Marketing Like A Drug Dealer

 

Marketing is a tough gig when there are thousands of competitors online and sometimes dozens of local competitors to contend with in your marketplace. You have to stand out from your competitors. Your product and service has to be so good that people want to come back over and over. However, you have to entice them to initially come to you and then get them hooked. Then you have a loyal client for years to come as long as you provide a quality product or service. It sounds a little like a drug dealer, doesn’t it?

Marketing Like A Drug DealerWell, that’s okay as long as you’re not offering drugs. One other thing a drug dealer does is to let others sample their “product.” They are banking on their product being so good that the person will be back with money the next time. Transfer this practice over to legitimate business practice and you have coupons or free samples. Let’s take an ice cream shop, for instance. Most ice cream shops have little taster spoons which they will scoop a sample of a flavor for you to try before you buy. Once you taste it, you are hooked and you fork over the cash. Restaurants are prime businesses for this practice. Offer coupons for a free appetizer and watch how people come with their whole family or a group of friends. There’s a pretty high probability that these patrons will be buying other items such as drinks, entrees, desserts, or other appetizers. Therefore, your “free” coupon actually yielded a paying customer or most often customers. Another common occurrence would be free wine tasting by wine shops or wineries. You try; you like; you buy. What a simple concept. Spend a little on free giveaways and make a bundle on new purchases.

Give your business a long hard thought about what you can offer for free that will not only attract new clients, but will also spur further or future purchases. Something about your business has that ability to hook people. For Perfect Imprints, it is our graphic design. We have an unrivaled graphics department that can design anything from t-shirts to business cards to billboards. We offer 30 minutes of free graphic design with any purchase of promotional products for all online orders. This is often needed to convert logos over to a print ready format.

So go ahead and be like a dealer and watch your business grow. You won’t have to be continually looking over your shoulder for undercover po pos, but do look for increased sales. You can have almost an immediate response for this as long as you get the word out about your free samples.

What Most Designers Don’t Consider With Logo Design

 

A logo for a business is a critical component for branding and every business, no matter how small, needs to brand themselves. You may only brand yourself locally, or you may brand your business regionally, nationally, or internationally, however, your logo is a vital part of your company image. Therefore, a lot of thought should go into this process. Logo Design is not slapping your business name under a piece of clipart. Clipart should never be used in a logo, as everything should be completely custom and unique. There are many “graphic designers” who claim to be designers with years of experience; however, many only have what I call tinkering experience. They have played around with Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator and think they are now graphic designers. That would be like a nurse who has a few years of experience saying, I think I’m going to be a doctor tomorrow. You will know amateur designers if they offer some kind of ridiculously low rate such as $100 for 5 designs or anything unreasonably cheap. With these cases, you will get regurgitated designs which either use stock clipart or rejected designs from past clients. Just know that great design and effective ad layouts take time.

When designing a logo there are many aspects such as color combination, to keep in mind to create a visually appealing logo and most experienced graphic designers can do a decent job with this. However, I want to make light of a few key areas that most inexperienced graphic designers fail to take into consideration when designing logos for companies, which can cost the client dearly in the future with increased or ineffective printing costs.

Key Logo Design Elements That Most Graphic Designers Fail To Consider

  1. Height and Width of Logo – You have to think of how logos are used for business. Logos are printed on apparel, letterhead, business cards, promotional products, brochures, postcards, etc. In my days the the graphic design business, I have seen many logos that are very wide or very high. And while they may look great on the computer screen, don’t forget to think about the practicability of that height/width aspect. When doing printing on most items, there is a maximum imprint area and if your logo maxes out on width way before it maxes out on height, it will print very small. Sticking with a square, circular, or small rectangle, will help to make sure the proportions of the logo print well on most media.
  2. Logo Colors – You can get really crazy with colors in a logo and use many different color that make the logo look great. However, is this the practical thing to do? When printing on paper products such as business cards, letterhead, brochures, and postcards, full color is always an option. But what about printing newspaper ads or printing on promotional items? Full color is not always an option, and if it is an option, it can be much more costly. If you choose to have a full color logo design, make sure you have a version designed that can also be used to print in a spot color form as well as a black/white version.
  3. Small Details – Logos can be designed with great detail and look amazing; however, what happens to those details when your shrink the logo down in size. If you plan on printing your logo on products such as promotional pens or other promotional products, will your logo lose detail at small sizes? Really detailed logos will actually bleed together when pad printed or screen printed if they are printed too small. So really think about the long term aspect of your logo. Ideally, the simpler the logo the better. Look at some of the big brands such as Apple, McDonalds, or Nike. All of their logos are incredibly simple, yet very powerful.

