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Does your brand need to be tweaked? Lessons learned from Vero Beach.com’s re-branding.

Branding is one of the greatest and most important creative challenges, which is part of what makes it so exciting. Having a well thought out and executed brand is the foundation of any good marketing campaign. After all if the house, or brand, is cheap or poorly designed, why dress it up with nice shutters or a beautiful lawn?

For some, branding is a complete mystery. They look at a logo and have no opinion as to whether it’s good or bad. They hear a tagline and nothing! For those of us who eat, breathe and live branding it’s the exact opposite. We set our sights on a bad logo and it’s like seeing that girl’s head spin around in the movie Exorcist…shocking and painful to look at.

Not every less than perfect brand requires a total redo though. Some brands just need a little freshening up. Or, as we creative types call it, “tweaking”. Here’s one example of a successful logo/brand tweaking we recently completed for VeroBeach.com.

VeroBeach.com approached us, after finding us on LinkedIn, needing a new, updated look and feel for their website. The old website, although highly visited, was clunky, not easy to navigate and aesthetically unappealing.  We got to work on the website redesign. But, every time we went to plug their existing logo into our new designs, it sat there like an unattractive, outdated rock.

We suggested to the client that the logo might benefit from some… changes. Although happy overall with the logo she agreed to see what we had in mind. So, we set about to give the logo an overhaul, without tossing it altogether. A logo makeover. The beach ball was widely recognized and associated with their brand and the client felt it had value and should be kept. We agreed. It had been used on billboards and in ads for years so it needed to stay.

vb-com_logosThe new version of the logo benefits from a fatter, more easily read, digitally friendly font. We selected a sans serif font, (one without little feet on it), which instantly made the logo feel cleaner and more streamlined. We got rid of the background color. We kept, but cleaned up the ball. We also changed up the colors to a more modern, upbeat palette. Overall, the new logo maintains the brand identity, but brings it up to date. Lastly, we created a succinct and zippy tagline.

Outcome: The client is thrilled with the website redesign and with their new logo. “It just works so much better”.

Key takeaways from this logo tweaking:

1. In a world that is digitally driven it’s key that your fonts be highly readable at small sizes. Most people are viewing your stuff on a cell phone. Your logo must be recognizable and readable on mobile platforms by eyes, young and old.

2. Avoid adding anything too trendy to your logo or brand. Like anything else, trends come and go in graphic design. Although the styles that are trending can seem really cool at the moment, they will inevitably date your brand. Waves and arches became very popular in graphic design twenty years ago or so. We can attribute a lot of that popularity to the Nike swish. Although the original Nike swish logo was developed in 1971, Nike tweaked the logo in 1995, removing the word Nike from the logo. The new logo just featured the swish. Soon swishes, arches and waves, and other types of flowing lines were being incorporated into logo designs and marketing materials everywhere. Now, of course, most of these swish inspired logos and designs appear outdated.

3. Simple objects work best. When using artwork, such as the beach ball, in your logo, keep the shapes simple and clean. They will reproduce better from one medium to the next. Complex shapes may look great printed high resolution on a business card, but how will they appear as your Twitter profile pic, or when monogrammed on a shirt? Drop shadows and gradations can make a logo hard to reproduce and should be used sparingly. Usability and versatility are essential qualities of a successful logo design.

4. Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. If there is a part of the branding that is highly recognized try to preserve it and improve upon it. Clean it up and modernize it. It can take years to establish a brand and to throw all that time and effort away is just plain wasteful.

5. Color is so important. Carefully consider your palette. Just like repainting a room can transform it, changing your corporate colors can completely alter your brand. Find color combinations that represent how you want your brand perceived. Your logo is not one and done. It’s just one important element of your overall brand. Your corporate color palette is another vital ingredient. Think about how your colors will look on ads, online, etc.

