I am often asked by clients, ahead of a logo briefing meeting, do I need to bring anything? My answer is always no. Do I need to do any research? No again. This is because during my logo briefing sessions I will work with you to find the answers to the questions which will help me build a picture of your organisation and the brand you will need, but obviously there are questions I am going to ask, so if you like to be prepared…here is a list of information you might like to have ready for your logo designer
What does your organisation do?
This seems like quite a straight forward question and the answer could be simple like; Recruitment, or I make cakes, but what your logo designer will be looking for is something more than that. A statement that gives your organisation a personality and differentiates it from other recruitment companies or cake makers. So, try to think about the problem (or problems) that your business solves for its customers.
Next, who is your target audience?
When I initially ask this question in logo briefing sessions the answer is often very broad. If you sell skincare products then anyone with skin could be your customer – right? Unfortunately, it is unlikely that you are going to have the budget to market to everyone, so although you may be willing and able to sell your products and services to anyone who wants them you do need to actually pick some people to target.
If you have already got clients then it is best to look at what they have in common. Also look at which clients are most profitable, buy the most from you and buy regularly. Finally, don’t overlook which clients you like working with the most – it will certainly make your life easier to work with people you like.
If you don’t have any clients yet, then really think about who you’d like to work with and who your product or service most appeals to. Try writing down:
• Are they male or female (or transgender I guess)
• What age bracket do they fall into
• What income bracket do they fall into
• Where are they located (geographically)
You may be able to define other characteristics, for example where they work, what their hobbies are, where they shop, what social networks they use – the more you can flesh out the ‘persona’ the better.
What are your Unique Selling Points?
It is quite easy to get very general here; friendly, professional, knowledgeable etc and whilst these are great USPs they are not necessarily very unique. I find it easier to ask clients about their ‘journey’ – what brought you to this place with your business, what have your experiences been – good and bad, what lessons have you learnt. Your ‘story’ will help you to flesh out what is important about your brand and what makes it unique.
Who are your competitors?
We have talked about being ‘unique’ and your business may be precisely that, but unfortunately it is very unlikely that there won’t be anyone else doing something like you. You could be opening a pre-school that focuses on children learning through sport and there is no other organisation doing that in the local area, but parents do still have other pre-schools to choose from, so you need to know what they are doing.
There are lots of ways of finding out about the competition, walking round and visiting them, giving them a call, but Google has provided us with a great, quick way to check out the competition. Write down perhaps 5 companies that you feel are close competition to you. Your designer should also be doing this and assessing what they are doing well and what could be improved upon, but your input is needed into this process.
Remember do not copy what your competition have done, but be inspired by good choices.
Your personal taste
Now this isn’t always relevant, if you are a 50 year old man starting a business selling those trainers that the wheels pop out of to teenagers, then your personal taste is going to have no bearing whatsoever on your logo, but if you are your target audience and especially if you are going to have a driving role in your business and be front and centre with your customers then your brand can (and should) reflect your personality. So have a think about things you love and things you hate these could include:
• Colours (are you a warm or cold colour)
• Icons (maybe you hate dolphins…)
• Fonts (what! You don’t have a favourite font…)
I hope this advice will help you if you are developing your brand and will lead to you getting just the logo you always wanted!