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Who owns your current logo?

Wow – You might be surprised to learn who legally owns your current logo … 

1 July 2012 

This is one of those strange facts from the world of copyright law… But in Australia, copyright ownership for artistic works belongs to the artist who creates the artwork, not the person it’s created for. In a lot of cases, that means the designer who creates a logo, or the business that employs that designer.* There can be some exceptions (like when designers create for government), but a lot of business owners are unaware they may not own copyright to the centrepiece of their own Brand.

Normally this isn‘t a problem. But, just say you open 100 new stores with your logo on them all – You can image the logo designer might feel under-compensated if they thought you were a one shop operation when they quoted to win the design job. That’s because a lot of experienced Brand designers charge using a sliding scale. (i.e. The more places a logo is going to be seen, the more the designer charges).

We’re not saying you should hit the panic button. Or start abusing your old logo’s designer. It’s just a matter of having some simple housekeeping paperwork in order. Fortunately for Logologologo customers, this is something we do up-front.

We offer Single User Licences for our logos. Single User Licences list all the agreed places a logo can be used, with the provision to purchase Muti User Licences if and when a Brand grows. (Read The Licence Agreement for a full list of uses). In a lot of cases, extending the number of additional User Licences for a logo (e.g. opening a new office) works out a lot cheaper than if you purchase copyright ownership for the logo outright, so that’s what our customers choose. It’s also what we recommend unless you’re a large business with a big profile and you want to list the value of your Brand (including your logo) on your balance sheet.

Still, if you simply MUST own your copyright to sleep at night, just let us know. We quote the cost of copyright transfer up-front, and hold that price for as long as you use the logo. That means you can purchase a copyright transfer anytime you like – even some time way down the track. For more information on copyright law in Australia, visit www.ipaustralia.gov.au or talk to an I.P. professional.

© 2012 Logologologo.com.au PO Box 805 Burleigh Heads QLD 4220 *Source: ‘A guide to Intellectual Property for Australia’s Graphic Designers’, Design Victoria, AGDA, IP Australia.   

Tricks from the big brands

The 100 most valuable Brands in the world use a few tricks that will work for you too … 

1 July 2012

The logos of all big Brands are unique and different, right? Well actually, there are about 28 common traits that tend to pop up over and over again in the logos of the world’s 100 most valuable Brands. Very few logos only have one or two of these traits. Some even have as many as eight or nine. But most have three or four on average.*

The most common trait we’ve identified is Brands that have a name that’s one single word. In fact, this is true in over two thirds of cases. About 20% have a symmetrical logo. Also, about 20% only use a 'wordmark' with no graphic icon at all…

Why do we only look at the world’s top 100 Brands? Afterall, there are more creative logos out there, right? Well, we use the top 100 for a few reasons. These logos have proven themselves in the global marketplace. Customers remember them generation after generation and don’t get them confused with their competitors easily. These logos have stood the test of time. For the most part, they’ve been around for decades – some a century or more.

The top 100 Brand logos are so strong they inspire loyalty across borders. They outlast passing trends in graphic design. They can also be updated without losing any of a Brand’s nostalgia or reputation. Our eyes ‘read’ these logos just like they were a letter of the alphabet. That’s what makes them so recognisable.

Big Brands do a lot more than carefully maintaining the ‘look’ of their logos too. The companies that own these Brands attach a value to them and list them on their balance sheets as a tangible asset. They protect them legally as unique trademarks. They also constantly invest to keep their Brand’s message and logo in front of you. It’s not enough for these Brands to just advertise what they do either – They actually manage your perception of them.

Next time you reach for your favourite big Brand, stop and take a closer look. Notice how the logo is used. Compare it to the other competitor logos and spot the differences – And the similarities. Try to remember why it is you even choose that Brand in the first place. There’s a reason for almost everything the big Brands do. Become an observer. Learn from them.

© 2012 Logologologo.com.au PO Box 805 Burleigh Heads QLD 4220
*Source: Logologologo 2012 Top 100 Brand Audit.   