In summary, not every tired logo needs to be totally tossed. Tweaking a logo will often do the job. Elements that are highly recognized by your customers or community should be preserved, if possible, and cleaned up. Fonts need to be chosen that look good and are highly readable on mobile devices. Colors should also be selected with mobile in mind. Stay original and authentic when choosing shapes or graphics to incorporate with your logo. Don’t jump on the trendy train.

If you think your logo may need a refresh, contact us. We would be happy to help by providing you with a free logo evaluation. Tweaking a logo is often much more affordable than a complete rebranding and may be exactly what your brand needs. Please contact us at info@nestmediaco.com.

By | May 9th, 2017|blog|0 Comments

Seven Signs You Need a New Logo

Seven-Signs-Header_V1

Logos are extraordinarily important because they serve as a visual representation of your company and are a vital part of your overall brand image. A potential customer may choose whether or not to engage with your brand by the look of your logo. Many companies start out with a low budget and don’t have their initial logos professionally designed, then they limp along with a low quality logo for years. Having a logo that doesn’t help sell your brand can seriously jeopardize the success of your business. But how do you know when you need a new logo? Here are seven sure-fire signs it’s time to get a new logo:

1. Your logo looks dated

Just as you most likely wouldn’t wear what you wore in the 1980’s to a meeting today, your logo can appear outdated. Graphic styles and colors change and if you don’t keep up to date your logo will eventually look like it’s from another decade. Some brands can get away with an old-fashioned or antique look, if their brand actually is decades old and that is part of their brand message and marketing strategy, (think Smucker’s Jam for instance). For the majority of companies though staying up to date visually is imperative and let’s your customers know you are on top of your game and care how you are perceived.

2. Your logo isn’t easily identifiable

It’s easy to get carried away and choose a logo that is very detailed, thereby fully embodying your brand message. However, if your logo is so complex that it is not easy to read, you’ve gone too far. Your target audience has maybe a second or two to glance at and absorb your logo. If it is not automatically recognizable and easy to read then it’s too complex. Simplify it or get a new one.

3. Your logo is not interesting to look at

Equally as important as being identifiable, your logo must also be interesting to look at. This is why it’s strongly recommended that you hire a qualified creative professional to create your new logo. A skilled designer is experienced at combining shapes, colors and fonts to create logos that are visually stimulating. This is not easily done. With all the noise we are bombarded with creating something that cuts through the visual clutter cannot be achieved by just anyone. With design and marketing, as with most things, you get what you pay for. Leave it to the pros.

4. Your logo is crushed by your competition’s

Unsure as to whether or not you need a new logo? Check out those of your competitors. Not sure how to do that? Just google the type of business you have and your locale and see what comes up. Visit the websites and see how your competitors are represented. If they have more professional sites and logos that are better than yours then it’s time to get a new logo pronto! You can be certain that potential clients are also googling, and if you look shabby, you’re losing business.

These are all important points, but keep reading for even more ways to evaluate your logo.

5. Your logo doesn’t work across all media

Things have changed a lot in the past ten years. Social media is now a vital part of most marketing strategies and every company needs an attractive, well-functioning, easy to navigate website (more about this coming up soon in another post). As a result you need a logo that works across a variety of media. Long skinny logos, and super tall logos, generally do not easily adapt to all the different platforms. Colors also need to work well across media, from print to web. Subtle variations in hues can look flat on screen. Fonts need to reconsidered. Anything too ornate or too thin will lose it’s detail and look grainy in many applications. A successful logo must be designed with a whole spectrum of media applications in mind. Remember, you will need vector files, or line art, of your logo to use it in many places, so don’t accept a logo created in Word or any software which is not specifically manufactured for logo creation.

6. Your logo is attracting the wrong audience

If you find that the type of clients who are contacting you are not what you want, then your logo is not doing its job! Your logo is the first thing most potential customers will see that represents you, the front door to your business. If the wrong people are walking through that door, then you need a new door! A cheaply designed logo will attract customers who are hoping your lack of spending on your own appearance will translate into low prices for them. This may work for some businesses, say a diner that spits out 1,000 meals a day for $5 a plate, where volume is all that matters. But for the majority of businesses a logo that denotes quality is crucial to attracting the right type of clients.

