Integrated Marketing Communications – Your Logo Equals Your Signature

Minolta_MediumIntegrated Marketing Communications starts with your company logo. Your logo is your company’s signature. It is the common element in all of your marketing materials that immediately “triggers” the identification with the reader or viewer that this is from YOUR company, and no other.

For many years, I was the, “Chief Logo Cop” at Minolta, later Konica Minolta. Minolta’s logo, as originally designed by Saul Bass, had many different physical looks that could be used, and which one was used depended on the situation… and only one was right for each situation. Mr. Bass was one of the great designers of the 20th Century and many of his logo designs are familiar to us all (AT&T, United Airlines, Minolta, Pepsi, Exxon, United Way, and many, many others). When he created the famous Minolta Logo in 1987, he created variations for use in black and white or color, small medium or large, and positive and negative art for light or dark backgrounds. These variations were designed so that the logo was always, “perceived the same,” no matter what the application. His design was meant to convey light emanating from the center of the logo… as from a camera lens. And we had a “Graphic Standards Manual,” prepared by Mr. bass to help us make sure we consistently used the logo correctly. (So deeply was I involved in managing Minolta’s identity, I could probably look at any potential implementation, even today many years later, and make sure the correct elements were used.)

As either the owner of a small company, or someone within a small company – or small office – tasked with your company’s communications, you always want to ensure the integrity (part of the “integrated” concept) of your “signature” logo. In the same manner, as you develop, or have developed, different marketing implementations, you will also want to make sure that the integrity of your “Identity” is maintained. This will mean consistent messaging, consistent color usage, consistent type fonts, and consistent visual and audio “signatures” across all your communications – so that your identity is integral to all your message points. So whether it’s a printed ad, a TV spot, or a giveaway pen, there should be no confusion about what company it represents.

Here’s an interesting exercise. Take a look at the page of a Bing Search for “logo.” See how many you recognize. You recognize them because these companies always ensure the integrity of their logo. And their marketing is known for consistent messaging. The messaging may change over the years, but all of the company’s messaging stays, “on message.” Note how you respond to their marketing – there is never any doubt in your mind about who is talking.

This is the same consistent feeling that you want to strive for and maintain in the marketing efforts for your company.


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