Tag Archive: brand

Designing A Logo For Your Company’s Brand

Designing A Logo For Your Company’s Brand
Brands are an important influence on our lives. They are central to free markets and democratic societies. They represent free choice.They also have a profound impact on our quality of life and the way we see our world. They color our lives. They reflect the values of our societies.Global brands can even embody the spirit of many nations, if not the spirit of an age.

Most importantly, strong brands bestow value far beyond the performance of the products themselves. Brands that do this possess an idea worthy of consumer loyalty.The more inspiring the idea, the more intense and profound the commitment. And the more the consumer believes in the brand, the more value the brand returns to its owner.

Good logo designers are not only able to design you a professional logo, but they will also make sure that your logo is distinct and unique so as to create a long lasting impression. Therefore the question that now comes to mind is, do we really need logo designers or can just anyone design a corporate logo? The answer to this question is not as simple as it seems. While the obvious answer may be no, the fact of the matter is that we do need professional logo designers because they are specialists in their field and are able to produce quality work that is distinct and one of a kind.

In recent times the term ‘logo’ has been used to describe signs, emblems, coats of arms, symbols and even flags. In this article several examples of ‘true’ logotypes are displayed, which may generally be contrasted with emblems, or marks which include non-textual graphics of some kind. Emblems with non-textual content are distinct from true logotypes.

Logo designers therefore are of great importance to any business as they can help create logos with a powerful impact and reach. Think about Apple’s logo or the logo of Windows, besides the obvious there is more than just what meets the eye. These logos are not only powerful because they represent a company, but they are powerful because of what they stand for. Good logo designers know how to capture and depict the essence of a business in a single small image. They realize that a solid logo design communicates a company’s identity simply, clearly, and powerfully all at the same time.

At LogoSuite, we pride ourselves on keeping up to speed by improving our web design skills, developing new design styles, and searching for new typefaces and design ideas.

Changing The Tone of Your Media Coverage Messages

Changing The Tone of Your Media Coverage Messages

The world of PR is benefiting from dramatic changes in the way media coverage is being delivered electronically to your computer desktop or PDA of choice. Perhaps the nuisance of ink on your fingers is being replaced by a bad case of “BlackBerry thumb” — but nevertheless getting your media coverage electronically has never been easier or more mobile.

These changes now drive the development of new tools from content providers, and new software programs to help better manage and analyze media coverage. The automation occurring at the database level and through the real-time delivery of organizational news, to internal and external stakeholders, is now almost taken for granted. And the holy grail of PR — to automate media analysis and measurement — is already under way; but where should software stop to make way for human analysis?.

Media analysis programs can save countless hours quantifying and sorting media coverage in an unlimited number of ways, including by circulation, region, ad equivalency, company programs and services, and competitive brands. However, do you really want a computer program qualifying how each story affects your organization? It’s a gamble with little upside.

Just Say No

The automation of tone and sentiment has already been incorporated into some software programs, but how accurate can it be? Every story, across every medium, will have a dramatically different meaning or impact for various organizations and their stakeholders. Behind the news emerge both winner and losers.

For instance, if a negative story breaks about a strike at one bottling plant it will be a boon for its competitors. The ability to determine which companies are negatively affected by the news is very limited. Furthermore, understanding the actual tone or possible ongoing bias of the reporter on an issue is impossible to automate. News is as much about delivering the facts, as it is provoking a reaction or emotion from the reader. Media analysis solutions can certainly help decipher the facts, but the rest should be left to a team of communications professionals.

Too Subjective?

The argument against toning media coverage has often been it is too subjective — if the news can be interpreted differently by each individual, won’t this skew the results in the end? True enough — but this can easily be solved with the introduction of a tone standardized ‘scorecard’ that is consistently applied to each story.

These scorecards can really vary, depending on the type of analysis you want to deliver in the end. Many organizations will chose to tone stories by ranking them as positive, neutral or negative.

The use of these 3 words alone is where subjectivity problems can creep in. Along with team brainstorming and training sessions on how tone can be applied, one quick fix is to use the C.B.S. Scorecard instead:

  1. Use Critical (in place of Negative.)
  2. Use Balanced (in place of Neutral)
  3. Use Supportive (in place Positive)

After reading an article, it is much easier to answer the question “Was that story critical, balanced, or supportive of our organization?” Instead of: “Was that story negative, neutral or positive?”

