Your business has a face. The do’s & don’ts of logo design.

Have you ever met someone for the first time and not made the best first impression? Maybe you thought to yourself: I wish I could go back and try that again. Well, same goes for your company logo. It’s the first thing your potential customers see, and from it they form their own personal opinions and beliefs about your company. So what kind of reaction are they having to your logo? Is it a true reflection of your company and values? Do the colors convey an emotional bond between yourself and them?

Lets take a look at the dictionary definition of a logo:

graphic representation or symbol of company name, trademark, abbreviation, etc., often uniquely designed for ready recognition.

A great logo should contain the following 4 characteristics:

  1. It should, in one quick glance, represent your companies essence and values.
  2. It should look good in black and white, color, as a tiny thumbnail or on a large billboard.
  3. Its colors should reflect the mood of your business. Is it calm and comforting or loud and exciting?
  4. It should be memorable. This is done by creating an emotional tie to the potential customer.

Examples of great logos:

Good Logos

 

 

 

 

Now how about some “Not so great” logos:

Bad Logos

 

 

 

 

One thing all of the great logos have in common is they were professionally done. That being said, don’t skimp on your logo. It’s the single most important design you will ever create for your company and the building block of all your future marketing. Why not create something great you will be proud to call your own. Something you will be proud to hand to a customer on a business card.

Already have a not-so-great logo? What can you do?

Don’t worry my fellow entrepreneurs and business people. There is hope. Many businesses and brands re-design their logos to keep them fresh and updated. Even McDonalds and Starbucks recently went through a rebranding. If you would like help creating or re-creating your company logo, get in touch with us through the contact page and we’d be glad to help!

 

All Logos used in this post are copyright of their respective owners. All rights reserved.

 

Creating a Simple Marketing Plan

We know your business is important to you. That also, in addition to all of the everyday tasks that keep you and your staff busy, there’s the whole business of marketing and advertising to worry about. You may be a pro at this, or, like many of us, you have pieced together a strategy and often feel like it’s unclear or doesn’t take priority on your to-do list.

So, what to do? We’ve put together a simple marketing plan template to help you clarify your marketing efforts and put them on paper. We’ll fill it out as a fictional company with fictional information so you can get a better feel for what you might write down to tailor it to your business.

You can download a blank copy of our Simple Marketing Plan Template – just add extra space between questions if you want to print it out, or save it to your computer for soft-copy editing .


 

sunshine

 

Sunshine Medical Supply : Marketing Plan & Overview

 

Products and Services Currently Offered:

All-around medical supplier. Includes apparel, wound care, education, equipment and furniture, exam room supplies, personal protective equipment, personal care, surgical supplies, needles and syringes and disposal, select pharmaceuticals

Marketing Advantages

What puts you ahead in the marketing department? Do you have a coveted product, a loyal customer base, or a high knowledge curve?

Been around for a long time, lots of long-standing customers that provide repeat business. There are lots of health care institutions around and they need supplies on a regular basis. We have a wide range of inventory and great customer service.

Marketing Challenges

What sets you back? A lack of time, a limited target market, or an expensive product?  

Losing customers to the internet.  Some customers are also retiring or moving on, no new customers to replace them or new people in office go elsewhere. We don’t really understand Facebook and internet marketing. We have a website and Facebook page but it doesn’t seem like anyone sees anything we post.

Competitive Analysis

In this section, include names and a few details of competitors and the advantages and disadvantages each may have in your industry

There are a few medical supply providers in the same city as us, but only a few major competitors. Brighton Medical Supply has been around for a long time but people leave them and come to us because they have horrible customer service.

The Medical Supply People is a new company in town. They have a young staff and a really nice website for people to order from. It looks like they do things on social media. We’ve lost some customers to them, but not too many to be alarmed yet.

The internet and out-of-town companies are our biggest competitor. People say they want to buy local but it seems like they just want to log-on, not talk to a real person, and buy from the cheapest vendor.

Target Market

Create a simple list or description that describes characteristics of your ideal customer. Don’t think you have one? Yes, you do!

