It’s difficult to decide what to do first when debuting your company: A logo to put on your page or content to start generating an audience?
It’s like asking ‘Which came first, the chicken or the egg?’
Companies question what they need before going public or they don’t think they can put out content until they have everything established in a specific order.
Remember that your content decides your design. If you do not have an identity or profile for your company then you have no way of creating an image or logo that portrays your brand. The most important part of your business is what you are doing and why you are doing it.
What does your company offer?
Why are you doing what you are doing?
Who are you doing it for?
Once you lay out these answers you can work with a marketing professional to create a branding strategy that attracts your target audience. A discovery session and S.W.O.T analysis are a first step to figuring out what your strategy should look like. If you’re looking for someone who can base your brand around research-based information, please reach out.
If you want a modern, professional audience then there are colors, fonts and images that attract them. If you’re a creative brand or offer children’s products there are certain colors, fonts and images you can use for your logo and branding. Is your product or service for males or females? Is your product industrial or organic?
Once you look at your own company and your audience part of your discovery is looking at what others in your industry are doing. How can you set yourself apart? What’s a common theme across the board that helps to keep you relevant? This can be a great benchmarking tool for your business if you are in a rut.
You can test out different logos and visual designs in online prototypes to see how each performs before printing or putting it online. Content can start going out and once you publish your work you will be able to use reporting tools and built in business tracking systems to see when and where you grow the most as well as what performs the best.
Every brand needs a logo but does every brand need an emblem?
And what’s the difference between those and a symbol?
Which one do I need?
It’s been a struggle since the beginning of advertising knowing what you need and where you should put it. How do you describe everything about your business in one pixelated image?
Here is where a digital marketing and branding strategist comes in handy. Someone who has studied communications and design will know what your brand should look and feel like. They will be able to study your target audience and portray an image that attracts your clientele. If you are looking to brand yourself or revamp your brand, reach out for an evaluation.
So what is the difference between a logo and an emblem?
You can have both.
A logo is defined as ‘a symbol or other design adopted by an organization to identify its products, uniform, vehicles.’ Logos are placed anywhere and everywhere online and in person. They are on business cards, websites, products, deliverables, packaging and paid advertising platforms. They wrap up commercials and help the consumer identify a product or feeling with that brand when they see something that relates to the logo.
The text of an item might also be referred to as the logotype.
Examples of some famous logos are:An emblem is defined as ‘a heraldic device or symbolic object as a distinctive badge of a nation, organization, or family.’ It’s a symbolic representation of a concept or quality. An example would be the bald eagle representing America or the seals and emblems from the military and government offices.
An emblem does not include text (full words or names) and can be described as just the photo. Look at the above logos. The Nike swoosh, the golden arched M of McDonald’s or the Target bullseye can be used by itself without the logotype and you would still know what brand is being portrayed. Louis Vuitton can use LV and be instantly recognized.
Emblems are popular with makeup brands, automotive industry and for those looking to minimize or simplify their image on a product. Emblems can be more abstract, modern and you can get away with something more discreet to compliment the brand; not define it.
You don’t have to be a large brand to be considered for use of one or another. Consider your product, your brand and anything that would be delivered. Should your logo go on a majority of materials but you add the emblem to the products that will be kept by the consumer? If there is a smaller space your emblem might appear better than a minimized logo would.
When creating logos, I also present them with an emblem that can be taken apart or something that might appear better on a printed material than what you can get away with online.
Icons, symbols, logos, emblems…I can see why this overwhelms many people. The wrong answer is to say “Well I do ___ so I don’t care about ___.” That’s being an irresponsible business owner and, with over 80% of consumers buying something solely based on appearance, it’s a critical part of your company’s success. When you create a brand you’re creating a lasting impression and community to welcome your customers in to. Make it something they want to return to…and bring their friends with.
My aunt won a contest the other day by sharing her quick-and-easy business advice “Stay in your lane and pay others to do what you don’t want to know or deal with.”
