Have you ever ventured to pop just one small section of a roll of bubble wrap, to wind up madly popping through the whole roll in a manic and child-like fashion? Creating logos is much the same; let yourself become lost in a world of irrelevant possibilities and you will find yourself depleted and disconnected from what you first set out to achieve. Creating a lasting design that reflects the value your business creates can be achieved without too many headaches with some simple steps and guidelines to keep you on track.

Research competitors and logos you like

Get the creative ball rolling by researching some other logos in your industry. Determine what kind of fonts are used to match the sincerity of the business. Do you think you definitely need an icon, or could you just work with wording? What kind of colouring and line use stands out for you and gets a reaction?
                                                             

Always match your brand name and tagline


This is easier said than done. You and the designer you choose need to make sure that when your brand name, your logo and its elements (which can be used in conjunction with a logo), and your tagline come together; they make good sense. For your reference, you need to make sure you’re ticking off the following relationships between name, logo and tagline:
o   They provide a consistent and complementing message.
o   They provide an understandable message.
o   They give the viewer a ‘prelude’ into what it is you do, and why what you do is valuable.

Achieve brand attitude and personality with clever design

What should people ‘feel’ when they see it? Is your product or service ‘energetic’ and ‘strong’ / ‘fun’ and ‘enjoyable’ / ‘prestigious’ and ‘reliable’ or maybe ‘up-to-date’ and ‘tech-savvy’? You’re not just a name and an image, but the name and image can reflect these attitudes and keep the mood going throughout someone’s experience with your website, call, purchase, use of and re-use of the product. Keeping up appearances is a fantastic marketing method that can work well even if you’re a small or online-only business, but to achieve it you need to be consistent and never allow your great idea to gather dust.
Some tactics that achieve this: 

Anthropomorphism: Using an animal or object that has qualities you’d like to associate with your business. With this tactic, you don’t need to build your attitude from the ground up, because your logo already carries a feeling that people understand. An owl is wise, a fox is cunning, a rabbit is fast and a bull is strong.


 
 

Clever shape use: Can the first letter of your brand name be formed into a human body-like shape that looks like it’s moving? Many gym and training businesses go for this angle. If you’re able to incorporate the area or function that your business fulfils, similar to anthropomorphism, you will create expectations for users in the first possible instance of learning about you.

 

Abstract Graphic: This is where you’re using shapes or elements that may not have anything to do with the brand, but are easily memorable and fulfil part of your brand attitude. Nike’s ‘tick’ and other shoe brands are an example of using abstract graphics in logos.

 

Test, review and repeat!

Enlarge your logo to the biggest size it would come in and then shrink to the smallest size people would see, does it still work? Put your logo on top of different webpages or products, does it fit in?
After this be sure to share your ideas around with different staff members, what kind of responses are you getting? If people lean toward one design through several stages of development and alterations you’re onto a winner.

Need help with your branding?

We work with various firms to make sure their fantastic services get the attention they need in a simple and down to earth way, without the hefty pricing strategies and ‘carpet-swatch’ approaches that boutique agencies use. We would love to have a chat about your marketing or enquiries challenges and see if we can team up to give you a lasting solution.
Call 03 9670 0590 or email info@psychpress.com.au.

In our last article we looked at the different kinds of categories you should look into when naming a business / product or anything else that needs intelligent branding. Today we are going to suggest some all-important considerations to put your naming plan into action. This way your brand can achieve long term flexibility, be friendly across various internet contexts, and most importantly – get the desired response and outcome from your audience.


    1)    Plan for the probable

Right now 'Peter’s Massage Parlour' may make a lot of sense. But if you can foresee that there may be a need to expand on that service later on, your name (and branding that flows from it) could suffer. If you know you will always offer Massages and they will always be the bulk of the business then adding this term into your brand name can have great benefits, especially for your SEO, but don't let yourself or your brand become restricted further down the track.
Often companies that expand their offering beyond directly-related fields are forced to update their brand name, which of course takes time and money, but most of all means that you can potentially lose out from the effort you put into making people remember and appreciate you in the first place.

     2)    Don't forget your logo

A big mistake business owners make in brand creation is launching a name first and then tackling the logo later on, which can lead to an awkward visual mismatch between the two. It can be simpler to think “name first, logo after” but make sure that you’re not excluding logo design considerations from the process entirely.

    3)    Be web friendly

When you’re putting your site together, make sure that you take these important considerations into account to secure your great name.
Check your name on the company name register
There’s nothing worse than putting all your love into a name only to find out it already exists, or that a competitor’s is too similar. Make a habit of searching for existing names at registers such as this: Search Business Names. Be sure to avoid sounding similar to other business names, not just because you want your brand to stand out, but also because if a competitor has ‘claimed’ a niche with their name you will find yourself competing against an established idea and losing out on available opportunities.
Check URL hyphenation and length
Many company names can look good truncated into one word and make it easier for visitors to find you. For example ‘career-exchange.com.au’ would not be as straight forward as ‘careerexchange.com.au’ where URLs do not function with spaces but use hyphenation instead. However, if you have a function attached to your business name which makes it longer it is worth comparing the difference, for example ‘peterssmassageparlour.com.au’ becomes confusing whereas ‘peters-massage-parlour.com.au’ helps make sure that your name isn’t getting lost.