7. Your target audience has changed

Businesses grow and evolve. Often what you started out with, several years later may be very different. If your business has grown and is expanding into new services or products, you may have outgrown your logo too. If your target audience has changed, you most likely will need a new logo design to draw in the right crowd.

If any one of the seven points listed above applies to your logo, then it’s time to start thinking about getting a new one. A brand new logo, that is media friendly, interesting to look at and better than the competition’s can breathe new life into your brand and business and fuel an overall more successful marketing strategy. Like a new suit or fresh coat of paint, a new logo has the ability to completely transform the look of your company and establish a brand image that is more appealing and attractive to potential customers.

For more information about branding, marketing and logo design contact Nest Media Co.

By | September 16th, 2016|blog|0 Comments

Clients Sing Praises for Nest’s Holiday Promotion! A little inspiration goes a long way.

Blog-pics

Every year around Halloween, we start to get nervous. We know we have to start planning our holiday promotion and it must be awesome. Not good, not great, but awesome, and it has to top last years… For every marketing company the holiday promotion is a big deal. After all creative firms specialize in designing and delivering creative solutions, therefore coming up with a clever holiday promo should be a cinch! (The pressure is on!) We must admit that we look forward to the challenge. It’s an opportunity to think out of the box and have some fun.

This year inspiration struck as I browsed a cute little shop in St. Petersburg, Florida. I had driven across the state with my two kids in tow to spend the night and explore this coastal city. We walked up and down the waterfront area that is abundant with adorable stores and alluring restaurants. Strolling into a shop that carried curiosities from around the globe, I immediately spotted a group of tiny ceramic cranes. The crane just so happens to be my logo symbol. It has significant meaning in Asian cultures, including prosperity, joy and abundance. The cranes were pricey so I immediately googled them and found them on ebay in a variety of colors that complimented my branding at a much better price point. Whew! The biggest piece of the promotion puzzle, the “what”, had been solved. Now I needed to figure out the how.

A few weeks later I was perusing a Martha Stewart Living magazine that included gift ideas. My eye was drawn to these very unique, folded, pyramid shaped, gift boxes. Conveniently the manufacturer name was listed right there next to the picture (http://www.bayleysboxes.com/). I jumped on the website and discovered the boxes came in a variety of sizes and colors. I was thrilled. However, I found myself overwhelmed by all of the choices… Hmmm… do I get the blue birds and orange boxes? Orange birds and green boxes? Red birds and green boxes, no too blatantly Christmas. Finally, I went with my initial instinct and ordered the Robin’s egg blue boxes and lime green birds.

Of course, figuring out some sort of card with a greeting to include was also necessary. We created a nest for each bird to rest in and using “booger glue” attached the bird and nest to the top of the greeting card. We kept the message short, sweet and non-holiday specific, just a simple “Happy Holidays” on the front and threw the (old) logo and a brief bit about the significance of the crane on the back.

We sent these boxes of joy out on a Monday and by Friday had started receiving calls and emails telling us how clever, cute and uplifting the gift was. Every client that we have spoken to since shipping has mentioned the promo and how much they liked it. Success! Now, we just have to figure out how to top it next year!

Holiday Promo Tips:

1. Find inspiration. If you look around and keep your mind open to the possibilities it will come to you. If you need help to jump-start the process look through magazines, gift shops, book stores or use google to develop ideas. Explore new towns and stores and see what you discover.

2. Make it relevant and representative of your business. By using the crane, my logo symbol, my gift will be a constant reminder to my clients of my business. The symbolism of the crane make it relevant as it directly reinforces the messaging included.

3. Pull it all together. Remember that first impressions matter, a lot. Deliver your gift in a special box with a custom label or sticker. A sloppy presentation does not impress.

4. Keep it simple. People are overwhelmed by everything that comes through the door, especially around the holidays. Small, short, and  sweet are best.