Small to medium sized medical offices. We like larger clinics, hospitals are too big. Home health care, nursing homes, private practice, and urgent care clinics are all good.

We need to cater to the office managers and administrative assistants. Sometimes nurses in smaller offices. They are the ones doing the purchasing and influencing the doctor on decisions.

Goals (with vision & mission statement)

List goals you hope to achieve with your marketing efforts – think recruiting, customer retention, attracting new customers, etc.  If you have a vision and mission statement, list it in this section. If not, it may be time to think about creating one!

  • Make our business internet-friendly so people can find us and buy online
  • Win back previous customers
  • Retain our current customer base
  • Grow customer base by 15% this year
  • We need to create a vision and mission statement

Strategies and Methods

What are the practical steps you will take to achieve your marketing goals? This should be the most detailed part of your plan. Based on the information above, create your long and short-term strategy and list the methods you will use to carry them out.

  • Make our business internet-friendly so people can find us and buy online
    • Hire someone to update our website and work on SEO
    • Seek help on setting up and maintaining social media presence and advertising
    • Create a user-friendly shopping cart system
      • Work on budgeting in free shipping for orders over a certain amount
    • Win back previous customers
      • Send emails/letters with special deals to woo them back
      • Let them know we have a new online ordering system
    • Retain our current customer base
      • Create a loyalty program
      • Send out discounts and even freebies regularly to repeat and top customers
      • Invite them to customer appreciation events like lunch, BBQ, seminars and classes
    • Grow customer base by 15%
      • Do local sales marketing and call on new offices with goodies in tow – small kits of medical supplies and useful samples
        • Use a CRM software to track leads and interactions
      • Give/host classes on topics required for continuing education
      • Purchase billboard space (digital and static) and work with outdoor advertising company to build campaigns that will attract new business.
        • Can also use billboard for other marketing goals

Budget and Tracking

Assign part of your company budget to marketing. Determine the cost of your strategy and its execution. Remember to track ROI and other key performance indicators of your efforts.   

Coming back to this: will work with accountant and marketing manager to see what is appropriate for budgeting and how much each will cost

Will need to create spreadsheets and have a way to track expenses and profitability


 

As you can see, putting together a plan can be a bit of work, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelmingly. Tackle it in pieces and assemble a group of people to help you. We think you’ll find it will be helpful in being more intentional and getting more out of your marketing efforts.

It’s Spring: Is Your Business Ready to Bloom?

It’s hard to believe, but we’re officially in the last month of the first quarter…and spring is right around the corner. Going into a new season and a new quarter, do you have a clear marketing and advertising plan? Do you have goals set on how you would like to grow or engage your customer base for the rest of the year?

Maybe you are at a great but scary place in business where you need to invest more resources to continue growing. Maybe you are happy with where you are and want to work on solidifying relationships with current customers. Either way, you must plan and act accordingly.

First, determine who your ideal customer is or who you’d like it to be. Once you know this key piece of information, it will be easier to tailor your products, services, and advertising efforts.

If you’re trying to create more visibility for your brand, advertising mediums like strategically designed and placed billboards and sponsored posts on social media are useful. Draw people in with great service and valuable introductory deals that will make them want to return. Provide useful content on your website that positions your company as an expert in your field. Attend local events and meetings and get involved with the community.  Always make sure you have a clear brand identity with a logo, tagline, and consistent colors and appearance.

Creating additional value for existing customers is also important; retaining these folks is just as important (if not more important) than recruiting brand new buyers. Reward your best customers with special deals and communicate with them regularly. Understand and know what they like and listen to their frustrations so you can handle them accordingly. Make them feel included in your business, because after all – they are the ones that keep the business running.

These are some general starting points to think about. Remember,

  • Who are you marketing to and what do they like/dislike?
  • What are your marketing and advertising goals as we close out the first quarter of the year?
  • What are some things you can do to build your brand and attract new customers?
  • What are things you can do to take care of and retain your existing customers?

Best of luck to you as we “march” into spring and beyond. We always love to hear from you if you have questions or comments!