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Potter Marketing & Branding
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Full Service Marketing & Branding
Full Service Marketing & Branding

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Tip #16 by Jack Potter/Creative Director - Part One
10 “Must Ask” Questions From Your Logo Designer!

When creating a corporate logo and its branding, your designer should ask these key questions of you. If they don’t ask, get another designer, quick! A reputable and responsible designer knows these questions cold and needs your answers to create.
1. What industry(s) do I consider my company or product falls in?
The United States Department of Labor has created the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code system. These codes work very well in classification of business types and sub categories. Most direct mail lists and email lists are categorized with these in mind. If you don’t know your company’s SIC code(s), you may go here: https://www.osha.gov/pls/imis/sicsearch.html
2. What is my company’s or product’s unique selling proposition?
How are we different from our competition? Do we really have any competition? Are we better, faster, cheaper? Are we “King of the Hill” or number three or number 333? Why would someone choose us over our competition? Are we a disruptive technology, a category killer or just same-old-same-old? Your sales force and your professional corporate logo designer need to know these answers.
3. To what Target Market will we be communicating?
What are its specifications? B2B (Business to Business) or B2C (Business to Consumer), Age, Sex, Corporate rank (Owner, COB, CEO, Marketing Director or Finance?) Location (local, county, statewide, regional, USA, Europe, worldwide?
If B2C, what is the household income, credit rating, married, single, children, etc?
4. What are my market’s “Hot Buttons” to aid in closing the sale?
If I don’t know, how do I find out? This is where survey technology may first be used. You may think you know all of your client’s “Hot Buttons” or “Go Buttons” but it may not be true or only partially true. Do you really want to risk it? We suggest you go with a professional survey company that specializes in this technology. We have two we will recommend if you call us.
5. What is my company’s “Positioning” that differentiates us in our marketplace?
If I don’t know, how do I find out? Go buy a copy of The Positioning Era written by Jack Trout and Al Ries, published by Ries, Cappiello, Colwell in the 1970s. This is quite a study and although this is quite helpful, you may not have enough time to get to be expert in this field. Don’t risk your business on a maybe. We suggest you go with a professional survey company that specializes in this technology. We have two we will recommend if you call us.
6. What message(s) do I want my new logo to convey?
It should be simple and easy to grasp not a confusing mess. If you are provably the best in category, that should be exploited. If you are #3 and you “Try Harder”, that should be pushed. Are you organic? Show it and say it. If your industry is quite conservative don’t use bright colors and wild script type. That would conflict, but your designer can find ways to help your company to stand out from the pack. If your business industry is creative, show it and say it in as many ways as you can. All of the above will become much clearer once your company’s or product’s “Hot Buttons” and the “Positioning” has been established via surveys.
7. What, exactly, do I want my marketplace to do once they are exposed to it? Call? Email? Purchase online? Drop by? See us at a trade show? Tell a friend? This may seem too simple to discuss or even worry about but you would be surprised how many clients have not even considered what actions their prospects or clients should or would take after the first or tenth viewing of the new logo in an ad, an email, a flyer or on a truck or the website. Think about it, get a really clear picture of what you want.
Next Blog #17 I will complete questions 8 – 10. Stay tuned. I do hope this is helpful and if you have any questions or need a little help, give me, Jack Potter, a call at Potter Marketing & Branding - 727.812.8982.
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Tip#14 - Logos & Branding

How exactly should I use my new logo?
Should it be designed onto everything?
Should I set some standards of usage?

So you have that new logo now what? First, one should insist that the logo be used in all the company’s communications. It must be identifiable whether in a magazine or on the side of a truck, and whether it’s nearly the size of a pinhead or a football field.
The designer should take into account the many and varied possible circumstance that the logo is likely to be used in. That is one color on white field, reversed (white) on a dark field, 2 colors and ultimately, 4 color process (full color). He should specify what are the exact, specified colors using Pantone Matching System (PMS) and for the web, the SAFE colors.
Obviously, one cannot foresee every situation but your designer can specify most circumstances and the logo’s usage in those particular situations. If not, get a better designer.
Will the logo be printed or digital or both? Upon what type surface will it be printed? What will be the smallest usage and what would likely be the largest? Will it be printed using letterpress, offset or web presses or will it be silk screened or embroidered? Will it be used digitally, via email, the Internet or upon TV and at what resolution for each type of usage?
And finally, the logo should be designed into each promotional piece. It should NOT be just slapped on, as many are. Since it is new, there is a tendency to make the logo too BIG. That should be resisted. Keep it in good taste and don’t forget to have FUN with it.
The Next Tip: We will talk about what is the best way to introduce your new logo. Stay tuned for Tip #15
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Tip#12 - Logos & Branding
Who should I hire to create our new corporate logo?
What criteria should I use to pick the best designer?