When it comes to tone it won’t always be black or white, but I’d rather leave the grey zones to a trained communications professional rather than to the guesswork of a software application.

When it comes to tone it won’t always be black or white, but I’d rather leave the grey zones to a trained communications professional rather than to the guesswork of a software application.

Beyond the ranking of articles by tone using the C.B.S. Scorecard, other metrics and meanings can be used in tandem to create and even stronger analysis. The following scorecard uses a scorecard range, from – 5 to + 5, to provide a more in depth analysis.

Rating Criteria
+5 Supportive Mention + four of the following: Key Message; Interview; Photo; Call To Action
+4 Supportive Mention + three of the following: Key Message; Interview; Photo; Call To Action
+3 Supportive Mention + two of the following: Key Message; Interview; Photo; Call To Action
+2 Supportive Mention + one of the following: Key Message; Interview; Photo; Call To Action
+1 Supportive
0 Balanced
-1 Critical
-2 Critical Mention + one of the following: Negative Executive Mention, Positive Competitor Mention; Consumer Direct Complaint; Ongoing Issue
-3 Critical Mention + two of the following: Negative Executive Mention, Positive Competitor Mention; Consumer Direct Complaint; Ongoing Issue
-4 Critical Mention + three of the following: Negative Executive Mention, Positive Competitor Mention; Consumer Direct Complaint; Ongoing Issue
-5 Critical Mention + four of the following: Negative Executive Mention, Positive Competitor Mention; Consumer Direct Complaint; Ongoing Issue

Once each story is toned, the rest of analysis can be automated by your software solution. The tone can be used independently to determine the success of the campaign by percentage of C.B.S. stories, but the tone can also be used alongside the rest of the analysis to identify possible media bias or problem areas by region or publication. The media is always analyzing your organization…why not return the favour?

New media monitoring and analysis technologies are certainly changing the face of media relations activities and provide immense return on investment, but determining the impact of a news story on your organization should be kept in human hands for the time being.

Your Online Reputation: Who’s Watching Out for You?

Your Online Reputation: Who’s Watching Out for You?
by Erin McDermott.

“Awful work and unethical business practices! Stay away!”

“I will be sure to tell everyone I know how disgusting this place is.”

“They will suck the money out of you any way they can and do substandard work. AVOID AVOID AVOID!!!”

It’s the Wild West of web commentary out there for small businesses today. Cloaked by online anonymity, customers can and do say anything—including the real examples above, for a dry cleaner, a restaurant, and a portrait studio—often leaving trails of remarkably hostile reviews, false allegations, and even shockingly personal attacks.

But in an increasingly digital world, your search results are also your online résumé, written by people you most likely don’t know.

“People have a tendency to hide behind their computer screens and they’re unedited,” says Ruth Ann Wiesner, founder and CEO of RAW Marketing, a social-media management and online marketing consultancy near Chicago. “They don’t take into consideration that they’re hurting a business or an actual person.

Recently, Wiesner had a client dealing with a commenter posting negative comments on a review site. This unhappy customer even went as far as to attack the small-business owner herself—including nasty remarks about her hairstyle and shoes. “That’s not even the business she was in. I mean, why?” Wiesner says.

Often, companies wait until the web or social-network heat hits a boiling point before they make a move to address their online reputation. (And even old-school shops that don’t have a website aren’t immune: Sites like Google Maps, Yelp, Kudzu, YellowPages, epinions and others include any and all businesses, and offer a review function as well.)

If you’ve been procrastinating about protecting your Internet rep, where do you start? Below you’ll find what a few pros suggest to get started.

First rule, don’t fake a review—ever

You’ll get caught. And forget dirty tricks.

Take a deep breath and Google yourself

Don’t wait until the rabble reaches a crisis point. Take a good look: Is your company site the top result during a search of your company name? Is the information you see accurate? Is it positive or negative? If it helps you sleep at night, Internet search experts say only two percent of users ever skim past the top 10 results. But business owners should dig deeper and look down into search-result pages two, three, four and five. You may see a pattern of where certain comments originate. And who knows—you might even see some glowing recommendations, too.

