Promotional products are nothing without the creative brand images that are placed on them. Ordinary items like wall calendars are transformed into promotional advertising masterpieces with the addition of a few colors and a bit of text, and can result in increased business if distributed correctly.
However, many small businesses lack the necessary expertise to create an innovative and unique logo. There are a few general guidelines that owners of these companies can follow if they want to employ the most cost-effective strategy.
Hire a graphic design company or professional
Let’s face it – not everyone has the artistic ability to create an attractive company logo. People attend college for years to acquire the skills necessary to use computer technology and other methods of graphic design. This is why this subject is listed as a separate major. Companies may consider hiring these professionals to work on a logo that can be implemented on promotional products.
If budgets are tight, it might be prudent to reach out to a student currently attending college. These young people can use the eventual design in their class portfolios and may not charge as much as a professional company. It might be slightly riskier than employing a proven expert, but a small business can still expect a certain level of professionalism.
Use simple themes rather than complex ones
It can be tempting for a small business to divert a substantial budget toward a corporate logo, but the reality is that these images do not have to be extraordinarily complex. While the unique logo of the New England Patriots, for example, is an intriguing figure from revolutionary times, the brand image of the Red Cross is, of course, a red cross. It does not take a skilled professional to draw a red cross using Microsoft Paint or other related art programs.
There are many ways to make a logo stand out without spending time on design. Bright colors, for example, can easily make anything stand out against the competition. If a tax consultation company wants to incorporate a dollar sign onto promotional pens, they can use bright pink instead of the traditional dark green. This simple change can make people stop and look at messages or corporate information.
Come up with a fun, friendly mascot
Every major professional, college and high school sports team has a mascot to promote a friendly atmosphere of competition. Small businesses can take a page from these organizations’ marketing campaigns and use a similar figure to promote their business. Examples can be seen in media today – the Geico gecko, Aflac duck and Chester Cheetah are just several of many animal mascots.
As with before, keep the creature simple to avoid additional expense and difficulty. A cat will suffice rather than a spotted jaguar, for example. These mascots should be drawn in a friendly, appropriate way to ensure that promotional products can be distributed to any age group or demographic.
Place your logo on practical business gifts
Once a brand image has been finalized, make sure to place it on promotional items that can be used by a variety of people. These include custom coffee mugs, personalized USB keys and more. A small, high-quality gift is much more effective than a large batch of poorly constructed objects, and does not carry the risk of decreasing a company’s reputation.
Small businesses should remember that a creative, fashionable brand image can place them ahead of competitors and result in the maximum return on investment when using promotional products.