If you’ve been searching the wonderful world of the web for a little insight into the whole logo design field, you might find yourself a tad dazed and confused. You know logos are meant to capture and represent the heart and soul of your business and its products and services. Your company image should be appealing and elicit an emotional response in viewers of the logo. Graphically brilliant, yet economic in its use of color and font size and style. Bold yet safe. Daring yet tasteful -and above all else, simple. If you want your identity to set your business world on fire, why does it need to be simple?
If you stop for a minute and try to think of some of the most memorable logos you’ve ever seen you’ll find that simplicity is a characteristic common to all of them. Think of the apple with a bite out of it. Think of the ReMax hot air balloon. Think of the AT&T blue world of the Wikipedia Planet Earth. They are all simple designs. And they are all extremely functional.
When we speak of the functionality of a logo we are referring to the potential of using it in any application without losing any of the inherent value. To illustrate consider the now famous Century 21 Logo. The name of the company appears stacked and staggered with different font sizes used to accentuate the first letter of the company name and the numerical designation at the end of the tag line. The use of simple line drawings connotes home and yard. So this identity does the most important thing an identity is supposed to do: suggest what business the company is in. We knew they had something to do with homes. But note that the logo has no additional text? Why not? Century 21 is a franchise operation and eliminating text references from the design allows franchisees to use the logo with their own text. That’s functionality.
Here are some other things we can learn about functionality from this example.
First, it’s scalable. By that we mean it can be enlarged or reduced without altering the impact of the logo in any way. You’ve seen this logo on business cards, on clothing, on letterhead, on huge banners as well as smaller signs, and on an array of promotional items. This logo can pretty much go anywhere and do anything. On business cards the image is positioned to the left allowing individual realtors to incorporate a portrait picture directly onto the card.
Second, the colors and graphic enhancements are also transferable to a variety of media. On most signs and in the telephone yellow pages, the Century 21 logo uses only two colors: yellow and black. The significance is once again, the logo loses none of its impact when reproduced in black and white. And the only graphic enhancements are the line drawings and the variation in font size. One of the major drawbacks of many logos designed with slick software like photo shop is the fancy stuff the designers like to add. Many do-it-yourself designers go way overboard here with 3D and shadows and color fades all over the place. Those enhancements will not translate well to a lot of media.
Finally, a word about the lack of text. Whoever did this logo understood the nature of the franchise business. This is an identity that can be used at the corporate level or at the franchise level with text added for a variety of purposes from promoting a free market analysis to an open house.
The home based business has exploded in recent years because more and more people are getting out of the mind set of staying with the same company for thirty years and retiring. The new generation of business minded people don’t want to waste their talents to make someone else the big profits-but instead want to line their own pockets from talents they have obtained. This is an exciting period in the business cycle when individuals break down the barriers to achieve their own success. With that said how exactly would a new business obtain a network it needs to survive in today’s marketplace?
With most new small businesses being home based start-ups.It’s important that these businesses build a solid network of contacts that can help sell the business for you. Networking can provide invaluable business opportunities for sales that otherwise would cost the business thousands of dollars in advertising dollars to obtain. Some of the ways to start building a solid network utilizes two very important but equal strategies. If you follow these two strategies your almost assured that a solid network of business contacts can be achieved.
The first approach is what I call the “Street” plan of attack. This strategy consists of the old way of doing networking. After all you don’t want to stop doing something that has proven to work time and time again. What a small business owner must realize right off the bat- they must get out there and meet people if the business has any prayer of getting off the ground. If you are a shy or timid person it’s time to get over that fear or your new business will never get off the ground. The market place is really for those that are strong and determined-all being timid will do for your business make you broke.
With that said the very first thing you should do as a new business owner is to join your professions networking group. If your in real estate- then it would be advisable to join some investment groups or attend your Realtor associations events. After all Realtors pay big money to be apart of the national and local associations so why not utilize it to your advantage. The next step in networking on the ground would be for you to get involved in your community. Nothing brings more interest in your business then socializing with people within your community. Join the local chamber of commerce and attend the event meetings they have once a month. Join the different boards within the commerce to let people know who you are, volunteer for events that your commerce organization is having. Another good place to pick up contacts is by joining social organizations like the Elks or Moose- Lyons club or Rotary. These social organizations are usually national and can go a long way in building contacts outside your local area. Again just don’t join to say you joined- get out there and be active within the organizations.
The second approach to use is through the internets-many great social networking sites exist right now that can give you great results if used correctly. Myspace and Facebook can bring your business a treasure trove of business- even presidential candidates are utilizing these sites to bring in contributions and votes. Although the new internet can be a blessing to your business efforts. A business owner must recognize how to be effective in using them. Most people in business think that you sign up for an account and just start requesting as many friends as possible. This is the deadly sin as I call it for anyone truly wanting to build a network for their business. Again let’s take real estate for an example. Your a Realtor and want to build a good network of people that can help you grow your business.
As a real estate professional you want to build a network by getting other people who know your business and can give you referrals. Thus in starting your network you want to do a search for all those profiles that are Realtors and making a friend request. After you complete that you want to move onto mortgage lenders and maybe business brokers- anyone that can help you build your business base. Once you build your base then you start requesting people in your geographic area that might be interested in your services. But remember you want to build relationships and not just spam people with your services. If thats your goals then you will fail period. People like doing business with someone they think they know- if you communicate through emails or comments then you start to build that relationship. Remember if done right this tool can take you a long way in bringing you business that can be repeat as well as building a solid business relationship for future deals.