How you say what you want to say is more important! Why? If it does not speak to your audience, you have wasted your money and now advertising is expensive. Remember, advertising is cheap if it is done correctly. So, are your audience teenagers, the elderly, young families, Hispanics, African-Americans, the sports enthusiast; or is it a mix of these?
Once you have selected your audience, ask yourself, "What makes them tick? What catches their attention?" If it is a mix, "What desires and needs overlap and how can I speak to all of them?" Identify what others are saying that is successful and what has failed. YOU MUST KNOW BOTH! After all, if you do not know what has failed, then you may repeat it! Remember, if you are going to steal, steal from the best! What this means is if you take two or three great ideas of others, you can combine them and come up with a NEW IDEA that is all your own! So don't use mediocre ideas to inspire a great one!
Your logo has to reflect what your slogan or tagline says. Creating a tagline takes real thinking. Why? Because, as Jack Trout says in his book on branding, "Anything anyone else can claim, don't claim it! Anything anyone else has already said, don't say it!" And, often, the simple is better. I once was working on a slogan for an energy savings company and we came up with "Quality service, the latest technology and real savings!" This is known as a means-end slogan. We thought it was good, but who would say that they have low quality, old technology and are expensive? So I came up with, "Energy is expensive; it doesn't have to be!" Now THAT is saying something!
Choose your graphic carefully! It has to be catchy, but not too much. It must be memorable, but not in an insulting or foolish way. Also, keep in mind that you have to reproduce it on shirts, business cards, boxes, etc; therefore, if it is complicated, it may look to busy. In logos, vector graphics and clip art are okay. However, how you use it will determine if it is effective or looks like what you are saying is, "My baby needs new shoes; please buy something from me!" Also keep in mind that landscape is better than a portrait layout, since we naturally read left to right.
Make sure your color choices say what you want! Color has meaning and temperature. There are cold, cool, warm and hot colors. Also, each color gives a subliminal message. Ever wonder why UPS will never change their color from brown? Because brown means "commitment"! Other than in Germany, where brown was affiliated with the Gestapo, UPS continues to use brown all over the world. For example: blue means trust, integrity and honesty. White means purity and innocent. Black means serious, powerful, evil and morbidity. Purple means royalty. Red means passion; depending on the shade, it is either love or hate. Green means health, nature, nurture, and money; however in the darker shades it means greed, envy and sickness. Gold means wealth, wisdom and power as well, as in a king.
- Be careful not to get caught up in personal pride and ego and choose something that is really crap!
- Try two or three different ideas; don't get caught up in one and limit the breadth of your thinking! Solicit ideas from others and build on them.