During the logo design process, I urge you to think about all of the future issues you might have with actually printing your logo. Will the shape of your logo fit on most items that you will print in the future? Are you willing to pay more in printing costs should your logo be full color? Will your logo print well at small sizes? Good designers can design nice looking logos, but only great designers can create both beautiful logos AND practical designs.

If you want great Logo Design, check out some of the packages below:

Basic Logo Design Package

$195 Basic Logo Design Package -3 Unique Designs-Up to 2 Revisions of Selected Design-Supplied in 5 Popular formats (.eps, .ai, .pdf, low res .jpg, high res .jpg)-1 artist working on your project

Bronze Logo Design Package

$295 Bronze Logo Design Package -4 Unique Designs-Up to 2 Revisions of Selected Design-Supplied in 5 Popular formats (.eps, .ai, .pdf, low res .jpg, high res .jpg)-Business Card Design with your new logo-Black/White version of logo-2 or more artists working on your project

Gold Logo Design Package
$495                                      Gold Logo Design Package      -6 Unique Designs
-Up to 2 Revisions of Selected Design
-Supplied in 5 Popular formats (.eps, .ai, .pdf, low res .jpg, high res .jpg)
-Business Card Design with  1000 full color business cards
-Letterhead Design
-Envelope Design
-Black/White version of logo
-Style Guide
-2 or more artists working on your project

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Other Day I Was Drinking and Driving

 

Whenever you want to put out a product that has your business name on it, you should always think it through thoroughly. You should always think about how your customers and potential customers will view them. You have to put aside your knowledge of your specific industry jargon and think like a customer. In a way you have to dumb down your thinking, because in most cases, your customers don’t know nearly as much about what you are selling or offering as you do. Design is one of the most important factors for any marketing piece. It doesn’t matter if you are thinking about business cards, brochures, banners, promotional products, newspaper ads, posters, or a new logo design, you should always have a layout that is both visually appealing AND effective. Both must be present for it to work. Your small investment in graphic design will pay off big dividends over a poorly designed ad.
Design of Pepsi Max Bottle
Now, this isn’t necessarily graphic design, but it is a form of design. I needed a little pick-me-up a few days ago, so I stopped at a convenient store and bought a Pepsi Max. They have a fair amount of caffeine in them, and that is just what I needed on that particular evening. So at first I didn’t really think anything about it until I pull into my kids school and I’m taking a drink and notice that people are staring at me. Then it dawns on me that this bottle looks just like a beer. So there are now several of my kids parents who now think that I go around drinking and driving. As I thought more about this scenario, I started thinking about how often I pass by police officers, Sheriff deputies, and State Troopers. What are the chances that they mistake this bottle as a beer? Drinking from that bottle just made me a bit self-conscious while driving. At home or work, it wouldn’t be a big deal.

The above story is just a real life example of how you have to think about your design. In this case, it was the design of a bottle. In the case of most day-to-day business applications, it would deal with graphic design. Make sure you have professional designs on all of your business literature and giveaways. Your business image is extremely important for the success of your business and that is one area that you should not be cheap.

10 Pitfalls to Avoid When Creating Your Logo

 

In the world of graphic arts, you get a lot of jokers who think they can design because they took a course in college. The art of graphic design takes years of experience to cultivate along with a creative mind. There are many factors and forethought that should happen prior to your logo design phase. In the planning phase, it is important to know what you want your logo to portray. It’s best to have it descriptive of what your company offers, because, let’s face it, very few businesses have a worldwide known brand like McDonalds. Since we don’t all have that recognition, it makes it more important to design our logo in a way that speaks about our business, so that when it stands alone, it actually markets for our company.

