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Topic: Branding

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Start Up Branding Consistency

Posted by Anonymous on 250 Points

My partner and I work in interactive media - games, digital interaction, etc.
We have a logo and we're at the final stages of releasing our first game worldwide.

The debate we're currently having is this:
The name of the business means, simply, that one should not take themselves too seriously - go with the flow kind of thing. We design casual, fun games for everyone.

So, for our first release game, I "Googlefied our logo". In other words, I took our logo text and arted it up so that it had a direct correlation to the game's subject/storyline. The same way Google changes their logo, say for Christmas. This logo ONLY appears on the opening loading screen of the game

Now my partner believes this is a bad thing - we shouldn't be doing this - as it's our first release and we should be consistent with our logo and colours etc on everything - from the game to cards, website, twitter pages - the lot. Later on, they feel, we can 'have some fun with the logo' after we've established ourselves. I do agree somewhat, but thought just for the game, to lighten the mood so to speak to reflect the game itself, and the fact that we're a studio that doesn't take itself too seriously - we're not stuck up digi-snobs! Also, we're not going to be Google (I don't think) and I don't believe our average audience is even going to be so fickle about consistency - they'll just see us having some fun.

So what are other people's opinions on this? Is there a right or wrong way to go about start up branding for colour/consistency etc?

Thanks for any advice!

  • Posted by Moriarty on Accepted
    Personally I have no problem with it. The only time such things are problems is when your customers start saying things about it that are not positive.

    Doing this kind of thing can make your site a "first thing to do in the morning" because there will be something different each time they open their site.

    As to consistency - by far the most important thing is to be consistent with your MESSAGE. Forget the colors for now: that's one reason people use Lorem Ipsum - so that the visitor looks at the colors not at the words that have been written. Poor old Cicero! The point is that with this standard text, the colors stand out not the text. Make your text interesting and useful - and consistent wherever you are, and you can change the colors at will.

    Hope this helps. M
  • Posted on Author
    Thanks M.

    The font we use for our logo is quite strong - it's similar to what Mirimax Film uses for a reference. We wanted a type that was strong, simple and versatile. Our logo is rather obscure, I guess in a way, but it has meaning behind it (it's actually a mayan symbol whose meaning reflects our studio goals and message). Not sure if such obscurity is good or not... anyway....

    So going by your advice, I'm not sure if our text is interesting/unique enough (e.g. like Coke's or Google's). We didn't have intention to change the text on the website each day like google - just for each game/app we release, we'd art up the text to reflect that app on the opening screen.
  • Posted by Gary Bloomer on Accepted
    I agree with your friend/business partner. Tweaking a logo before it's known and recognized dilutes its visual recognition. I recommend you establish the logo as being connected with your company and that that you give players time to connect the logo to you. Google gets away with its tweaks because the images only last one day, then they go away. Even if you plan on doing the same thing, until your company is better recognized, stick with one logo.
  • Posted by mgoodman on Accepted
    As a strong branding advocate, my inclination would be to not mess with the logo on your first product offering. You need to first get people to know you as the brand before you start taking liberties with the logo.

    Imagine if you had a red Coke can, but you introduced it with green. It would be difficult after that to get people to accept that it's really supposed to be red.

    I also recognize that you're not Coke or Google, nor are you likely to be. But that also means that your logo needs to really represent who you are and work hard to communicate what you're all about. You can't "make it better" by throwing money at it.

    Net: I think I'd establish your brand BEFORE you start having fun with it. It's the conservative answer, but I don't see the benefit of violating the brand, and I do see the brand identity being diluted before you ever establish it.

    Interesting issue. Thanks for bringing it to us.
  • Posted by Jay Hamilton-Roth on Accepted
    Can you have it both ways? Can you leave your logo in a prominent place on your website (your banner) and have the fun (animated) logo be used on your "about us" page? The point is to make your logo consistent, and add some fun in an otherwise "plain" place on your website, where it's not competing for attention from your game itself.
  • Posted on Author
    Thanks everyone for your responses - it's great to have a place to "brainstorm" this issue. When it's only two people (who are opposing each other), it's always good to get others involved who have no emotional connection!

    After reading everyone's comments, I agree, establishing brand is important, so I'll put my 'fun' away for now for another day.

    Jay, that's not a bad idea - I might take a look at this option for in-game only. However, the most important thing is the product connected to the brand as well... so as others have said, I don't want to cause any confusion during infancy.
  • Posted by SteveByrneMarketing on Accepted
    I'm with Gary and Michael on this. Google didn't "Googlefy" its own logo until it was well established as a logotype corporate identity, and they had huge resources to create and test any theme variations in years that followed.

    Go with your partner's "risk and reward" instincts going out the door, you will have another opportunity to "play" with product identity down the road.
  • Posted by Moriarty on Member
    Following up my comment above - you say

    **We didn't have intention to change the text on the website each day like google - just for each game/app we release, we'd art up the text to reflect that app on the opening screen.**

    ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** *****
    To clarify, the logo is of secondary importance to your message.

    ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** *****

    I was not suggesting changing the text on your website each day! If you do want to change the logo (detailwise) that's fine by me as it is *not* the most important part of what you have to communicate.

    Branding is the least effective method of marketing after all, speaking to a refined group of customers is more effective the narrower your refinement. *People will remember your brand ONLY when they remember your message*. The brand is only effective when your customers are used to you. Keeping a brand image the same for maximum impact means you are controlling 2-5% of your marketing impact - your message is 80% of this control. Focus on the areas where your advertising needs to be effective.

    I hope this helps.
  • Posted by ozdesign on Accepted
    It's perfectly okay to have (lots of) different versions of the logotype/symbol, provided that is the intended strategy right from the start. See City of Melbourne example –

    Otherwise, don't mess with it, for all the above stated reasons.

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