…It’s important to build trust. When you’re starting a new business, it can be a challenge to get others — be it customers, vendors, or investors — to trust you. That’s why it helps to take the old-school advice of “dressing for the job you want.”
As part of our series about “Brand Makeovers” I had the pleasure to interview Vincent Snijders.
Vincent Snijders is a 35 year old male from the Netherlands. He started his first company at the age of 20. Vincent is the owner of LogoSharp.com also based in the Netherlands. LogoSharp.com is his 6th successful company that he has started since 2013.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit more. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
We needed to create a lot of logo designs for marketing campaigns of our clients. We found that most online solutions do not provide a complete logo package with all the files/ formats that they might need, just low resolution images. A lot of clients came to us with low resolution logo images that we could not use for their marketing campaign. The result of this was that our clients needed to re-brand already in their startup phase, resulting in delays of the planned marketing campaigns.
We came up with LogoSharp.com. LogoSharp is an easy to use online logo making solution that is affordable and also provides all the logo files a startup would need, to run a successful marketing campaign.
Can you share a story about the funniest marketing or branding mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
When I first launched logosharp I found out that the checkout was not working on the website for a couple of days. This happened after testing before the launch. However I needed to change a few things after the launch in the code and I did not re-test the checkout. Resulting in lost orders for a few days. I now double check everything!
Are you able to identify a “tipping point” in your career when you started to see success? Did you start doing anything different? Is there a takeaway or lesson that others can learn from that?
The development of LogoSharp took about one year. We got a lot of positive feedback during the development. After a year of trial and error. I finally started to get clients and call LogoSharp a success.
I would suggest everyone to follow their dreams no matter how long it will take.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
Yes we are working on new design platforms for industries other than logos that is meant for end consumers. Unfortunately I cannot disclose any information about it yet!
What advice would you give to other marketers to thrive and avoid burnout?
Getting enough sleep is crucial to your health and happiness. Make sure you exercise rather than sitting behind the computer all day. Make sure you set a boundary between work and your private live.
Ok, let’s now jump to the core part of our interview. In a nutshell, how would you define the difference between brand marketing (branding) and product marketing (advertising)? Can you explain?
You need a brand to be able to promote your product. Without a brand you will not have a stable returning client base. It’s important that your clients can recognize not only the product but also your brand.
Product marketing is just what it sounds like: it’s all about the product in your marketing message.
This may be product advantages, a special deal, or even a case study, but whatever strategy you use, the message should be focused on the product rather than the business.
Rather than focusing on a single product, this method of marketing focuses on the company’s principles, ideals, and speech.
It’s used to gain customer buy-in and loyalty, as well as promote the brand as one that consumers want to be associated with.
Can you explain to our readers why it is important to invest resources and energy into building a brand, in addition to the general marketing and advertising efforts?
It’s important to Build trust. When you’re starting a new business, it can be a challenge to get others — be it customers, vendors, or investors — to trust you. That’s why it helps to take the old-school advice of “dressing for the job you want.”
Before a person tries your product or service, they assess appearance. Think about if you visit a mediocre website or get handed a business card that looks dated. It doesn’t instill trust or confidence, does it? You’re probably not going to jump to purchase something or contact someone for more information.
In contrast, a strong brand can inspire someone who doesn’t know anything about your business to start to gain trust and interest in what you deliver. It can also help build loyalty over time, as your business grows and gains fans — you need only think of your favorite coffee shop logo and how seeing it on a someone’s cup in the morning makes you feel.
By designing a great logo and putting it on your website and other customer-facing materials, you can immediately convey that you mean business. And because 70% of companies say it’s cheaper to retain a customer than acquire a new one, the more you can do to build trust, the stronger your business will be.
Let’s now talk about rebranding. What are a few reasons why a company would consider rebranding?
To boost your brand in competitive marketing.
There are certain symbols that come to represent particular industries or products. For example, how many pizza places have you seen with a logo that features an Italian, mustachioed chef with a tall white hat and a wide grin? Maybe holding a ridiculously huge pizza? A good logo reflects who you are, but it should also distinguish you from everybody else. A good logo should dare to be different.