Sell more with ads that work

Have you ever turned down the volume on an ad you thought was annoying? Now stop and think back … Have you ever bought something after seeing an ad just like that? …

1 July 2012

… Odds are you have. Most of us have. It’s true that strong branding on it’s own lets people see your Brand is around. But there’s a big difference between people who’ve seen (or heard of) your Brand, and people who actually buy from you. Customers expect Brands to deliver in line with their expectations. This is true if you’re at the prestige end of the market, or at the discount end of the market. All customers look for a consistent experience. It’s why your Brand needs a voice (advertising messages) and support (a service policy to back those messages up).

 

Find your Brand’s message

Most pieces of communication only leave room for one message to be remembered. It pays to know which message you want to communicate during and after a sale through your sales people, and which messages are better communicated in your advertising. Avoid the temptation to mix these messages up, otherwise your unique selling position can get muddied. e.g. A lot of first time advertisers are tempted to add their full list of services to an ad rather than plugging one single, strong offer and their point of difference to get people through the door.

Think through a strong call to action for your ads too. What is it you want people to do after they see or hear your ad?… Pick up the phone and call you?… Drop into your store or sales centre?… Visit your website?… If you leave it up to a customer to work it out, they may decide on the wrong course of action. Worse, they may decide to do nothing. The strongest calls to action give customers an URGENT reason to act. Remember the ‘thingy’ you bought because it was on sale for ONE weekend only?… Well, if a sense of urgency prompted you to act, it will prompt your customers to act too.

 

Support your claims

Service policies are the ‘behind the scenes’ part of your message that give you the opportunity to communicate longer, more complex ideas than ads can. If you’re a budget retailer advertising a ‘best price guarantee’, make sure your sales process makes customers feel they’ve gotten the best possible deal. If you’re a prestige brand offering ‘an exceptional service experience’, design procedures to exceed customer expectations – every time. Remember, you’re only as good as a customer’s last experience with you, so keep your staff informed about what your key message is, and how they back up that claim. Create trademarks to Brand your innovations (like warranties, service guarantees or incentive schemes). This can make your point of difference tangible to customers. Read our article Discover your Brand’s personality for other ideas.

© 2012 Logologologo.com.au PO Box 805 Burleigh Heads QLD 4220
 

Your brand’s personality

Cheeky? Trusted? Show pony? What sort of personality would your Brand have if it were a friend?

1 July 2012

Customers sometimes relate to Brands the same way they do friends. There are some things they might look for… Honesty… An image that fits their values… Someone who can remember what’s important to them. If you understand this, customers will come back to you again. If you get it really right, they’ll go out of their way to find you! Here are some ideas you can pick and choose to help your Brand show its personality…

 

Slogans and jingles

What’s different about you? If you don’t know, then your customers might be just as likely to use your competitor. Find your unique selling position or point of difference and make that your consistent message. Slogans, jingles and positioning statements reinforce your story.

 

Photography

Just like your friends dress up for a big night out, your product needs to look its best when it’s out and about. The right photography for your staff and products is an investment that builds credibility. It’s is a must for brochures, flyers, press ads, magazine ads and your website too.

 

Copywriting

Professional copywriting or writing guidelines can help set the right tone for your Brand’s communications. And it's more than the obvious 'wordy' things like brochures. Professionally written tools like phone scripts can be invaluable during sales enquiries, or for managing complaints effectively.

 

Tune your database

Just like some friends don’t mix, particular offers and incentives will appeal more to some groups in your database than others. As you learn more about your customers, group them into like-minded sub groups. Then, instead of taking a scattergun approach to reach ALL of them every time, you can target multiple groups simultaneously with smaller campaigns tailored to what each group wants from your Brand.

 

Celebrity endorsement

Enlisting a high-profile personality with similar perceived values to your customers is a great way to build credibility with a market you want to reach. It’s like having friends in high places. If you’re small, this might be someone in-store or a professional talent who’s willing to become your Brand’s public face in local ads. If you’re budget is larger, you can even approach a celebrity or sports agent.

2012 Logologologo.com.au PO Box 805 Burleigh Heads QLD 4220   

Trade marks part 1 - Unregistered

Unregistered trade marks still carry the ‘TM’ symbol. It tells the world that you’re unique and you know it…

1 July 2012

Trademarks are valuable things, so it pays to treat them just as you would any other asset like a building or an expensive piece of machinery. 