5. Don’t rush it. I have to admit, as someone who is short on time everyday, assembling the boxes, building the nests, designing and cutting the cards, perfectly placing the birds, etc. was a tedious process. It took an entire day between assembling, packing and shipping for my team to complete the mailers. However, had we rushed any part of it the end result would have been compromised.

6. Enjoy the process. Find joy in doing something that is outside of your everyday normal.

Sources of inspiration:

www.ebay.com

www.uncommongoods.com

www.brookstone.com

www.thegrommet.com

www.worldmarket.com

www.etsy.com

www.sundancecatalog.com

www.realsimple.com

www.cafepress.com

www.papyrusonline.com

www.onekingslane.com

www.papersource.com

www.oliveandcocoa.com

www.marthastewartliving.com

By | January 8th, 2016|blog|Comments Off on Clients Sing Praises for Nest’s Holiday Promotion! A little inspiration goes a long way.

More Logos and Politics – Obama’s Logo Trumpified

This was too good not to share!

Maybe Trump Should Just Borrow Obama’s Campaign Logo http://www.wired.com/2015/09/maybe-trump-just-borrow-obamas-campaign-logo/ via @WIRED

Obama Logo Trumpified

Obama Logo Trumpified

By | September 10th, 2015|blog|Comments Off on More Logos and Politics – Obama’s Logo Trumpified

Create a Marketing Calendar and make the most of your Marketing in 2015!

Now that 2015 is firmly under way it’s time to get serious about your marketing strategy. Where to begin? Here are two easy steps to take: 1. Review last year. You need to have a clear picture of how your business did in 2014. 2. Take a good look at a calendar. Yes, something as simple as the calendar hanging on your wall is abundant with information and can be the best place to start when developing your own marketing calendar for 2015.

First, let’s discuss how your company did last year. Did sales slump at certain times of year? Were there surprising peaks? Did certain products or services over or under perform? Take note of these and other important shifts or swings in your profits.

Next, grab a calendar. It’s time to brainstorm, strategize and execute! Marketing is much easier if you can find special days and events to create promotions around. The most successful campaigns have strong themes to build on. Some calendar specific events are more relevant than others depending upon your business type. For goods and services that are good for gifting, Mother’s, Father’s and Valentine’s days are all excellent opportunities to promote your business by offering discounts or sales.

Seasonal promotions make sense for many businesses. As the seasons change buyers feel compelled to make purchases of seasonally appropriate items, from school supplies in the fall, to sunglasses and bathing suits in the summer. Review your products and services to see which seasons they would be best promoted in. The first day of any new season is reason to have a sale or preview event and showcase your new seasonal offerings.

Make note of special days or months that relate specifically to your industry. For example, February is American Heart month, and October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, perfect times for healthcare related businesses to develop promotional campaigns. A company anniversary, the birthday of a company founder, and other historical events that are relevant to your industry also make for worthy marketing opportunities.

There are some holidays that are completely malleable and great opportunities to develop your own clever marketing campaign. For instance, April Fool’s Day, Independence Day, Halloween, Chinese New Year, May Day, Cinco de Mayo, World Kindness Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Labor Day, etc. Get creative!

By carefully studying your sales data with a calendar in hand you can construct your own marketing strategy to keep sales booming year round.

Time is of the essence. Planning ahead of time is crucial. You will want a lead time of at least 8 weeks to create and execute a campaign. If the promotion is to be mailed, add on at least a week for shipping. And always include an end date to any special you offer. By limiting the time of a special you create a sense or urgency and encourage immediate action.

For more information about how to market your products and services contact Bethany Burt at burtdesign, www.burtdesign.com or call 772.766.4926. To download our free Marketing Calendar click below.

Burtdesign’s 2015 Marketing Calendar

By | February 11th, 2015|blog|Comments Off on Create a Marketing Calendar and make the most of your Marketing in 2015!

