April 2013

Branding–on a budget

Branding your business is one of the most important steps you can take to position yourself for success. While I recommend working with a branding professional to maximize the power of your company’s image, I know that some small businesses want to make a consistent and powerful impression on their potential clients but don’t have a lot of money to spend on branding. Read on for three ways you can create a powerful and effective brand for less!

1. Find out what your clients say about you: Open your lines of inquiry to anyone who has had experience with you and the product or service you’re selling: clients, former employers, friends and family. Ask them what they tell people when they’re recommending you. How are you perceived in the marketplace? What are people saying about you that excites—or dissuades—your potential clients?

2. Use your knowledge to empower your business: Critically analyze your feedback, highlighting the best and worst of the comments you’ve received. How can you change your offering to emphasize the aspects that your clients value most?  Take a hard look at all the ways you’re interacting with your clients—directly, through email or face-to-face meetings, and indirectly, through your marketing efforts—and strategize ways to put a spotlight on the best you have to offer.

3. Make smart marketing decisions to get the most bang for your brand buck: Think carefully and critically about communicating your brand through a selective array of marketing materials optimally suited to your target audience. You’ll want to establish a consistent look, beginning with a strong logo that should evoke a feeling or mood in your audience that will be carried throughout the rest of your materials. Equally important, you’ll want to ensure you are using the right marketing strategy to attract the right clients.

Great yoga ads

I came across a collection of 6 kooky yoga ads on yogadork.com, one of my favorite yoga blogs. It’s worth clicking through to read the entire post, especially if you enjoy yoga and creative advertising ideas, but my favorite was from the Y Yoga Center in Shanghai:

Yoga Straw

Short, simple, memorable, and effective. Not to mention motivating me to work on my backbends!

A rebrand for my alma mater

Most people who know me–or at least who have been around me between September and December of any given year–know I’m a proud graduate of the University of Georgia and a big fan of UGA football. I was thrilled last week to see that UGA has unveiled a brand refresh, and that it looks phenomenal!

First thing’s first; I’m glad to see the primary logo, by which the school is most often recognized, remains the same:

Georgia G

… and they’re not necessarily retiring the other images affiliated with the school and its athletic programs:

Miscellaneous Bulldogs

… but that they’ve replaced it with a much simpler, stronger, and more modernized bulldog whose jaw is mercifully in alignment (that’s always bothered me):

Bulldog Logo

And of course, sharp new typography and uniforms:

New Uniforms

Overall, I’m pleased as both a designer and a fan with the brand refresh. It gives the school’s athletics programs a fierce, competitive, and modern look will staying true to the school’s roots and history (very important around these parts). Congratulations to UGA and its partner Nike on the new brand–and Go Dawgs!

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