    4)    Register, place and update

Finally, once you decide on a business name (we hope it wasn’t too painful for you!) make sure you ‘nab’ your name in every relevant space you can think of, this will also do wonders for your SEO. Below are the common areas you should be getting an early foothold in once you’re ready.
Website: Register your own domain name with a hosting provider, refer to our domain hosting options article.
Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn company page and any others.
Directories: websites such as hotfrog and whitepages allow you to list your companies name and details for searchers to find. Many are free.
Register: The Australian Government shares steps to Registering your Business Name, and you can view more information on registering and trademarking your intellectual property here.
Is it all too much?
Career Exchange and Psych Press have had much experience when it comes to making new brands, products and webpages and we’re here to help. Let us know what you’re aiming to do or what your issues are in the online marketing world and we will give you a down to earth overview of whether our Content, Development or SEO packages can help. Contact info@psychpress.com.au or call 03 9670 0590.

Ever shuddered from a soon-to-be parent giving you the 'what we want to name our baby' speech? It should be a simple procedure; think of a few syllables that sound nice that don't remind you of someone you dislike and voila! But no, once some ideas are started you then open up to more and more, and before too long they're touting something like "Anastasia-Dakota-Mango" whilst forgetting what you were meant to achieve in the first place, causing difficulties in the schoolyard, sports and everything else. Branding and business names are much the same, focus too much on your own pride and wittiness and your actual end product gets left behind. Your name may not connect to client needs or be memorable enough to have any effect.

In the online world it is crucial that your name brings early attraction and attention when you need it the most, and carries the value of your business into every space it touches. It is the first touch point that carries your value proposition textually and visually, and the longest lasting asset you have, but don't let that stress you out! Let's look into some different ways you can approach the naming process and important naming categories that should help you formulate ideas to be proud of.

 

Name Types

Function-specific

This is where 'what you do' or 'how it's done' is imprinted into the name itself. This can be as basic as 'Sydney Massage' where you're following a well-known grain that helps people identify what you do very quickly. This is usually preferable if you're not trying to break the mould with your service, but rather cater to a particular area or customer base.
On the other hand, if you'd like your core benefit and what sets you apart to be as clear as possible you can get more involved. For example: 'Vistaprint' puts a nice visual term and the core service of printing into one new word. 'Lite n' easy' describes their product, hints that it is a food category, and sets them up for a branding personality in just 9 letters. 'Hotmail' and 'Gmail' are product names of larger entities that have made their positioning very simple for all users.
 
PROS

  • Efficient branding and customer understanding
  • Great benefits for your URLs and SEO if you can claim your name
  • Opportunities to re-use the name on different products and visual spaces
CONS
  • May limit your expansion further down the track
  • Can be difficult to find a niche that doesn't have similar competitors

 

Metaphoric / Emotion-relative

Amazon don't sell rainforests, and ebay don't sell bays. What they have in common is that they give you the feeling of a large and expansive place where anything is possible. For this reason they can move into just about any area they please.
An example of the emotion-relative notion is easily explained when you look at French sounding names in the fashion and fragrances industries. If it's more difficult to pronounce, chances are you'll be paying more for a premium product. Have you noticed how Target has been promoting the use of the French "tar-jay" pronunciation? Funnily enough their clothing lines seem to have risen in price.
A big online trend in metaphoric naming and logo use has been the influx of anthropomorphism. Firefox, Linux, Bronto and many more use animals to give you different feelings instantly. The Firefox fox is quick and cunning, and makes you want to befriend and attach yourself to it a lot more than a large 'e'. If you want to go down this path, be sure to match what makes you stand out to how you your audience should feel when they become involved with your business.
PROS
  • Quick connotations about your brand personality help alleviate 'complex' services offerings
  • Allows you to expand into different offerings more easily further down the track
CONS
  • Requires strong, ongoing marketing to stand out in the consumer's mind
  • Deviating from the 'feeling' that your logo and name give could weaken your overall image

 

Personal name progression

Some of the largest and longest running companies in the world started as the founder's surname. With this technique you can avoid several branding pitfalls simultaneously as a human name doesn't necessarily make promises.
PROS
  • You can use this in conjunction with the function-specific approach and always come across highly professional. Eg: 'Smithson Therapy'
  • Used by itself it is unlikely that you will ever need to change the name
  • People are more accustomed to remembering names in their day to day dealings
  • If you are a services business, you can use the name's owner as a figurehead for the quality of your work to help drive expectations and create a great brand story
CONS
  • You will have to get more creative with making a relevant logo
  • You may also miss out on the early benefits of the first two techniques, especially for SEO
These name categories should give you a better idea of the direction your business would like to take. In the next article we will be looking into how to link the name to a logo, common mistakes to avoid and plan your name for online readiness.

 

Crank Films and Cambodian Kids Can - One Good Turn Deserves Another

Many of our clients and readers will be aware that for over five years we have supported Cambodian Kids Can which provides a home for underprivileged girls in rural Cambodia. We are also supporting a library, an English and IT school and developing various social enterprises in the provinces to develop self-sufficiency. Quite 'out of the blue,' Crank, an Australian film group contacted us to develop a promotional video from concept to post production. Crank are a media production company geared towards telling stories across all mediums - television commercials, new media content, music videos, documentaries, feature films, and video games.
This brilliantly shot and touching piece highlights the discrepancy between a girls upbringing in rural Cambodia against places such as Australia. Might we suggest that if your business or company is looking for a marketing edge through film or video, Crank Films would be great people to talk to, or refer someone to, as ... "one good turn" deserves your support!
You can view what they have produced here http://cambodiankidscan.com/about-us/