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Today's Entrepreneur - Designing the Image of Your Business

By ReGina Crawford-Martin

Designing the Image of Your Business

You keep handing out business cards to the same people over and over again, and no one seems to remember receiving your card in the past. How can you make your business cards and your company standout in the crowd? You design an image for your business that distinguishes your business from other companies. This can be accomplished by employing one or all of the following methods of company branding.

One: Company Colors.
This is the least complicated, and most economical way to establish an image for your company. First you must decide how many colors you plan to use in creating your company image. Let me suggest that you adhere to the K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple yet Sassy) rule when deciding on your company’s color scheme. Two complimentary or contrasting colors work best, however, you can use as many as four colors. You want to choose colors that either have some personal meaning to the owner(s) of the company, or reflect the products/services you offer.

Two: Company Motto/DNA.
This is different from your operating credo, but just as important. Nike’s motto is ‘Just Do It’, and Sprite’s motto is ‘Obey Your Thirst’. Deciding on a motto can become quite complicated, however, I learned a nice little trick from the founder of Caribou Coffee. He stated that you should know the DNA of your business, and the DNA for his coffee shops is ‘Drink Normally Asked For’. In other words, his staff should learn the type of coffee ordered by its daily customers. People enjoy knowing that their wants and needs are important to the people they are doing business with, and knowing a customer’s preferred drink makes them feel important. The DNA for my company is ‘Designing New Aggressive Alternatives’, which describes all five divisions of my company. Whether I am creating a new computer system, or marketing/advertising campaign, or web site, or letterhead and business cards, or a poem, I am always designing something new that provides my customers with an alternate way of doing business aggressively.

Three: Company Logo.
This is the most complicated technique for setting your company apart from other company’s in your area, and they don’t necessarily have to be competitors. If your logo is distinctive enough, people you have networked with will remember your company and can recommend you to a colleague who requires your services. Just as with the colors, the company logo should have some personal meaning to the owner(s), or reflect the product/services offered. For instance, if you offer typing services and have a passion for elephants, then your company logo could be a picture of a typewriter with a sheet of paper coming out the front with a picture of an elephant on the top of the paper. However, you want to make the picture of the typewriter and the elephant unique so that they stand out, and make an impression on the receiver of your business card, letterhead, or any other printed material. Also, be sure that your company colors enhance the graphics you have chosen for your logo. You wouldn’t what your elephant to be brown or black, which does not give your logo a distinctive look.

All three of these branding techniques can effectively distinguish your business from other businesses as long as you remember to approach creating an image for your company with a K.I.S.S.

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ReGina graduated from Central State University, Wilberforce, Ohio in 1990 with a degree in Computer Science. Since moving to Cleveland, ReGina serves as the 1st Vice President of Women Entrepreneurs of America, Inc., and is also the owner and president of a home-based business – G Styl Productions Incorporated. She is also a contributing columnist to the Call and Post with a weekly column titled DNA Level C.

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