Get Some Help: Hiring a professional designer to develop a logo is an absolute must. You don’t want your future resting upon some amateur effort. But before hiring a logo designer, look at many samples of recent work. Check their longevity and track record in their field. Check out their reviews and success stories.

A great logo should be a perfect blend of insight, creativity and communication, but you cannot have insight without information. If your logo designer does not request the details of your business, any professional research done, your product or service and a profile of your target market, find another designer, quick!

High price is no guarantee of great work and neither is a low one…you often get what you pay for. Cheap equals amateur, usually. Cheap, in the long run, is not cheap at all. It usually means that in a very short period, all of your branding and promotional literature has to be redesigned and reprinted at a much, much, much greater cost. You don’t often have a second chance at a first impression. The question you might want to ask is, “How much business did an amateur logo and branding campaign cost my business?”

A word to the wise, never stage a logo contest. It might be tempting in order to save money, but you’ll be lucky if you get even one good design. Many amateurs will be attracted but no professionals will bother. Let’s face it, you won’t get a professional logo by hiring amateurs. That would be a false expectation…at best.

The business owner always has input but should leave the logo creation to the professional designer armed with his survey data and testing. The final decision should always, always, always come from one’s own marketplace. Always!!!

The Next Tip: We will talk about getting your new logo protected. What is a TM or a (c) or a © or a ®? Stay tuned for Tip #13

©2013 by J. Brooks Potter Marketing, All rights reserved
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Logos & Branding Tip #11
Why should we Instant Impression Test before we create our new corporate logo?

Impression Testing your logo because you never get a second chance at a first impression. One of the most important steps in the development of graphic images and logos for marketing, advertising and public relations is INSTANT IMPRESSION TESTING. Without it you can very easily waste thousands of dollars on a logo or a direct mail campaign no one likes or remembers. The same goes for ads or any other promo.

Look at the cost of a half page ad in any major publication. It’s not pennies. Why risk having that investment go down the drain on an ad that doesn’t bite or a logo that no one even glances at?

Your buying public must be consulted prior to completing any logo, designs for promo or packaging strategies. If you don’t consult customers opinions, you’re wasting your time and money. Instant Impression Testing is the simple and powerful way to make sure you’re visuals are on the mark and get the results you intended.

All graphic images should be tested to find out:

• Do they convey your message to the target public?


• Can the message be absorbed at a glance?


• How well it is remembered?


• How do the public feel about the graphics?

The superiority of your product or service needs to be paired with ultimate aesthetic appeal to maximize your success. If the design has hit the mark, that brief instant of attention will succeed in attracting your target market public long enough for it to deliver your intended message and help to sell the product. The only way you can really find out if your design or artwork actually attracts and communicates properly is to survey your target market…Period!

When your first impressions stick, you will certainly take it to the bank.

The Next Tip: we will talk about getting help with the creation of your new logo.
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Tip #9 Logos & Branding - What should our new logo show or say about our business?

Small Business Messaging: Your logo should convey the correct image to your customer/client in a single glance. Customers decide a lot about your company in a glance. Try it now. Take a glance at your sign. Peek at your business card or stationery. Glimpse your brochure. Check out your company’s vehicles. View your business website. What did you see?
What image comes to your mind? Chances are your logo, or lack of one, formed an image of your business even more so than your name.
It screamed at the viewer: We’re Creative! Dull! Clever! Economical! State-of-the-Art! Behind-The-Times! Classy! Disorganized! Trustworthy! Cheesy! Or Friendly!
Getting the logo to say the right message in the correct volume is absolutely vital. But how does a small business owner achieve that goal?
Potter Marketing & Branding has been In business for more that four decades. Starting in 1971 and for the past 46 years we have specialized in the creation of corporate, business and product logos and the branding associated with them. Our experience has gained us valuable knowledge in what it takes in order to communicate your message and get your prospects to purchase from you and…NOT your competitors. Check out our site at http://www.jbo\potter.com. Contact Jack and see what can be done for you!

The Next Tip: we will talk about marketing research. Stay tuned for Tip #10

©2013 by Potter Marketing & Branding, All rights reserved
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Tip #8 - Logos & Branding
When should we start our logo creation phase?