10 Strategies to Boost Your Brand in 2015

The start of a new year offers a prime opportunity to evaluate your brand. How effective was it in 2014? What tweaks can you make now to insure branding success in 2015? Here are some strategies to get you, and your brand, off to a great start in the new year.

1. Take the time to evaluate your brand.

Consider your logo, is it dynamic, unique and powerful? Does it adequately convey the qualities of your brand? Is it recognizable and memorable? If not, it’s time to revamp it. You need a logo that elevates your brand. Do your marketing materials have a consistent look and feel? Are your website and social media efforts performing to your expectations? Use Google Page Analytics to see exactly what areas of your site are being ignored by visitors, then spruce them up! Is your website mobile friendly? search engine friendly? Does the style and function of your site still suit where your company is now?

Find out what your audience thinks of your brand. Take a survey of your clients to see what they want and need, and how they would like you to improve. This can be done on your website, or via SurveyMonkey.

Identify your areas of weakness and get to work.

2. Create a brand statement.

If you don’t already have one, now’s the time. Your brand statement should encompass the core values of your company and the products and/or services it provides. Select terms that most accurately convey the spirit of your company, delineate your target market, and the value your company/products provide. Avoid jargon – overused terms lose their power. Develop an original statement that is truly authentic to your brand. Once created, familiarize all employees with your brand statement. Insure that all communications are developed with the brand statement in mind.

3. Develop a tagline.

Make it memorable and meaningful. The shorter the better.

4. Keep your branding consistent.

Now that you have an awesome logo and tagline, strive to put it everywhere, being mindful to keep the look and feel of your marketing efforts consistent. To aid in this process, develop corporate branding guidelines. Make sure that anyone who produces communications for your company is aware of the guidelines. Keep your look consistent throughout all digital and printed media.

5. Does your company need a voice?

If your company has marketing messages being delivered to the masses then the answer is yes. Make a voice for your company. What type of voice suits the essence of your company? Is it peppy, scholarly, or informal? All communications by your company should be communicated in the company voice. This will keep your brand consistent in tone.

6. Identify your target audience and how to best reach them.

Have you defined your target audience? If so are you reaching them? If not, why not? Where and how are they finding your competitors? Study your competitors. What are they doing, (that you are not), that is successful in gaining market share?

7. Become a source.

Find ways to offer exciting, original content/information to your target market. You can accomplish this by keeping your site updated, blogging, email, and through social media sources. If you position yourself as an expert in your industry, people will want to know what you have to say. Think like your target market. What are they interested in? What information can you offer that would engage them?

8. Seek to engage your audience.

Add calls to action to your website and marketing materials. What action do you want the recipient of your email, post, or direct mail piece to take? Don’t make them guess. Tell them! This is no time to be shy.

9. Add video to your branding toolbox.

Video on the internet is booming. Video is an extremely effective form of communication, much more powerful than reading something. It adds credibility and authenticity to your brand. It allows a personal connection that is invaluable in the digital age. So whether you set up a YouTube channel, or post videos on your site, get started!

10. Have a plan and follow it.

Develop a marketing plan and stick to it. Be ambitious. Nothing happens unless you make it happen. Aim to revisit the plan on a regular basis, make adjustments, and keep going. Consistency is key.

Follow these steps to insure branding success in 2015. Have a safe, healthy and prosperous New Year!

For more information about branding, logo design, tagline development and effective marketing communications, please contact Bethany Burt at burtdesign, via email: bburtdesign@gmail.com or call 772.766.4926.

By | January 7th, 2015|blog|Comments Off on 10 Strategies to Boost Your Brand in 2015

The Great Logo Challenge

Every time we get a new logo project I experience what can only be described as excitement laced with apprehension. Logos are among the most important and challenging projects designers get. A logo is a symbol that will represent a company to the world. That’s pretty important. Consumers may engage with a company, or not, based solely on a logo.

There are all sorts of logos out there, but few are truly successful. What makes a successful logo? Here are three main qualities of great logos: purposeful, memorable and viable.

