Creating a Unique Brand and Sticking with it.
While I bear no animosity towards vista print and their “free” business cards there is no place for them in your branding. They have beautiful samples, backgrounds and other options that can make it easy to create a beautiful business card.
Branding is not just your logo…
Branding is everything that defines the look, feel and emotions triggered by your company. Your brand absolutely must be unique and memorable. So by using a service like Vistaprint you are killing your brand (not unique and maybe not memorable). Many people say “I couldn’t afford anything else.” It really isn’t a question of affordability. Creating a brand that has lasting power and impact is critical to your success and will pay off more and more over time.
Think Twice before Changing your Brand
Empowered Marketing has changed it’s branding 1 time in 15 years. It was a sure thing – we knew that the changes were positive and would help us to be more successful. Not every brand reinvention is a success so be sure to think about what the brand represents. Does the new branding improve on your message? A big question to ask is: what are the conscious and subconscious messages that your logo projects? If re-branding includes changing your name think even harder. Only change the name if it is a major improvement over the old name.
Here is an example of a brand going from OK to bad to better (and coincidentally the as the brand went downhill so did the company). The company was bought in 2008 by Liberty Mutual.
Stock Photography and Logo Design
A big mistake some companies make is to use stock photography as part of their logo. First, stock photos are not unique to your business, second, if you read the small print using a stock photo with standard licensing as part of your logo is not permitted! Why? Precisely because you have no claim of ownership of that photo. A logo is something you should have complete ownership over and if you claim ownership of a photo used in your logo that isn’t yours you are asking for legal trouble.