Starting The Design: The best time to start the logo creation phase is just after the completion of your basic marketing and positioning research and surveys. Before that, you are flying blind with no target, shooting in the dark at any noise.
When the research is done, your design firm will have enough data to launch the design search. Aesthetics is not the only criterion for a great logo and branding. Pretty colors and beautiful shapes may not matter. And yours or my personal tastes may have no bearing on its appeal. The things that really matter are:
Have you done any marketing research on the acceptable message your prospects and clients want to hear?
Does your new logo say and do what the research discovered will effectively push the emotional “hot buttons” of your public.
Will your new logo help to trigger sales or will it fail?
Does your new logo capture the real essence, philosophy or position of your firm?
Potter Marketing & Branding has been in the business of creating award winning logos and branding for more that four decades. Jack Potter started his agency in 1971 and for the past 44 years has specialized in the creation of corporate, small business and product logos and the branding associated with them. This experience has gained us valuable knowledge in what it takes to communicate your correct message and get your prospects to purchase from you and…NOT your competitors. Call 727.812.8982. See what can be done for you! Talk to Jack, he is a good listener.

The Next Tip: we will talk about small business messaging and its uses. Stay tuned for Tip #9

©2013 by J. Brooks Potter Marketing, All rights reserved

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Tip #6 - Logos & Branding - What’s important about Monogram logos?

The monogram comes to us mainly from the garment industry. Used as an identification device on men’s and women’s shirt cuffs, it features two or three letters hooked together and embroidered on a garment to identify its owner and otherwise make a statement of quality, expense or style. This solution is simple but can have quite an impact. Some stellar examples are IBM, RCA, MMM – later changed to 3M., AAA Club, AARP, CBS, NBC, ABC and many many more. I’m sure you can think of many yourself.

In the example above the N.E.O. are the product’s initials but also form the word NEO which is NEW. Not only clever but a helpful branding image.

Look at your logo and branding. quick, what images come to mind? Your company logo communicated much more than just your company name. It screamed to the viewer: Professional! Creative! Dull! Classy! Boring! Disorganized! Economical! Cheesy! Trustworthy! Cutting edge! It left impressions. Getting your company’s logo to slam home the right message about your business or product, at the right volume, is vital. Ultimately, your business logo must convey clearly what your company does.

A logo—whether a unique typeface, monogram, or clever symbol—is your company’s first statement about its marketing position and its branding.

Your average targeted prospect is bombarded with thousands of visual messages daily, so words become a blur. But a well-thought-out graphic design is easily remembered. We all know that the mind can draw many conclusions after one quick look. To take full advantage of that fact, your logo should convey the right images that help the viewer create the conclusions you want them to have about your company or corporation. A positive impression that leads them to buy! Go to http://www.jbpotter.com for a custom professional logo or...go to http://www.leftoverlogos.com for affordable stock, professional logos.

The Next Tip: we will talk about the symbol or pictogram logo, the one that speaks to us through an image, and its uses. Stay tuned for Tip #7

©2013 by J. Brooks Potter Marketing, All rights reserved

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Logos & Branding Tip #1 - What is a logo?

Logos & Branding - A Short History: For thousands of years, groups of all types have used symbols, patterns and colors to identify themselves and their belongings.

In Western Europe, during the Middle Ages and on up to present time, the “Coat of Arms” served as a way to identify royal families.The aristocracy in Japan identified their families with a “mon,” a circular design incorporating flowers or animals. For centuries in China, artists have been using a “chop” to symbolize their name on their drawings, paintings and art of all types.

In Scotland, a particular “plaid” in the family’s clothing identified each clan. These symbols brought an air of respect to the families and meant to the illiterate “watch out,” “keep your hands off,” “this belongs to us” and much more. Emblazoned on carriages, castles, stationery and sealing wax, these symbols soon became the first public identity devices.

A great logo should be a perfect blend of insight, creativity and communication, but you cannot have insight without information. If your logo designer does not request the details of your business, any professional research done, your product or service and a profile of your target market, find another designer, quick!

High price is no guarantee of great work and neither is a low one…you often get what you pay for. Cheap equals amateur, usually. Cheap, in the long run, is not cheap at all. It usually means that in a very short period, all of your branding and promotional literature has to be redesigned and reprinted at a much, much, much greater cost. You don’t often have a second chance at a first impression. The question you might want to ask is, “How much business did an amateur logo and branding campaign cost my business?”

The Next Tip: we will talk about the importance of logos in modern-day business. Stay tuned for Tip #2

 ©2013 by J. Brooks Potter Marketing, All rights reserved
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