What's Your Brand? What Does
Your Logo Say About Your Brand?

Your company's brand is a reflection of your corporate culture, mission and attitudes. It incorporates the essence of your company. Although often called a company's brand, your logo is one of many elements in your branding strategy.


Starbucks' easily recognized green and white logo is the visible representation of the company, but its brand extends beyond that image. Other factors in Starbucks' brand include: its inviting, comfy store environment; its color scheme of earth tones; its snobbish attitude; its beverage sizes in vente and grande that convey a more exotic nature than medium and large; and its baristas, not mere clerks or waiters, but a term that nods to the unconventional attitude that the company wants to convey.


Your company's brand should, of course, incorporate the outstanding quality of your products and services. Other elements pertinent to your profession should also be included, such as your dedication to customer service, your responsiveness, your ability to cleverly solve problems, your commitment to meeting deadlines, etc.


Your logo has an important job as the visible manifestation of your firm. It has to be powerful, compelling, colorful, attractive, unique, memorable and easily readable, to name just a few characteristics. Creating a logo that spells success is a challenge. A few suggestions:


Patience. Take time to focus on your target audience, mission and goals. Think through your preferences about colors and style.


Style. Traditional or abstract? Your logo should reflect your place in your industry. If you lean toward the traditional, your logo can reinforce your business by cleverly using its initials or an image often associated with the profession. If your outlook is a bit more contemporary, an abstract concept is a more distinctive way of identifying your company.


Colors. A great logo uses eye-catching, complimentary colors. Colors convey different psychological responses, as shown on these color steps. Consider the message that you want your logo to share. For businesses with an international market, remember that some colors have different connotations in other cultures.


Flexibility. Your logo should have an impact at all sizes and on different media. A logo with a strong horizontal orientation may be unreadable on a vertical product. That ball cap requires a different type of file than your Facebook page. A multi-colored logo may not be as dynamic when reproduced in black only.


Simplicity. Strive for an uncluttered image by using an easy-to-read font and resisting the temptation to include too much information. Your tagline, phone number or website may hamper your logo's use. These elements can always be added to a document.


Creating the right logo is not for the faint of heart. A professional graphic designer is well versed in mixing these different considerations into a logo that triggers a positive response from potential and current customers. Professionals know the value of complimentary colors, how to refine an abstract design and what electronic files are needed for different uses.


Entrusting design of your logo to a professional is worth the investment. An online service can't understand the full extent of your business and embrace your company's mission. Your logo -- and your brand -- deserve the skills and talents of a professional  designer.


Out of the Office?

Just because you're out of the office, doesn't mean your marketing efforts have to come to a standstill. Here are a couple suggestions to keep that momentum going.


Do you use an auto-reply to answer emails when you're out of the office? The typical dry message is "I'm out of the office until Thursday and will respond to you when I return." It focuses only on your behavior and not what you're accomplishing while you're gone that will benefit your clients.


Consider an auto-reply message that gives greater insight into your activities. "I'm at a two-day conference learning about the latest improvements to widgets. I'm eager to share this new information with you when I return on Thursday." This tells the email senders that you're enhancing your professional expertise to better meet their needs. The focus is on how your new knowledge benefits the client, not just that you're out of the office.


The same holds true for your voice mail. Many folks change their outgoing message daily to fit their schedules. "I'm learning about the latest improvements to widgets at a conference today. Please leave a message and I'll look forward to sharing this with you when I return your call after 3PM." It's more personable and conveys your new higher level of expertise.


Taking an overdue vacation day or two? Your auto-reply and voice mail messages can always say, "I'm re-charging my batteries on Thursday and Friday. I'll be back and rarin' to go on Monday morning when I'll return your call/respond to your request."


Turning the attention to how your absence works in your clients' favor is another key to successfully marketing your business.



Buzz Alert

Daffodils, forsythia, chirping birds and warmer temperatures mark the arrival of spring and a full schedule of interesting holidays and observances to coordinate with your publicity efforts. If you're not a creative thinker, contact us for some help to promote your business.


March 22: International Goof-off Day

March 25: Maryland Day

March 26-April 1: National Cleaning Week

March 29: National Mom + Pop Business Owners Day

April: Car Care Month, Physical Wellness Month, International Customer Loyalty Month, National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Month, National Humor Month, Frog Month, Lawn + Garden Month

April 1: National Fun at Work Day

April 2-8: National Networking Week

April 2: Reconciliation Day

April 3: Anniversary of Start of Pony Express

April 4: Opening of 2012 Baseball Season

April 5: Anniversary of 1st Chamber of Commerce

April 7: National Beer Day, No Housework Day  (could these be related?)

April 12: Nationals' Home Opener, Walk on Your Wild Side Day

April 15: Anniversary of Opening of 1st Franchised McDonald's

April 17: International Ford Mustang Day


at Work
At the recent Grow Your Business Seminar and Expo, we enjoyed meeting new folks and renewing veteran acquaintances, such as Erik Havens, President of Byte Builder Technology Group, shown here with Robyn. Juggling ActThe event was well organized and presented a valuable opportunity for showcasing our services and networking with other businesses.


And the Winner...
of a custom-designed exhibit table drape donated as a door prize at the Grow Your Business Seminar and Expo is Humberto Benitez from the Montgomery Village Foundation. Humberto's display will soon look good!
Small Business Owners Plan
to Spend in 2012

The Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index recently found that small business owners are looking to increase their company's spending this year. The results of its survey of 600 owners of small businesses echoed those of a year-end survey of CNBC.com's Small Business Council.


Most of the planned spending is designated for capital improvements: renovation of an existing office or purchase of a building, a delivery van or manufacturing equipment.


Infrastructure and equipment are essential to successful operations. But, business owners shouldn't overlook the value of professional services. Professionally designed collateral and publicity efforts are worth the investment when growing and nurturing a business. Your new delivery van is shiny, but without an eye-catching logo on its side, that van is not working as hard as it can for you.


Marketing in a down economy presents opportunities for the smart and savvy. Your company can grab a greater market share when your competitors are cutting their promotional activities. The wise business owner takes advantage of the economic climate by spreading his/her spending throughout different areas of the company's operations.  


We've recently updated our website. Portions of several completed projects are now easily located on the Portfolio page, and all back issues of our monthly enewsletter, On Target, are now available. While you're visiting our website, be sure to check out our Blog.


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Latest Clients
of the Week

Recent shout-outs went to several Quinter Design clients on our company Facebook page: Campbell's Cleaning Service, Children's Mental Health Network, Dan Eisenberg, DDS and Maryland Coalition of Families for Children's Mental Health.


"Like" Quinter Design's company page on Facebook to see who's our next Client of the Week and to keep tabs on our latest news and sparkling commentary.  

Cheers and Congratulations

to our client Clark Kendall, President, Kendall Capital, who was recently honored with the Olney Boys and Girls Club's Dan Dionisio Leadership Award for his vision and leadership in chairing the $1.6-million capital campaign to restore Falling Green, the 18th-century house on the OBGC Community Park.


Happy Saint Patrick's Day from a couple whose only Irish relations are named Bailey, Jamieson and Guinness. We've enjoyed the luck of the Irish for many years and consider ourselves lucky to have the support and patronage of so many clients, colleagues, friends and family members. Thank you for embracing your important roles in our professional and personal lives.

Your feedback to our e-newsletter, On Target, is appreciated, and your
questions and comments are always welcomed. Our next edition will be circulated in mid-April. We look forward to seeing you in the coming month.
Juggling Act 

John & Robyn Quinter

Quinter Design


(301) 924-4654