Off-Line Marketing Concepts

Prerequisites: Basic Marketing Concepts

Introduction

Whether you have a brick-and-mortar or Internet business, you need to have a broad knowledge of both off-line marketing and on-line marketing concepts. Successful businesses are finding that in today's information-overload world, it takes elements of both to not only obtain new customers, but also to keep them.

In this course, we will be covering the general ideas for different types of conventional advertising that businesses have been using for years to promote their enterprises. We are going to tie in what you have learned in the Basic Marketing Concepts course to provide a cohesive message to your prospects and current customers.

Logos

Your logo is a visual representation of everything your company stands for. I advice that you don't skimp on creating this key piece of your company's identity. McDonald's golden arches or the Nike swoosh are two logos that people instantly identify with the respective companies. Your company logo enhances potential customer's first impression of your business. It can build loyalty, establish your brand identity, and provide the professional look of an established business.

Logo Types

There a basically three types of logos:

  • Font-based logos. Instead of creating a picture representation, some businesses just use their name and create a special font to make it stand out. Microsoft, Sony, and especially IBM use type treatments that make them distinctive.
     
  • Illustrative or descriptive logos. These literally illustrate what the company does, such as a house-painting company using a paint brush as part of its logo. Most usually also have the name of the company integrated, such as Burger King's name inside a hamburger bun.
     
  • Abstract or non-descriptive logos. These are usually reserved to the big corporations. The Nike swoosh is probably one of the best examples of this. The symbol is meaningless until the company can communicate to consumers what it is associated with. Small businesses can rarely afford the millions of dollars and years of work required to create the needed associates to make it effective.

For the small business, the illustrative logo is probably the best. Customers should be able to tell what you do just by looking at your logo. Studies have actually shown that illustrative logos:

  • make brands appear more authentic in consumers’ eyes
  • more favorably impact consumers’ evaluations of brands
  • more strongly increase consumers’ willingness to buy from brands
  • boost brands’ net sales more

On the other hand, which is best is also determined by your type of business.  It has been found that illustrative logos had a negative effect on brands that market products or services associated with sad or unpleasant things, like funeral homes, and bug repellents. For such products or services, the design elements of a descriptive logo bring to mind the negative concepts some consumers associate with them (death and bug bites).

Which ever you choose, it is best done by first writing a one-sentence statement stating what you want to convey to your customers and then make all of your design decisions based on that.