9 things that will get you more money and satisfaction from work

Every commercial activity and non-profit organisation has a logo. Freelancers, musicians, corporations, butchers, all have a common goal usually – to differentiate their products from competition or/and fit in a trend. At least they should be doing that if they want to succeed, but often they just choose to release their long forgotten creative talent instead.

Some companies, such as Samsung, have only one logo (as far as I know), others may have many trademarks under one big corporation such as PepsiCo or Nestle that own most brands that you see around every day.

Illusion of choice – big brands ownership (via PolicyMic)
Illusion of choice – big brands ownership (via PolicyMic)


Why is that happening? Why Pepsi is not selling crisps under the same brand, their logo ain’t ugly and rather famous after all!

Partly because they bought many of their brands with already established client base, partly because they don’t want to appear too big on the market creating an illusion of choice (as per the diagram above), partly because it would be weird to eat pizza from a blue box with the Pepsi written on it and most likely to target a specific audiences more accurately.

Then why Phillips is selling various, loosely related products under the same brand? Apparently it works differently with electronics and hardware – market branch specifics.

Origins of brand

The term ‘brand’ most likely comes from cattle branding. Today’s logo has much wider use than back then. One property remained though – it has to be recognisable from a distance.

Before branding

What client wants from you for their money?

It is crucial to establish what your client is expecting from you. It depends on specifics of your activity.
I used an independent wood worker workshop as a simple example. Clients require their products to be:

  1. beautiful
  2. cheap
  3. robust
  4. useful

The order in that list will vary and depend on the job, client and budget.
This is a simply a start-up qualities. It is also required to provide added value to this base in order to stand out from competition. Added value will render an important part of our trade mark’s identity.

What client doesn’t want?

Establish what you should avoid e. g. prolonged work completion times, unexpected extra costs, poor quality etc.

How to communicate your message?

Once you are able to deliver required quality of your product it is the time to spread the word.

Target audience

Stop! Before you start anything, you need to know your target audience and their taste, what ‘language’ they speak, what tone will they respond positively to. It depends on several factors such as gender, age, ethnicity, education, wealth etc.

Direct marketing for a product or service starts from narrowing a target group as it is cheaper and more effective to speak to a defined audience than to a very wide and unknown one, (e. g. try Facebook ads). Although targeting a narrow group requires more accurate research. Cost of research might often discourage less experienced entrepreneurs – they might copy their successful neighbour logo and business model instead or mis-target their potential clients completely.

Example of a target audience analysis

This example illustrates a quick, common sense analysys of a target audience for an independent wood worker workshop producing bespoke furnitures.

The main target for an independent, bespoke furnitures producer would be probably young couples or singles that just purchased a flat or house; I guess this will be 25–45 years olds with a little emphasis on women (as their usually the ones that choose the colour for a cupboard); income let say 45k–90k / annum per flat for a standard line of products.

Having this rough picture is easier to predict what kind of visual language will be appropriate for that group, e. g. what is their idea of safety of investment, what banks they choose and why, also it is good to know what kind of music they like, what movies they watch what car they drive and what car they dream about. (all that info is available on Facebook, by the way)

My analysis above might not be very accurate as I never worked with wood, but it illustrates that the basic work can be done without much effort.

Creating a brand

Reputation and trust building

Whatever is the character of your business or non-profit activity your first question will be how you want to come across and how you want to be remembered. Every, even smallest message that you broadcast counts and adds up to your reputation. It is much easier to loose existing than gain new, genuine followers.

Tone of your message

Depends on your activity and it will be completely different for a celebrity, lawyer’s magazine, supermarket, bank, or architect. (It is sometimes possible to transfer ideas from one sector to another.)

Miley Cyrus might have over 17m twitter followers and she would be able to rocket-boost sales of a lipstick brand she shows up with but I bet not many people would trust her with their life savings.

Application of a trademark

A designer working on a logo is considering many factors such as design principles and application across various medium. A good logo will work properly on a letterhead, invoice, car, uniform and employee payslip.

Logo as an important element of a brand, provides a channel of communication between product and client.

Functions of a brand (via MIT Slogan Management Review)
Functions of a brand (via MIT Slogan Management Review)

Aesthetics vs style

Balance between those two depends on a target audience’s preferences and, if you’re lucky, fulfil your sense of beauty. It is important that we allow for establishing an emotional connection between client and the product.
Some products’ trade marks will strongly relate to a particular style being considered ‘cool’ and ‘up-beat’ or ‘trustworthy’ other will follow general aesthetics and focus on established ideas of beauty and harmony.

Make your brand design decision easy

Marketing message must be broadcasted through various channels such as social media, on-line, press, tv, outdoor etc. to reach a larger audience. Marketing message has to be clear and carefully targeted as it may cause more damage than good. A good trade mark is a fruit of well developed mission statement, clever idea, comprehensive research, and common sense. Those things rarely come together at once, they are being developed and discovered in time. Once they’re in place logo concept comes easy, I mean that it is easier to choose the designer and explain him or her your concept.

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