Creating a logo? Why a marketing strategy will help
For some people, I'm sure the idea of writing a marketing strategy is boring or unnecessary. It is much more fun to jump straight into the visual stuff (I admit it, it is).
And of course, your logo is important; it's your stamp on the world.
Your business is never too small for a strategy
Whether you're a freelancer starting venturing into the world of self employment for the first time or a serial entrepreneur, a marketing strategy will help. Why? Because it forms your identity. Not in part. Completely.
When you see a logo, you make a snap judgement on what that company will be like and maybe what they do. So you don't want people to make the wrong assumptions.
A good example is Nike - It's bold, straightforward, and the tick moves in an upward motion, which makes it seem powerful, positive and energetic. No surprise that's what they're going for and how they want their audience to feel.
What does a marketing strategy actually do?
Your strategy will help you focus on exactly what you want to say and to who. You need to consider what your target audience will think of your logo, not just about whether you like it.
And if you don't know exactly who your target audience is, your strategy is there for that too. You'd be surprised how often people might say 'I target everyone'. Unless you're a toilet roll manufacturer (and even then you can still create segmentation for targeting; luxury, budget, aloe etc.), I really doubt you want the mammoth task of targeting everyone - that's way too much work for anyone.
Your marketing strategy is there to solidify who you are (e.g. brand identity, values, unique selling points), what you want to achieve (mission statement, goals), who you are speaking to (target audience), what you can offer them (value proposition, services) and how you reach them (marketing channels to suit your audience).
It doesn't have to be long or complicated - in fact, it shouldn't be
I often think the words 'marketing strategy' puts people off. People think it's a complex and long-winded. It really doesn't have to be.
Your strategy needs to work for you, so if a dissertation-style document takes up vast amounts of time and won't get read then, you're right that it is boring and unnecessary.
If you're a newbie to the world of marketing and starting your own business, stick to the very basic points mentioned at least:
Who are you? - How you (your logo) look, reflects who you are
Who are you targeting? - How will your target audience react to seeing your logo? Remember, you are not your target audience. You are biased.
What do you offer to your target audience - What snap judgement will your audience make on the services you offer?
How will you reach your target audience? - You need your logo to work on different platforms. Will it work on social media?
I should point out, there is a lot more to marketing strategy, but if you only do these four things, then you're already ahead. You can always go back and add in detail as you grow and learn.
Fail to plan is to plan to fail
OK, so you might not fail, but you might get your logo design wrong and get off on the wrong foot with your target audience and make life harder.
Focus on your USPs. If your product's main selling point is that it is natural and organic, it probably doesn't make sense to go traditional and colourful.
You could end up designing something that says Reliant Robin when you're going for Rolls-Roce.