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3 Ways To Make a Big Impression & Protect Your Brand

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By Neetal Parekh on August 26, 2009 12:16 PM

The way small business gets things done is changing.  Social media, online marketing, and e-newsletters have allowed businesses big and small connect to their customers in new and innovative ways.  Best of all, using the right combination of online and traditional media can help level the playing field between small biz and big biz, and all within budget.

Is your small business ready to go 2.0?

Here are some tips of ways to spruce up your business's image through design and tech innovation.

1. Re-think the traditional business card.

If your small biz can think beyond the four corners of the traditional calling card, you may be able to make a big impact without saying a single word.  Whether as as a landscaper you decide to hand out rocks printed with your company's contact information, use an oversized graphic in bold colors, or put your cafe's information on a coaster, the business card is a way to make an impression.  It can make the difference between being forgotten and being unforgettable.

To get ideas of compelling, creative, and quirky cards take at webdesignerdepot's "100 (Really) Creative Business Cards" for inspiration.

2. Come up with a killer logo

Love at first sight is not just a Hollywood invention.  Within moments of seeing your logo, a potential client, competitor, or collaborator has already made an initial judgment of what your company is all about.  Take that to heart and design deliberately.  Logos can be as simple as a font or color combination, but can be as involved as graphics, color schemes, and symbols.

Whether your company's logo says "bold and daring" or "professional and ready" putting some time and attention to creating a logo can go a long way.  You might get an idea of how to go about designing or revamping your logo by knowing what not to do.  Check out this article on "How NOT To Design a Logo."

And once you have your killer logo, consider trademarking it to protect your brand.  Though you can establish rights to a logo by legitimate use of it, a federal trademark officially distinguishes your logo from other logos and entails the holder of the trademark to exclusive rights on using the logo to sell goods or services.  Your company can use the notation "TM" (trademark) or "SM" (service mark) to let the public know about your claim to trademark and protect your brand-- even if you haven't filed a federal application.   Find out more about registering trademarks from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

3. Spruce up your website

What does your website say about your company...Is it easy to use? Does it contain useful information? Can users reach it by searching on online search engines?

More and more businesses are relying on their online presence to make sales, book clients, and reserve orders.  It can be the low-overhead, always-open option to allow your business to continue growing while letting you focus on the mechanics of the business.  If you have considered updating the exterior or interior of your business, don't forget about sprucing up your company's website.

And, even if you have had a great website for years, it may be time to look into optimizing it for 2.0 features such as allowing social media sharing and linking to your company's Facebook or Twitter accounts.  

Are there any legal considerations to think about before re-launching your company's image?

  • avoid infringing on any existing trademarks
  • do not impersonate an individual or entity
  • abide by any copyright restrictions

 

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