In Australia, your logo or trademark does NOT have to be registered. (This is known as an unregistered trademark.) When you add the ™ symbol, it indicates you are claiming a word or logo as a trademark. It can let other traders know they shouldn’t imitate you because you’re serious about your reputation. 

Even if you don’t register your trade mark(s), still make it your policy to guard your Brand seriously, just like the world’s 100 most valuable Brands do. Trademarks are important because they distinguish your products and services from other traders. Customers expect a consistent experience from your Brand, and your trademark will come to carry that reputation. As your Brand grows, this adds value to your trademark too. 

Many things can become your trademark. These include a logo, a picture, a letter, a word, a phrase, a number, a shape, a sound, a smell or an aspect of your packaging. Some businesses may even want to trade mark a combination of these things, like the shape of a bottle along with the name that goes on it. 

When we produce your logo artwork files, we’re happy to work the ™ symbol into the logo design so it doesn’t look out of place. You can use the ™ symbol in your written documents too. To find the ™ symbol on your Mac just type Option + 2. In Windows® on a PC type Alt + 0153. 

For a plain English kit explaining everything you need to know about trademarks in Australia, visit www.ipaustralia.com.au or talk to an I.P. professional.

© 2012 Logologologo.com.au PO Box 805 Burleigh Heads QLD 4220 that you’re unique and you know it… 

Trade marks part 2 - Registered

Registered trade marks carry the ® symbol. In Australia, trade marks are registered with I.P. Australia…  

1 July 2012

As the value of your Brand increases, protecting your trademarks makes sense. Once you’re a registered trademark holder, adding the ® symbol to your trademark clearly shows your ownership and acts as a warning to others not to imitate you. 

If you’re planning to register a trademark, there are a few things to remember.

Firstly, have some other options on hand in case the name or logo you choose is not accepted. TM Headstart is a service offered by I.P. Australia to help see if the mark you’re proposing can be registered. An I.P. professional can also help you with this process. Registrations are broken down into 45 classes, so you’ll also need to know which classes you want to apply for. 

Secondly, I.P. Australia are the government agency that maintains a database of registered rights (including trade marks), but they aren’t responsible for enforcing those rights. That means it’s up to the owner of registered rights to defend them through the legal system if they believe they’ve been infringed. 

Thirdly, trademark protection is undertaken country by country. If you’re registered in Australia and launching your Brand abroad, you can access overseas trademark protection through the Madrid Protocol. The protocol has a number of benefits like seeking protection for all, some, or just one of the member countries. Talk to an I.P. professional to learn more. 

Lastly, registration lasts for a period of 10 years but can be renewed for life, so keep track of important dates that can affect your registration, like renewal dates. 

For a plain English kit explaining everything you need to know about trade marks in Australia, visit www.ipaustralia.com.au.

© 2012 Logologologo.com.au PO Box 805 Burleigh Heads QLD 4220 

A logo you’ll keep forever

It’s flattering if people like your logo. It’s even better if they remember YOU rather than competitors.  

1 July 2012

Most people won’t buy your product or service purely because they liked your logo. For this reason, we never ask if people LIKE a logo. Instead, we ask if they find a logo MEMORABLE … Here are our top tips for coming up with a memorable logo you’ll want to keep forever.

 

Know what your logo means

Choose a logo to symbolise something personal or inspirational to your business. Even if customers don’t know what inspired the logo design, it will still be a source of personal pride and inspiration to you. It’s the sort of logo you’ll want to wake up to every day.

 

Tell us what you like

Whatever your business is, we take into account your likes and dislikes. Then we incorporate proven design techniques that the world’s most valuable Brands use. When you ask us for a quote, we’ll email some questions to help tease out which style of logo will be best for you. The questions take about half an hour to fill out and are specially designed to help you set benchmarks for us and identify your main competitors. Our article 'Logo tricks the big Brands use' will help you understand more about the system.

 

Commit for the future

Rebranding without a genuine reason is expensive and wastes the goodwill customers build up with a Brand over time. We recommend not changing your logo that often (if ever). But as your Brand develops, you may want to refine your logo based on the way it gets used most often. Our logo update service does this by reviewing common uses of the logo and retaining its most memorable features.*

 

Always choose quality suppliers

Even a great logo will look poor if it’s stretched, coloured incorrectly, or used in bad graphic design. Always use quality suppliers like printers, sign writers, marketers, web developers and graphic designers who will respect your logo and the Brand you’re building. Remember, often a good judge of a supplier is how seriously they take their own branding.