When designing a logo there are certain rules of thumb you should live by. Below are just 10 pitfalls to avoid when creating your business logo:

  1. Do Not use drop shadows around text. These are the shadows seen just below text as in thedrop-shadow example. Some of you reading this are looking at the example and saying to yourself, “I like that look”, but resist the temptation. This is an outdated method and used by amateurs. It also doesn’t print well on many promotional products since shadows are not solid colors and rather a gradient. While drop shadows have their place in graphic design, try to avoid them in your logo.
  2. Stay away from outdated fonts such as Comic Sans, Brush Script, and Times New Roman. Theseoutdated-fontsfonts are overused. If you look at an graphic artist’s portfolio and you notice the same fonts being used over and over, you can assume that he/she is not very creative. Custom fonts work great, but are very time consuming to create. There are thousands of fonts out there, so choose well. Make sure it’s easy to read and follows along with your business theme.
  3. Don’t use Microsoft Clipart or WordArt. These are sure signs of an amateur. All of the clipart looks the same whether it’s a donkey or a bicycle. These don’t fair well with logos. If you will be using clipart, be prepared to pay a little extra to buy a nice professional piece of clipart. In most cases, I still advise against clipart in your logo unless you make some modifications to make it unique.
  4. Avoid using contrasting colors. There are some color combinations that just clash and there arecontrasting-colors1some that you eye just can’t read when together. Pick with one color palette and stick with that through your design. This goes not only for your logo, but for any design, regardless if it is business cards, brochures, or any other designs.
  5. Don’t have an abnormally tall or wide logo. You will want to use your logo for branding using all kinds of items, so it always best to stick with a square, round, or a rectangle design. If you go too tall or too wide with your logo, it will have to shrink down very small to fit in areas with height or width restrictions.
  6. Don’t center everything. This is another sign of an amateur. While some things do have to be centered, everything doesn’t. Left justified is a great starting point for the eyes and sometimes right justified is called for.
  7. Don’t use low resolution images. While you may have a tiny little blurry picture of something that you just must have in your logo; however, if you don’t have a nice high resolution version, you logo will not look good. Every time your logo prints on any item, it should print clean and free of blurriness or jagged edges. This all starts with having a good resolution from the start for any elements used within the logo design.
  8. I mentioned earlier to not use Microsoft clipart in your logo design, and now I’m saying don’t use Microsoft Word to design your logo. This is a word processing software, not a design software. You can’t design worthy logos for businesses using this program. Plus, printers don’t use Microsoft Word to print from, so it will have to be completely redrawn in a graphics program.
  9. Avoid strokes in your logo. Strokes can adjust in thickness when re-sizing, so avoid them when possible. Use only vector graphics that will not change proportions when they are re-sized. Sometimes this adjustment in proportion of the strokes are not recognized by those making the change and can lead to problems with your imprint.
  10. Don’t use too many fonts. A good rule of thumb is not use more than 2 different fonts. One for any text in the logo, and a different font if a tagline is included. Using more fonts than 2 makes the logo look messy and amateurish. Sticking with only 1 or 2 fonts will help your logo to look neat and clean and portray your company better.

Face Lift For Your Logo

 

Does your logo need a face lift?  Have you been using the same logo for over a decade?  Are you using one of the taboo fonts in your logo such as Times New Roman, Brush Script, Helvetica, or Comic Sans?  Are the 80′s calling wanting back their color combination?  Did you design your logo with Microsoft Word or PowerPoint?  If you answered yes to any of the questions above, your logo may be in need of some updating.  Just like websites, encyclopedias, and reference books need updating, so does your logo.  The times change quickly and so do your potential clients’ taste.  If your potential money spenders see your logo and it reminds them of something ancient, it could be a turn off for them.  However, if you have a sleek, modern logo design that fits both with the current times and with your business, it will intrigue them to look further at your company.  Business is all about first impressions.  With so many competitors, it is vital that you hook your clients early and give them no reason to look toward any other competitors.  Once you get them, treat them fairly and take care of their needs and you will gain their loyalty.  Your logo is the face of your business so make sure you are promoting your business in the best way possible.  Have a professional take care of your logo design and leave Word and PowerPoint for drafting letters.  The better your logo looks, the better your promotional products will look.  And, the better your promotional products look, the more response your will receive and your marketing campaign will pay off.