The Lowdown on Logos
By Matt Mickiewicz
By Matt Mickiewicz
On The Fly Chiropractic, Edmonton’s only mobile chiropractic service,
recently rose above a challenge faced by every chiropractor across
Canada at one time or anothe
On The Fly Chiropractic, Edmonton’s only mobile chiropractic service, recently rose above a challenge faced by every chiropractor across Canada at one time or another – it established a winning brand that would differentiate its unique value from a sea of competitors, on its business card, website and brochure.
The founder and chief practitioner of On the Fly Chiropractic, Dr. Kenneth Swanston, started in the right place – he commissioned a logo that “told” his target audience, in one simple, memorable image, about his commitment to taking care of patients in the comfort of their own home or business.
Unfortunately, many chiropractors don’t take Dr. Swanston’s approach. Their marketing materials do not “talk” to their potential customers about their unique value. They provide the marketplace with logos, business cards or websites that don’t accurately reflect their special offerings – whether compassionate care, a great team, an area of specialization or a convenient location. In an increasingly competitive marketplace, this means wasted effort and lost clients.
Every chiropractor who wants to excite and engage new and potential patients needs a solid brand. It should depict the experience clients can expect when they walk into your clinic and the promise you will keep with every adjustment.
A great logo is a compelling “picture” that communicates your business’s unique offering and provides an enduring symbol of your enterprise. It has a clear, consistent and uniform feel that helps customers recognize you. It also reassures your clients that you’re a wellness professional who doesn’t cut corners to cheapen any aspect of your practice, be it the business elements or the care that you offer.
SEVEN SECRET ELEMENTS OF A GREAT LOGO
Through my work at 99designs.ca, as well as through dealing with designers from around the globe, I’ve seen literally thousands of logos and designs for small businesses. Your investment in “doing it right” will pay off tenfold, in trust, loyalty and returning clients. If you’re looking for a competitive advantage and maximum value from your marketing efforts, follow these seven secrets, and your next logo will help you win new clients and referrals.
Your logo should be easy to read. A good logo uses simple fonts, and leaves no possibility that a reader will confuse one letter for another. Two different typefaces can be interesting, but more can be distracting.
You should be able to blow it up or shrink it down. Ask your designer to show you how your logo will look blown up on signage and reduced on business cards. Check to make sure the font is always legible. Alternatively, step back a few feet from the monitor and see what jumps out. If you can’t recognize your logo when you shrink it down, ask your designer to eliminate all but essential elements.
It should look good in black and white. Ask your designer to come up with a logo in black and white, then decide on the colours. If it doesn’t look good in black and white, it’s got design flaws – and colour won’t change them.
It should have the right colours. Ask your designer to use colours that capture your goals for your practice and evoke desirable emotions. Violets and blues, for instance, can have a calming, healing effect. Red can be stimulating and energizing. White can stand for purity and strength. Here again, simplicity is key. Three colours are the maximum. More are confusing.
It should reproduce well against different colour backgrounds. A good logo is versatile enough to print on coloured T-shirts, white business cards and company signage.
Set up your own private focus group to evaluate your brand. Soliciting feedback from fellow wellness professionals, family and friends can provide invaluable insight. To avoid influencing their thoughts and feedback, show them many designs at once in a non-partisan manner.
Leverage multiple designers. This is probably the most important suggestion of all. To find the best possible logo for your chiropractic business, compare logos from different designers. Each designer will bring his/her specific style, preferences and unique history to the table. Dr. Kenneth Swanston turned to the Internet to manage the creative process for his practice. This allowed him to see design concepts from dozens of designers. He was able to provide feedback on the designs and ultimately choose which logo he thought best represented his practice in a very short period of time.
DEPLOY YOUR LOGO TO ESTABLISH YOUR BRAND
Once you’ve got a standout company logo, it’s time to put it to work. Your logo is the face of your business, and should appear front and centre on every marketing and communications vehicle you develop.
According to Google, 97 per cent of consumers search for local businesses online. So it’s a good idea to develop your own website. A fresh, contemporary logo and a website that embraces that same look and feel on every page tells people who you are and what you can do for them. It aligns all your communications with your brand.
If you can’t afford a website, you can still place your chiropractic business – and your logo – on Google Maps. Add your business to Google Places for Business (at www.google.com/placesforbusiness) and you get a public listing that helps potential clients find you.
ONE LAST WORD OF ADVICE
Branding isn’t a one-shot deal. If your business changes direction, or you begin working with new partners, or your studies and experience equip you with important new areas of knowledge, it may be time to consider refreshing your brand to address any new patients that these changes may bring to your practice.
Matt Mickiewicz is co-founder of 99designs.ca, the world’s largest crowdsourcing contest marketplace for design professionals. The 99designs website has helped thousands of small businesses on tight budgets create essential branding elements such as logos, website designs, business cards and signage.