Marka Discovers the Importance of Branding (Part II)

Last time, Fire Enterprises, Inc. (FEI) lead marketer Marka and Brandy the branding expert discussed the basics of brand creation and rebranding. This week, branding talk continues with a discussion of how to use your company’s logo, slogan and outbound communications to create a compelling brand presence. Remember, fire = print.

“So what’s in a brand?” Marka asked with curiosity.

“How about everything?” Brandy scoffed. She grabbed Marka’s coal and started scribbling on a cocktail napkin:

• Outbound “push” communications
• “Pull” advertising
• Websites, microsites, blogs and all other forms of oPresence
• Collateral materials
• Internal company communications
• Public relations work
• Social media efforts
• Sales & customer service staff behaviors
• Company leadership

Marka scanned the list. “Basically, any action or communication associated with FEI represents a potential branding opportunity.”

“Yes.” Brandy replied. “And that includes your company’s logo.”

“I know what you’re getting at,” Marka said. She pulled out her current FEI business card. The clashing colors, ill-advised font selection and poor kerning between the letters F-E-I conveyed mediocrity. The fire pit graphic in the logo looked menacing, not comforting.

Brandy clicked her tongue. “This is just awful. Logos should be visual representations of intended branding messages. If Org or anyone at FEI is aiming for ‘warmth and excitement’ with this logo, they’re missing the mark.”

“Of course,” Marka agreed. After a long pause, she said, “How about removing the fire altogether, placing each letter F-E-I in Doric, Ionic and Corinthian columns, using warm fire-like ghosting inside each letter and shading the edges of each letter and column with a shadowing effect?”

“Ooh, let me see if I get it,” Brandy said, telegraphing her love of guessing games. “The columns represent reliability built on the back of an exalted corporate history. The three column styles convey client diversity—B2H (business-to-hearth), B2B and the Olympian Council of Gods. Fire in the lettering suggests that you’re in the fire business, but the ghosting and shadowing means you’re a pleasant business partner, not in-your-face like Pyro.”

T.J. Tedesco is a sales growth, business strategy, marketing and PR consultant operating at the intersection of clear vision, compelling content and effective outreach practices. For nearly two decades, T.J. has been an independent consultant and sales growth team leader. Previously, he sold commercial printing, graphic arts machinery and supplies, and finishing and bindery services. T.J. helps North American companies with content development, Web and print design leadership, nurture marketing programs, sales coaching, sales team alignment and business strategy. Since 1996, T.J. has worked with more than 100 clients on retainer, 80 percent in the graphic arts industry. T.J. is author of "Win Top-of-Mind Positioning," "Playbook for Selling Success in the Graphic Arts Industry," "Fire! How Marketing Got Hot," "Direct Mail Pal" and four more books published by PIA. He can be reached at (301) 404-2244 or
Related Content