A purposeful logo will deliver the message of what a company is about, the feel of it. This is not always easy. A designer must first determine the intangible qualities the company wishes to represent, i.e. security, excitement, relief, comfort, and then turn those qualities into a visual representation. With some logos a brief glance and you know exactly what that company does, but that is not often, and not necessary for success. But you should look at a logo and receive a feeling from it, a mood or vibe. It is that emotional reaction to a logo that will encourage a consumer to engage or not.

A logo must be interesting to look at and memorable (you haven’t already seen something just like it a hundred times). That may not sound challenging, but it is. Today create anything truly original can be difficult, there’s just soo much out there. However with such a cluttered field of visual stimuli when something truly unique appears, it is very memorable.

Viability, I am afraid is where most logos flunk the test of success. Many logos are designed in accordance with what is cool at the moment, the trendiest font, shape and colors. Of course next year when all the trends have shifted that logo immediately looks outdated. Huge downfall, then companies end up constantly redoing their logos, (costly!) and no corporate brand is ever truly established. Logos should have a shelf life of at least ten years. Fonts, colors and shapes should be used that can stand the test of time.

LOGO CASE STUDY – NallEdge Co.

Below are three of the seven logos we recently created for a client who is starting a education/self-help/publishing company. The concept behind the company, it’s essence is to educate people on social and personal skills to empower them to live better lives. For “purpose” we have several key words, education, improve, enlighten, elevate… In logo 1 the sense of elevation and having an edge is evident. Logo 2 puts a greater emphasis on the education aspect, but the open design of the book also invokes enlightenment and an uplifting sense. Logo 3 was a more random iteration playing on the lettering and with the concept of gaining an edge by acquiring knowledge.

KnalledgeLogosfor blog

 

In this instance Logo #2 was selected because of the book and the very clear indication by the visual that the company is education related. I was happy with this decision because I think this logo has a very nice, inviting, inspiring feel to it, which will only be further emphasized by whatever color palette we select to compliment it. (We generally always present logos as two colors, the same two colors for each so that color alone doesn’t influence a client’s choice. Once a logo is landed on then I will do a full color exploration.)

Design 1 would have been my second choice because it has an original feel to it, and it fulfills the viability factor, by not utilizing trendy shapes, colors, or fonts. Design 3 – I like the feel of but the more I look at it the more I think I’ve seen something like it before. It’s the least memorable.

By | July 16th, 2014|blog|Comments Off on The Great Logo Challenge

The Perfect Tagline

I was recently asked to come up with a tagline for a new company. I love projects like this because I very much enjoy tinkering with the English language. Words are like puzzle pieces, the best ones need to be selected and put in the right order to assemble a perfect tagline. There are several important factors to consider when developing a tagline. First and foremost, you need to come up with something that truly captures the essence/flavor/spirit of the company or product. To do this I create a long rambling list of everything that has anything to do with the company. Every single applicable word goes on the list. What the company does, what they want to evoke in their audience, the reaction they want to their products, the type of reputation they hope to develop or maintain. Then I look up every adjective or possible interchangeable word in my thesaurus and add those words to the list. And then, I play. I put this word with that one, then switch it around. Add this word to the mix… take that one out. Slowly I find that certain words rise above the others, these become key words, words that appear most essential. I also identify complimentary word combinations. Some words just sound compatible with others, they flow together when spoken or read.

Secondly, you need to consider the strength of a tagline to evoke a reaction or drive an action. I like tags that make you want to use a company or it’s products. Every time I hear “Just do it” I still want to strap on my Nikes and go for a hard run. That’s a good tagline.

Another very important factor to consider is the competition. Whenever I develop a new tagline or company name I always do an in depth review of the competition. You don’t want to sound just like any other business in your field. Use the best of your competition to set the bar and be determined to rise well above.

Lastly, keep it short and sweet. Tags are best, as is most writing, when they are succinct. Make your point and be done. Long tags are boring and they never fit nicely under a logo!

By | June 10th, 2014|blog|Comments Off on The Perfect Tagline
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