Isn’t it just a pretty image in the corner of a page or someone else’s idea of what you should have? Well, as I have learnt over the past 10 years on my journey to becoming a brand specialist and graphic designer it’s oh such more than that! Your logo is your identity, a symbol of who you are and what your business stands for. People recognise your logo, you look professional, it gains trust. Even if people forget your name, a memorable logo sticks in your head.
So why do you need a brand specialist or graphic designer to help create this symbolic element of my business. I can just pop online to 99 Designs, get a logo for cheap as chips and away I go, let’s get marketing. Job done!
A brand doesn’t start and stop with a logo. A brand portrays your entire personality and your company. It communicates your message and mission to the outside world: your promise, visual identity, tone of voice, ethics and standards. It’s all about the bigger picture. It’s says I am here, I am proud of my business and I want everyone to know about it. Will you get that from a cheap as chips company online and build up a relationship for future development of your branding, uh no as your business grows, so does your reputation and need for consistency throughout your marketing online and offline. Get it right in the first place and you will save money and time in the long run!
So, what’s in a name?
You are endlessly scrolling through google trying to find a company that suits your needs, if like me, if it doesn’t jump out and hit me in the face, I am already on page 5 or 6 and lost the will to live. So, a catchy name is key when setting the foundations of your business.
Before contacting any graphic designer to design you logo and branding, one of the first things you need to consider is coming up with your brand name. There are domain name companies out there to check if your catchy names are available such as www.123-reg.co.uk or www.1and1.co.uk
1) List 5 possible names in order of priority
2) Live with them for a few days
3) Go on to these sites to see if they are available
4) Buy it now!
5) Be careful, people are on the look out, watching what you check and before you turn around they have been purchased and then the price has sky rocketed!
Hopefully your favourite name is available, and you have it at the base price which is generally pretty cheap, somewhere around £10-£15 per annum to host. Go for the .com if you can, so you are seen Worldwide. If based in the UK like myself, buy the .co.uk as well so someone else can’t start up a same name business. A lot of the other domain categories such as .net and .org are going off the radar and are not high enough up the Google search rankings. These are all the challenges I faced when starting up my business, so benefit from my experience.
I am the founder of Madcow Graphics, people often ask why did you choose the name ‘Madcow Graphics’ my response was I’m a bit mad, It;s a fun, catchy name that is widely used. I also liked how I could develop it as a logo. Now, people always say they remember me as it stands out from the herd! Excuse the pun! It’s also important to have a stage name or tag line that says what you do so people instantly get an understanding of what service or product you provide. I’m known as ‘The Brand Identity Queen’ as I specialise in creating strong brand identities for successful businesses.
Why invest in a brand mentor or graphic designer to create your logo?
This IS an investment, and should also be considered a big part of your start-up costs. You might have the best idea in the world but if you don’t have a strong brand identity to back up your product or service and make you stand out, then once the marketing butterfly effect dies down you will become forgettable. Successful companies such as Apple have a strong iconic logo, you don’t even need to see their name to know instantly who they are, it is so recognisable. Think carefully, if you invest in a graphic designer and brand mentor from the start you will not be rebranding and re-launching yourself in 6 months time! Thus spending more time and money and losing your original identity and purpose for starting your business in the first place. It takes time to build up a reputation and gain trust, so a strong brand identity from the start will always be your core.