Be proactive

Sign up your business for official Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest accounts. These will be yours to control—including which messages appear on them and which don’t. And be sure to get a Google Alert for your company’s name, as well as your name—that way, as soon as the Google scanners come across new references, an email will pop up in your inbox and identify it to you.

Another thing, and this may be difficult to hear, gentle reader: Several experts advise small businesses to also query their company’s name on Google Alerts with—sad to say—the word “sucks” next to it. “Yep, you read that right,” says Wiesner. “Make sure you are being notified every time someone on the Internet uses your name along with the most preferred way of showing disapproval.” Another tactic to consider—buying that negative URL as it prevents it from falling into the wrong hands.

PQ_OnlineRep.jpgEngage your reviewers—carefully

Keep cool-headed and stay polite when addressing negative comments. Be firm, but offer solutions to problems. Avoid getting sucked into an unending battle with critics.

Still, watch out for “brand terrorists,” says Andrew Barnett of Elasticity, a St. Louis-based firm that manages corporate reputations, marketing, and social media. He once dealt with a bedding retailer who had a customer whose bed remote control stopped working. After a dispute arose about a replacement, Barnett says the customer went on a tear, bad-mouthing the business on nearly two-dozen sites, even warning off would-be customers who were researching a purchase. Eventually, the retailer broke down and got the customer a new remote. “There are plenty of people out there who have figured out that if you complain enough and loudly enough, it can work to [their] advantage,” Barnett says.

Find a pro to help

Reputation-management services work to emphasize positive remarks about a person or company online and diminish negative search results, by addressing problem comments, boosting new content, and reacting to changes in search-engine algorithms.

“You can’t remove negative comments but there are a great many things you can do minimize their effect,” says DeAnne Merey, president of New York’s DM Public Relations, which specializes in crisis management and online-reputation work. “The goal is to balance the entries and dilute their impact. While the solution is not overnight, with the right response these comments will be displaced and moved further down the search results over time.”

But beware: If you engage a reputation-management company and they don’t ask if the allegations online are true, be worried. “If they don’t mind the fact that you’re ripping somebody off, chances are they might be ripping you off, too,” says one industry insider who declined to be named. Ask for references from businesses they’ve worked with and look at those companies’ search results.

Price-wise, reputation-management companies charge anywhere from $200 to $600 a month for small businesses, depending on the type of business and its geographic region. For bigger companies, the services are much more complex, and the price goes up accordingly.

Double down on customer service

It may sound simple, but try to not give your customers reason to complain. Most of the time, when bad things are said, talking directly with the customer can remedy the situation. This also gives customers a great story to tell that will make you look good and help spread positive word-of-mouth.

Sort of like Ruth Ann Wiesner’s client with the nasty commenter. Wiesner said she worked with the owner to respond to the reviews. The commenter actually apologized and, a few days later, even showed up at the business with flowers, saying she didn’t realize how hurtful the comments were until she re-read what she’d written.

The business owner spoke with the customer and gained some new insights on her criticisms. “She said she would put new policies and procedures into place to avoid the bad situation from happening again,” Wiesner said.

But, the business owner added, “I’m not changing my hair style!”

Your Online Reputation: Who’s Watching Out for You?

Your Online Reputation: Who’s Watching Out for You?
“Awful work and unethical business practices! Stay away!”

“I will be sure to tell everyone I know how disgusting this place is.”

“They will suck the money out of you any way they can and do substandard work. AVOID AVOID AVOID!!!”

It’s the Wild West of web commentary out there for small businesses today. Cloaked by online anonymity, customers can and do say anything—including the real examples above, for a dry cleaner, a restaurant, and a portrait studio—often leaving trails of remarkably hostile reviews, false allegations, and even shockingly personal attacks.

But in an increasingly digital world, your search results are also your online résumé, written by people you most likely don’t know.

“People have a tendency to hide behind their computer screens and they’re unedited,” says Ruth Ann Wiesner, founder and CEO of RAW Marketing, a social-media management and online marketing consultancy near Chicago. “They don’t take into consideration that they’re hurting a business or an actual person.