© 2012 Logologologo.com.au PO Box 805 Burleigh Heads QLD 4220
*Logo update service is also available for logos not designed by Logologologo providing you have a letter assigning copyright transfer.  

Simple 5 step marketing

Marketing your Brand isn’t rocket science. It’s just takes some consistent investment – And a spreadsheet.

1 July 2012

Step 1. Set a Budget

Start out by knowing what percentage of your sales can be re-invested into marketing so you can work to a plan. Then set aside a portion of those funds for last-minute opportunities that pop up (e.g. Ad space you get offered at a heavy discount or maybe a great public relations opportunity that comes your way). This way, you’ll avoid any knee-jerk reactions or cost blow-outs.

 

Step 2. Test Ideas Small Scale

Now that you’ve got a budget in place, test ideas before you spend a lot promoting them. Market research and focus groups can cost a lot, so here’s some quick, inexpensive ways to get the ball rolling. Offer two online coupons with different messages and see which one gets a better response. If your business has a receptive social media following, try the same thing. Keep testing messages until you find a winner. Then take that message to the marketplace. Dropping alternate flyers with different messages to a suburb can work for some types of businesses too. (See which one gets more calls). But remember, you’ll have to have a lot delivered because responses this way are generally only a few per hundred.

 

Step 3. Be Consistent

When you’ve decided on the message you want to take to the public, make sure it’s consistent. Your Branding should never just change for the sake of it. The same goes for your ads. People need to see (or hear) your message a few times for it to really sink in. Give your message time to be heard, and make sure you keep track of responses so you know which line of enquiry they’ve really come from (i.e. radio, flyer or press ad) without guessing!

 

Step 4. Track results

A lot of people rely on gut feeling or something someone said to know if their ads work. But truly tracking results from your marketing is vital to work our what each lead is costing you. (i.e. The cost of an ad divided by the number of leads from that ad = Cost per lead.) Once you know the cost per lead, you'll know which marketing messages give you the best returns. You'll also know how many leads you need to secure a sale. You also need this information to check if your budget is enough (or sometimes even too much) to realise your sales goals.

Special note: If you think a message isn’t working, test whether it’s the message or the media you’ve chosen that needs rethinking. To do this accurately, your message needs to be out there in more than one place at a time. If you’re getting leads but they’re not converting into sales, review your sales process and address any barriers preventing sales. Once you’ve tracked results long enough, you’ll know where the natural ups and down of your industry are. Counter them when you can. Prepare for them when you can't, so they don't take you by surprise.


Step 5. Be more than one place at a time

There are oodles of places people can hear your message… Online, TV, radio, junk mail, sponsorships, print brochures, signage, vehicle graphics, press releases, word of mouth, email marketing, directory listings and social media. To build and grow a Brand you WILL need to employ more than just one or two of these. Remember… Tracking results will tell you which kinds of marketing work best for you. Testing will tell you which message to use. And adjusting your budget according to cost per lead will make sure you have realistic expectations and set achievable marketing goals… 

© 2012 Logologologo.com.au PO Box 805 Burleigh Heads QLD 4220

Greatest logos in history

Some logos are so simple and clever they’ll be remembered for thousands of years … But why?

1 July 2012

History has given us some iconic logos … And some doozies we’d rather strike from the books. The logos of the world’s top 100 Brands contain a good number of great logos. But great logos aren’t always corporate ones. For example, when the WWF was founded in 1961 (that’s the World Wildlife Fund, not the World Wrestling Federation), Chi Chi the panda inspired a simple black and white logo that singlehandedly summed up wildlife conservation in general. And when Baron Pierre de Coubertin designed the modern Olympic logo, the colours of the rings represented the flags of each nation at that time. It’s another universal identifying mark. We’d also argue icons can become ‘logo-ised’ too. ‘Guerrillero Heroico’ is Alberto Korda‘s famous photo of Che Guevera. As one of the most reproduced images on earth, it could be considered a logo now too.

 

So, how did logos start? 

