social mumbo-jumbo?

03/03/2010

Yes, graphic designers build websites!  But how strong is it when it stands alone?  Have you ever considered having your designer work with you on what I’ve come to call “marketing tentacles”? Web optimization techniques can certainly help your website rise from the ashes, but what about other avenues like social media?  Do they really work?  Are they worth the time and attention?  Well, watch this video short video and see whether you think getting involved in social media is worth it now.

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A colleague came to me today and asked me provide any input I might have on a summary she was presenting on Baby Boomers and marketing strategies to a group of co-workers.  I’ll be the first to admit I am certainly no statistician or marketing guru regarding Baby Boomers, but after combining some pre-gathered info with a brief web search I was surprised at the insight I found.

As a graphic designer, I came across certain aspects of my brief digging worth sharing.

“…some companies may have to reinvent their images because boomers don’t want anything that smacks of being stuffy or stodgy. More youthful models should be selected because boomers relate better to younger images” —

“…baby boomers seek immediate gratification, but seek it out in products and services that are well packaged, reflecting sophistication, a green slant and simplified”  —

“Boomers will always try to act much younger than their chronological age.” —

“They also want products designed to fit their individual needs, so customization, or the illusion of it, is important” —

“Environmental and social awareness will strike a responsive note in some boomers, so they should be highlighted” —

I particularly took note of the second quote as this is directly related to how a company, big or small, decides to promote themselves and their products and services in an era when Boomers will become a significant spending gear in the marketplace.

Business as usual is no longer the norm as this generation will be changing the competitive marketplace in how they choose to spend their money.  Boomers do not like to look at themselves as aging, and they will emphasize this by how they chose to identify with brands and products.  They see themselves as special, unique and are driven by instant gratification (as are the Gen Y’ers). The more youthful, green and value-added a brand image is, the better off you’ll be, according to many sources.

So, companies may want to rethink their brand images, logo designs and even print and online promotional materials to meet the needs and wants of this new significant spending power.

A refreshed logo is the first place to start as it is your brand “stamp” in your competitive marketplace.  It will differentiate you from you competition.  Creating an “ageless” image through your logo, Boomers will better identify with your company and product/service as they are a very selective demographic.  Small companies and start ups can really benefit from this as they are inherently more flexible with branding ideas and how they choose to brand themselves.

The more a company can create an image as a “specialty-niche” and not a “do-everything” identity, the better off you’ll be at reaching out to the Boomers.  A clear, sharp and unique brand image is a vital key in absorbing valuable market share.

Steve Muth
SCM Designs

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logo stories

08/03/2009

Henry Ford once said,

Every object tells a story. You just need to know how to read it.”

When designing logos, the same should apply. Not for the sake of the designer, but the the benefit of the client and their customers.

We all know the reasons behind our designs, but does a story emerge when discussion arises about it?  It should.   Logos don’t only serve their purpose in the few split seconds that they’re seen by the average viewer, but add real value and identity to those we design them for.   If a logo can be developed with a tangible meaning to the client, the inherent value of that design jumps ten-fold.

For a lack of a more decorative manner of expressing it, the logo should take on a personality similar to the culture of the company it represents.   To use the poor analogy that dogs always seem to resemble their owners, logos should also reflect the key elements of a company’s personality and culture to the point that when they’re not seen together a viewer would still interpret the similarities in tone, character and mood.

Granted, the inherent challenges of making a typelogo or graphical image to all this is significant. Each concept, each company name, can either help or hinder this effort depending on it’s relation to it’s parent company.

Conceptually, a logo really appeals more to your client’s ego then their intented customers and this needs to be kept in consideration throughout the design process.

In most cases, designers should only present their strongest concepts, but this lucky company in the video had a handful to chose from.

Steve Muth
SCM Designs

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