Continued from page 1
So one of first things we did after setting up videotape dupe rack and plugging editing suite together was to hire a professional designer and had him develop a logo. Simple, strong, colorful and eye-catching, it features our name and a graphic device that resembles both a wave (Great Lakes --get it?) and an artfully draped piece of videotape. We decided on our corporate colors --strong shades of blue (for water) and green (for money), and locked in a "corporate" typeface --one that would not vary, regardless of where it was to be used.
And then we proceeded to put our new corporate identity/logo on EVERYTHING we could think of. Our shipping boxes. Our letterhead. Even our second sheets carried simple wave device on left-hand side. Our business cards, envelopes, order forms, mailing labels, tape box labels, cassette top and spine labels, rate cards, service brochures, invoices --even our equipment identification stickers carried message in a consistent fashion. And even though my partner (the business and finance guy) winced at cost of three-color printing for "throwaway" shipping labels, I persisted. If we wanted to convey image that we were big and slick and could deliver, we had to consistently look that way.
And it worked. The corporate identity we established accomplished its purpose. We were perceived as having our act together.
The frightening thing about public perception is that we in reality could have been totally unhinged and thoroughly unprofessional, working in our garages or basements with antiquated equipment, but our graphic identity made us look like we knew what we were doing. Hence, people trusted us with their work. And when we did a good job, they kept coming back. And we prospered for it.
The lesson here is to remember to present your customers and prospects a strong, consistent image. Fragmented or sporadic adherence to this idea ultimately damages your corporate credibility. So decide what you want to be in mind of your public. Take time to develop a corporate identity program that says who you are and what you do, and exudes professionalism.
And when you've got it, use it!
Emblazon your name on everything from labels to baseball caps, ads to vehicles, business cards to building signs. Remember that synergy is strength, and consistency is name of game.
Steve Yankee is a copywriter and independent advertising and marketing consultant for small and medium-sized businesses. Need help promoting your company? You can contact Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org