People have been branding themselves since the first logos started appearing as maker’s marks on pottery. These marks were a quick, effective way to distinguish the goods of one trader from another. Armies needed branding too, so standards and heralds have been used for thousands of years so troops could identify each other in battle. Then there's the esoteric teachings of mystery schools, but we'll come to that in a minute.

 

From ancient art to the boardroom

Modern logos owe a lot to classical art from ancient civilisations. Artisans from Ancient Egypt, Greece and Mesopotamia showed a subject’s eye ‘front on’ because eyes are more recognisable from that angle, even though the nose, ear and hairstyle on the same figure would be shown in profile. In the same artworks, chests are turned front on because they‘re easier to recognise that way, but hips, legs and feet are in profile. Now think about the famous Apple logo designed by Rob Janoff. The apple is pictured from the side and at eye level, just as it would be in classical art. So is Ferrari’s famous stallion. Even the Guinness harp follows the same ancient principle of showing an object from its most recognisable viewing point. Some things never change!

 

Ancient symbols recycled

There’s also a legacy from pagan mythology and esoteric symbolism in the logos Brands choose even today. Think about the winged sandal of Hermes on Good Year tyres, or the Medusa used by Versace. Even the Christian cross had its forerunners in the Cross of Tau which is thought to have originated in Ancient Egypt and was the symbol of a Babylonian solar god.* Similarly, The Nazi’s swastika was a mark with esoteric origins. It was appropriated from Hinduism, but was already being depicted on the shield of a gladiator named Memnon on the Colchester vase as early as AD 175.** These marks could all be considered 'logos', and have been invoked by those that understand them for millenia.

*Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cross_of_Tau **Source: http://www.cimuseums.org.uk/collections/explore-the-highlights/colchester-vase.html

Now to corporate brands

It’s not just ancient myths and symbols that endure in logos today. And this is where storytelling and logos become inseparable. Let’s look at some modern myths… By that, we mean the stories Brands build around themselves. You might know Bibendum as The Michelin Man. He was part based on a pile of tyres the Michelin Brothers noticed at the Universal and Colonial Exposition in Lyon in 1894. However, in the hands of marketers and admen, modern myths like Bibendum become part of a Brand’s story. Sometimes, the story is even central to a brand…

 

Ultimate storytelling

Nike and Apple are perhaps two of the greatest examples of modern corporate storytelling. Both these Brands are so recognisable they don’t even need their name alongside their logos to be instantly recognised. These Brands were built around selling products people aspired to – not products people even necessarily needed. ‘Sell dreams, not products’ was a principle in Steve Jobs’ success at Apple. He proved when a story and a logo become inseparable, the Brand settles neatly into our mindset. What would Tiffany & Co. be without those blue-green boxes after all? … And remember Snoopy? He became the face of a Brand that earned Charles Schultz an estimated $1billion during his lifetime.

 

The greatest logos in history

So, what do the greatest logos in history all have in common? There are the obvious things like consistency every time we see them used. There’s huge investment in marketing so people see them over and over again. There’s simplicity in the design – something so striking it outlasts design trends. Then there’s the most important factor of all – A story to tell. To be TRULY timeless, the idea behind a Brand’s icon must mean something to everyone even if it’s not the story directly pictured in the logo. It’s what the most MEMORABLE logos in history all have in common… They stand for IDEAS.

 

Meanwhile, down under …

Here in Australia, logos have their own story to tell. At some point in the 1920’s, logos in the shape of Australia started appearing on our Brands and institutions. Since then, they’ve never stopped. Remember BHP’s old logo?… Or the logo of the Australian Bicentennial Authority from 1988? How about the ATO?… Or even Oz Lotto?… Well, they’re all Australia shapes.

Exactly why it is that Australians choose our country’s shape as a logo is the subject of The Shaping Australia Project. It’s directed by Queensland graphic designer and educator Troy Sizer. Troy’s blog tracks Australia shaped logos in all forms and welcomes submission from the public. Keep an eye out for the ‘Shaping Australia™’ book due for release soon. Contact us for more information.

© 2012 Logologologo.com.au PO Box 805 Burleigh Heads QLD 4220
Logologologo.com.au is a proud sponsor of Shaping Australia™ – The Great South Brand™.