It’s like when you’re driving in traffic (Hey, Seattle) and turning down the radio so you can focus on the streets and directions. It sounds funny because turning down what we are hearing helps us with what we are seeing. It’s the loss of one sense that heightens another. There are several reports on why we do this but it boils down to the need to cut through the distractions and focus on road ahead.
Your entire life you are asked ‘What do you want to be/do/study?’ If you were my little cousin you would have answered a firefighting dog, a license plate or a duck washer all by age seven. Her answer at age eight should be just as entertaining.
Throughout high school and early college I was interested in the medical field. I started out as a Biology/Pre-Med student with the aspiration to go into dermatology. By sophomore year I wanted to pursue nutrition or dietetics. By the end of sophomore year, I realized I was interested in learning a variety of topics (noisy distractions) but the reality of doing one thing for a career just didn’t appeal to me. My friends were the ones to suggest Public Relations and Communications because of my personality and strengths and it was the balance I needed. I could focus and enhance what I was good at instead of beating myself up over what I just wasn’t loving.
Let me say here: I believe you should have a working knowledge or basic understanding of everything. You should always be learning, questioning, leading and exploring.
It took cutting through the distractions of so many options to focus on my road ahead. PR landed me an internship with Ad Age’s Small Agency of the Year, Bailey Lauerman. I was introduced to an office where everyone collaborated on projects based on their strengths and were paired up for the best client outcome. I had access to the most creative copywriters, web designers, creative art directors and mentors.
We were all able to meet up, delegate tasks and then focus on what we were good at.
Instead of me taking 4 hours to learn how to master Photoshop and come out with a meh-designed piece, my co-worker had multiple, beautiful examples ready to go and we worked together on adjusting them to reach the ‘vision’. I was able to take my saved time and put it toward other killer work so we all won.
(Sidenote: This was my favorite job experience EVER if you can’t tell. If you get the chance, go work for them!)
Another Example: To me, taxes are the epitome of necessary-but-annoying adulting responsibility. Last year my husband and I went through a professional to file for us as an introduction to W2+1099=Filing Jointly world. We thought this would establish a great template for us to just do it ourselves next time.
Next time came around and after a weekend hermited inside, going through papers, files, missed deductions and faulty communication that can only lead to not-nice arguments with your spouse plus several digits more of a payout….we agreed to invest in our sanity and have a pro handle taxes from here on out.
For the tax guy, this stuff comes naturally. He gets it. To my aunt, she wants to focus on her work and it’s worth her time and money to pay others to take care of business. The working couple with five kids prefer to spend their time outside of work with their family so hiring house cleaners and yard work just makes sense.
If you’ve gotten this far you’re obviously a good reader (CONGRATS!) so I won’t repeat everything but there are Four Zones in which we can operate: Incompetence, Competence, Excellence and Genius.
As entrepreneurs you wear many different hats so this can be easy to scoff at. Those scoffing will soon fail as they worked: by themselves. Those that are most successful in their work realize what and when to pass some tasks off. No one ever got to where they are alone.
You’ve heard “You can know a lot about a little or a little about a lot.”
People also say it isn’t WHAT you know, it’s WHO you know.
I see it as this. It’s not a matter of “I’m not capable of doing this” but “My energy is best spent here and I’m capable of noticing that.”
It’s not “How many things can I know?” but “WHO do I know that can do this for me and do it well?” People can only get by on surface-level knowledge of knowing a little about a lot for so long. I feel I’m most succesful when I have a network of people who know a lot about a little. Imagine how productive you’d be if everyone could work in their zones.
It might be intimidating to label your Zone of Genius or scary to outsource but when you realize you are investing in services to give you back your time, what you end up gaining is far more valuable.
I want to know: What have you realized is better to outsource or take care of yourself?
PS: Know someone who would like to focus on their craft and let us cut through the distractions of their marketing? Now through May 31, we are offering FREE Discovery Sessions and discounted Branding +Positioning Strategies. Let’s work together.
