Contributed by Ron Marcus, ZUZA Marketing Cheerleader
Having been through the logo concept and design process numerous times, I can tell you that it is almost always fraught with passion, fear and trepidation. It can feel like the logo you choose is the most important decision you’ll ever make with your brand – and that it could very well make or break your brand.
As a result, many companies, afraid of making too radical a statement, opt for the safe, conservative approach. Unfortunately, this is the very antithesis of what branding is all about.
Branding is NOT about fitting in. It’s about standing out.
Brands that are conservative and look like other brands are, by definition, a commodity. They’re not really brands at all.
Conversely, a brand is the collection of user experiences that in total creates a UNIQUE total experience for the user, one completely distinct from other companies in the same industry. In other words, not commodity.
This includes, but is not limited to, the logo, corporate graphics standards, tone and voice of messaging, advertising, packaging, and even more crucially, utility, efficacy, pricing, quality, availability, customer service, hipness and coolness, fun, lifestyle, warmth and humanity. The whole package.
Nobody remembers the boring Superbowl commercials. Ditto the boring brands.
If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for everything.
So be distinctive with your brand. Be gutsy. Be brave. If some people don’t like it, that’s GOOD! It starts conversations.
People don’t like John Legere, CEO of T-Mobile either. He acts like an arrogant ____. But one can’t argue with the growth of T-Mobile over the last year. Love him or hate him, he’s creating a distinctive brand for T-Mobile as the “uncarrier.” People like that.
Being loved is good. Being hated is good. Because in either case, it means people are emotionally connected enough to your brand to CARE about it. I know that sounds nonsensical, BUT, when your brand is so boring that nobody cares about it, then do you really have a brand?
If people hate the graphical part of your brand, you’ve at least got their attention. Now you can turn them around by delivering break-through products and customer service.
I would suggest standing out in every possible way. You will be the “un-[insert your industry here] provider.” The experience of dealing with you will be fundamentally different from any of your would-be competitors – starting with your name and logo, which will be the first contact your prospects will have with you. You’ll continue to stand out with your customer service, which will be the very latest contact your prospects have with you – and arguably, the most important.
The companies that do the best are the disrupters.
We all admire the disrupters, yet many of us are afraid of being the disrupter for fear of alienating customers. That’s too bad.
Have stand-out branding, then back it up with the best service this side of the moon, and your company will be the envy of your industry. I’m 100% confident of that.
That’s my four cents worth. I appreciate the opportunity to contribute this opinion.
(From your Carlsbad printing company, ZUZA.)
What’s your opinion?
Here’s to the Marketing Champion in all of us. See you in the next post.