Don's Johns' iconic half moon symbol. Instead of recommending a new logo design, it suggested that modernizing the existing logo would help position the company in a market where even portable restrooms have undergone significant technological advances.  
 
Brand Design refined and updated the image with brighter colors and more contrast between the text and the symbol, thus making the logo more modern and more readable from a distance.
 
"We struggled with decisions about our corporate identity," said Conrad Harrell, Vice President of Don's Johns. "We even consulted with another vendor, but nothing seemed to click. Brand Design suggested that we make a subtle change to refine the logo to make it more modern and streamlined. This worked perfectly because it fit with the technological advances that we have implemented into our business. We now use our new logo on all of our trucks, our clothing and marketing materials. We highly recommend Brand Design." 

DJ new logo

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