Interested in starting up your own business? Know an entrepreneur? Share our One Year Anniversary Promo (March 2019 ONLY) where EVERYONE gets a FREE Discovery Session + 50% off their Branding + Positioning Strategy! Ask me more or schedule your call here.
Marin took this photo in Fall 2017 near Astoria, Oregon. This is the Peter Iredale Shipwreck, Ft. Stevens Historical Area.
This was a post written February 27 that started this entire journey. It is referenced in this blog so I wanted to share. I have adjusted some of the wording and thoughts since then. Enjoy…
“She stood in the storm & when the wind did not blow her way, she adjusted her sails.” -Elizabeth Edwards. #stormsabrewin
What an awesome point in my life I’m at right now; personally and professionally. Acknowledging and identifying what is good or right for me. Being able to meet, connect and help others. To leave everyone a little bit happier than you found them. To do a job well done without the need to be praised but, instead, to feel good about your work and solid in your value.
You can only control your thoughts, your actions, your reactions and be proud of the way you handled them. Don’t react harshly because you’re not a harsh person. You are or are not going to do something because that IS or that ISN’T the type of person YOU are. This is still something I am working on but it makes you feel good. It’s what some might call forgiveness and it’s what others call selfish. What would someone like you call it?
Today I was presented an opportunity that’s been on my mind for years. Things I am passionate about or worried about blindsided me in a matter of 30 minutes.
What could have been seen as a significant loss I viewed as a MAJOR opportunity.
The same day I was listening to “Uninvited”, a Christian book about the enemy facing you with rejection. NOPE! Not today! I weirdly felt a complete sense of peace and clarity that I have yet to have experienced until now. The kind of aha moment that makes you laugh out loud.
I cannot wait to share my adventure with you! I’ve been wanting, wishing and hoping for too long; it’s just time to do it. Take a leap. Beat the imposter syndrome (Which I talk more about here.) I hope you’ll support me as we do this. ❤️ (what a great day, huh?!)
Interested in starting up your own business? Know an entrepreneur? Share our March promo where EVERYONE gets a FREE Discovery Session + 50% off their Branding + Positioning Strategy! Ask me more or schedule your call here.
Hey, I’m Marin! I’m named after a county in California but I was born and raised in a small Kansas town. As in we still don’t have stoplights and I went to school in a cornfield, y’all. I earned a Bachelor of Science in Journalism & Mass Communications (Focus in Public Relations) from the greatest school on Earth (Kansas State University) where I met my husband.
His career as an Army officer takes us across the country. We have a love for adventuring new places, hiking the most beautiful trails and searching for a new favorite beer all while loving on our Iranian rescue pup, Argo.
There are several challenges as a Military Wife but finding and maintaining a career is toward the top of the list. After some jobs left me feeling unfulfilled, underutilized, under-paid, and held back, I finally felt it’s time to fearlessly pursue a creative, fulfilling career. Isn’t that what we’re all looking for?
I am forever grateful that I’ve been consistently working my entire life. The variety of jobs I’ve held have taught me lessons to keep me humbled and well-rounded, allowing me to better serve my future clients and career. I’ve had several unique opportunities and experiences to apply to my work and have been encouraged for my creative ideas, innovative promotion strategy and eye for design. Paired with those skills, I have implemented public relations, advertising, marketing, communications, customer service and sales to provide a fresh eye and challenging approach to business.
I’m inspired by the thought of bringing you a collaborative marketing approach from your most enthusiastic local entrepreneurs. People I have worked with and trust from multiple industries. I believe in authenticity, I value transparency, I accept feedback and I expect a growth mindset from those I partner with. I strongly believe you can have fun while being professional. I believe you can be modern and rustic at the same time. I believe sandwiches should be hot, drinks should be cold and notes should be handwritten. I believe you should stand firm in your beliefs with an open mind.