Recently, Wiesner had a client dealing with a commenter posting negative comments on a review site. This unhappy customer even went as far as to attack the small-business owner herself—including nasty remarks about her hairstyle and shoes. “That’s not even the business she was in. I mean, why?” Wiesner says.

Often, companies wait until the web or social-network heat hits a boiling point before they make a move to address their online reputation. (And even old-school shops that don’t have a website aren’t immune: Sites like Google Maps, Yelp, Kudzu, YellowPages, epinions and others include any and all businesses, and offer a review function as well.)

If you’ve been procrastinating about protecting your Internet rep, where do you start? Below you’ll find what a few pros suggest to get started.

First rule, don’t fake a review—ever

You’ll get caught. And forget dirty tricks.

Take a deep breath and Google yourself

Don’t wait until the rabble reaches a crisis point. Take a good look: Is your company site the top result during a search of your company name? Is the information you see accurate? Is it positive or negative? If it helps you sleep at night, Internet search experts say only two percent of users ever skim past the top 10 results. But business owners should dig deeper and look down into search-result pages two, three, four and five. You may see a pattern of where certain comments originate. And who knows—you might even see some glowing recommendations, too.

Be proactive

Sign up your business for official Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest accounts. These will be yours to control—including which messages appear on them and which don’t. And be sure to get a Google Alert for your company’s name, as well as your name—that way, as soon as the Google scanners come across new references, an email will pop up in your inbox and identify it to you.

Another thing, and this may be difficult to hear, gentle reader: Several experts advise small businesses to also query their company’s name on Google Alerts with—sad to say—the word “sucks” next to it. “Yep, you read that right,” says Wiesner. “Make sure you are being notified every time someone on the Internet uses your name along with the most preferred way of showing disapproval.” Another tactic to consider—buying that negative URL as it prevents it from falling into the wrong hands.

PQ_OnlineRep.jpgEngage your reviewers—carefully

Keep cool-headed and stay polite when addressing negative comments. Be firm, but offer solutions to problems. Avoid getting sucked into an unending battle with critics.

Still, watch out for “brand terrorists,” says Andrew Barnett of Elasticity, a St. Louis-based firm that manages corporate reputations, marketing, and social media. He once dealt with a bedding retailer who had a customer whose bed remote control stopped working. After a dispute arose about a replacement, Barnett says the customer went on a tear, bad-mouthing the business on nearly two-dozen sites, even warning off would-be customers who were researching a purchase. Eventually, the retailer broke down and got the customer a new remote. “There are plenty of people out there who have figured out that if you complain enough and loudly enough, it can work to [their] advantage,” Barnett says.

Find a pro to help

Reputation-management services work to emphasize positive remarks about a person or company online and diminish negative search results, by addressing problem comments, boosting new content, and reacting to changes in search-engine algorithms.

“You can’t remove negative comments but there are a great many things you can do minimize their effect,” says DeAnne Merey, president of New York’s DM Public Relations, which specializes in crisis management and online-reputation work. “The goal is to balance the entries and dilute their impact. While the solution is not overnight, with the right response these comments will be displaced and moved further down the search results over time.”

But beware: If you engage a reputation-management company and they don’t ask if the allegations online are true, be worried. “If they don’t mind the fact that you’re ripping somebody off, chances are they might be ripping you off, too,” says one industry insider who declined to be named. Ask for references from businesses they’ve worked with and look at those companies’ search results.

Price-wise, reputation-management companies charge anywhere from $200 to $600 a month for small businesses, depending on the type of business and its geographic region. For bigger companies, the services are much more complex, and the price goes up accordingly.

Double down on customer service

It may sound simple, but try to not give your customers reason to complain. Most of the time, when bad things are said, talking directly with the customer can remedy the situation. This also gives customers a great story to tell that will make you look good and help spread positive word-of-mouth.

Sort of like Ruth Ann Wiesner’s client with the nasty commenter. Wiesner said she worked with the owner to respond to the reviews. The commenter actually apologized and, a few days later, even showed up at the business with flowers, saying she didn’t realize how hurtful the comments were until she re-read what she’d written.

The business owner spoke with the customer and gained some new insights on her criticisms. “She said she would put new policies and procedures into place to avoid the bad situation from happening again,” Wiesner said.

But, the business owner added, “I’m not changing my hair style!”