Facilitates brand loyalty
From time to time, a company will redesign their logo, perhaps to update their look or reflect some other corporate change. As a marketer, I get this. As a consumer, I hate it. When I’ve become accustomed to my favorite brands’ logo and they change it, I feel a little betrayed. Now I’ve got to retrain my brain to look for something new. Brand loyalty is huge and something every business needs to foster. A recognizable and familiar logo goes a long way toward building brand loyalty.
Placing your logo on all of your marketing, packaging, products, social media, website, etc. is a way to advertise your brand and your message consistently, whether it’s in the store, in your customers’ homes, online, i.e., everywhere you want to be. If you’ve developed your brand message and successfully tied it to your logo, everything you do and create becomes associated with the logo and the brand.
Are there downsides of rebranding? Are there companies that you would advise against doing a “Brand Makeover”? Why?
Avoid Tropicana’s Famous Failure
Rebranding isn’t always a success.
Many multinational corporations have tried and failed to rebrand themselves in the past.
Perhaps the worst of these was the Tropicana rebrand in 2009.
Tropicana hired ad agency Arnell in 2008 and spent months (and $35 million) rebranding the business, only to lose $20 million in revenue in the first month.
They went back to their original design after just 30 days.
Their mistake is now a case study of one of the worst rebrands in history.
Ok, here is the main question of our discussion. Can you share 5 strategies that a company can do to upgrade and re-energize their brand and image”? Please tell us a story or an example for each.
1.Design your logo
A logo is probably one of the first things that come to mind when you think about building a brand. And for good reason. It’s the face of your company after all, and could potentially be everywhere that your brand exists.
Ideally, you’ll want a logo that’s unique, identifiable, and that’s scalable to work at all sizes (which is often overlooked).
Consider all the places where your brand’s logo needs to exist, from your website to your Facebook Page’s profile picture to even the little “favicons” you see in your current browser tab.
If you have a text logo as your Instagram avatar, for example, it’ll be almost impossible to read. To make your life easier, get a square version of your logo that has an icon element that remains recognizable even at smaller sizes.
2.Research your target audience and your competitors.
Before you start making any decisions about your brand, you need to understand the current market: who your potential customers and current competitors are.
There are many ways to do this:
Google your product or service category and analyze direct and indirect competitors that come up.
Check subreddits that relate to your customers and eavesdrop on their conversations and product recommendations.
Talk to people who are part of your target market and ask them what brands they buy from in your space.
Look at the relevant social media accounts or pages your target audience follows and are receptive to.
Go shopping online or offline and get a feel for how your customers would browse and buy products.
3. Pick your brand’s colors
Choosing your colors.
Colors don’t just define the look of your brand; they also convey the feeling you want to communicate and help you make it consistent across your entire brand. You’ll want to choose colors that differentiate you from direct competitors to avoid confusing consumers.
4. Write a slogan
A catchy slogan is a nice-to-have asset — something brief and descriptive that you can put in your Twitter bio, website headline, business card, and anywhere else where you’ve got very few words to make a big impact.
Choosing your fonts
It’s also good to look at fonts you might want to use on your website.
Pick two fonts at most to avoid unnecessarily confusing visitors: one for headings and one for body text (this doesn’t include the font you might use in your logo).
In your opinion, what is an example of a company that has done a fantastic job doing a “Brand Makeover” What specifically impresses you? What can one do to replicate that?
McDonald’s revamped the menu to include healthy choices including salads and wraps, as well as the launch of McCafé concessions that offer luxury coffees and herbal teas.
McDonald’s has grown from strength to strength since then, with an annual average growth estimate of 4%.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Covid is currently wreaking havoc on the hospitality industry.
I was considering how I could assist them.
You could raise funds by hosting a dinner party for your relatives or friends.
When you team up with a local restaurant, you can use a percentage of the night’s proceeds to help your cause and other struggling local businesses in the same way.
That way, we’ll all be able to support each other!
Can you please give us your favourite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“Never give up, follow your dreams” In my 15 year career there where numerous people in my life that said “it will not work”. With all my projects I have proven them wrong. I never gave up with any of the projects I have started, even when it had no revenue the first year. All the projects I believed in turned out to be successful.
How can our readers follow you online?