Sometimes I think people underestimate the power of a brand. If you own a business, any business at all, listen up. Establishing an identity for your business IS important. Many small businesses seem to skip over creating a logo and other demographic elements that speak about who you are. Picking a business name identifies your company but the business name is only the first step in building a brand or identity.
Contrary to what you are probably now thinking, this post is NOT about why you should have a logo or why you should build a brand. What I would like to say is simple: When building your identity, protect the assets used to create it.
1. Your Logo
Logo’s range from text to graphic to a combination of graphics with text.
|Mixed Text/Graphic Logo|
Whether your logo is a complicated design of carefully placed graphic shapes and colors, or a simple text logo. Your logo could become very costly and difficult to replace or recreate if you misplace it. Many time customers come to me with a business card that has their logo on it – but their business card is the only place they have their logo.
Recreating to match is often more time consuming than creating new – even a text logo can take time to match fonts. And it matters. Once you have established a logo and identity, people will start to associate your logo with your own personal brand. Your customer service, your quality product, your timely delivery. Your brand becomes a statement of what you stand for.
Losing your logo, or only having a small image file to use as a backup is not ideal. This is an example of a logo saved at 200x80px..
Because the image was saved as such a small file, once you attempt to make the logo bigger to fit the necessary printing or web resolution, you will find that scaling an image up isn’t as easy as it seems. Resolution is PPI (Pixels Per Inch) and you can’t add pixels once they’re gone.
Save your logo as a VECTOR, EPS or PDF. If your logo has text in it, save or document the font used so that you can edit your files later.
2. Graphic Standards / Rules
- You can not stretch the logo horizontally or vertically, it must maintain it’s original shape.
- Colors you are allowed to use are: Red, Green and Yellow
(Specifically: Red #e11f26 ; Green #10723a ; Yellow #f8ef1e – which are the hexadecimal color codes assigned to each of these colors)
- You cannot change the logo in anyway or remove any of the elements. For example a logo without all of parts should not be used to represent the company.
3. Your Website Domain
It’s great to get your online – visible to so many more people and potential customers. Maybe you had the phone company create a generic website for you, maybe a student created your site for the practice, maybe you hired a webs design and development firm to create your site, or even if you created the site yourself using any of the many end-user-friendly website building tools available (Wix, Shopify, GoDaddy, etc) Whatever is the right choice for you, you need to maintain access to your domain name.
If you have someone else manage your domain – make sure you have contact information available for them in the event you every want or need to transfer your domain or build a new site.
If this person ever decides to close shop, or no longer manage your domain – do what you need to to transfer your domain to a self-owned account ASAP and while they are still around to assist you with it.
If you purchased and renew your domain, yourself – make sure you record where you own your domain, your username and password.
Too many times, clients have had to purchase a new domain (and change all of their marketing materials) because they lost their domain or weren’t able to gain access to it. I’m talking about business cards, brochures, vehicle graphics, apparel, local listings – everything!
In conclusion, treat your brand assets like they are a valuable part of your businesses success because they are. You may not see it’s value in the everyday tasks of the product or service you provide, but some day in the future it may save you a lot of time, money and customers.