Developing a Branding Strategy with 99Designs.com

Developing your logo can be one of the most important decisions you make regarding your business in the long-term. Over time your customers recognize your logo and your brand. Since you are doing such a good job, this is a great thing!

When we first started our business, Monica and I had some general ideas for the logo for our business Monica Charles Designs, LLC. However, lacking any semblance of artistic ability, we could not quite come up with a logo on our own.

We did a web search of logo designers and were overwhelmed with the massive number of options that were out there. Each designer would cost us money even if it wasn’t a design that we really liked.

We finally found this site 99Designs.com online. We were a bit wary about using a site like this at first, but we signed up. Even better, we knew what the costs were when we started so even if we didn’t get a design we didn’t like, our costs were set.

The really cool thing about 99Designs.com is that instead of having to work with a single designer at first, you are able to launch a “contest”. This contest starts with you creating a brief. This brief describes your business, what it represents, and some of your expectations regarding what you want your logo to look like.

When we launched our contest, we expected to see about 20 or so designs from competing designers around the world. Many of these designers are professionals using 99Designs.com as their main source of revenue while others are using it for a side business from their regular day job.

We got our 20 designs in the first day. Within the first phase of the competition – the qualifying phase – we received over 80 design concepts. Some of them were absolutely fantastic while others were amateurish. We started to eliminate designs and settled on just a few designers for the next round, the Final Round. It was a struggle to eliminate many of the designs because many of them were fantastic, but didn’t quite represent our business.

Logo-monica-charles
Our original logo

During this final phase, we worked with only two designers and tweaked their work until we could make a decision. This phase ended by selecting a designer and then finalizing all the deliverables. The designer delivered to us a high quality design in every format we needed along with business card designs that we sent to our next favorite website VistaPrint.com.

This logo has served us well over the years, but it no longer represents all parts of our business.

A New Strategy

Since our business has multiple types of products now, we made the decision to create new branding for each line of business. Additionally, the Monica Charles brand itself is feminine in nature and does not attract the men that we would like to target.

We identified that the overall brand could be broken into three distinct lines to represent our men’s shaving products, the products for the home that we make and the traditional bath and body. We also recognized that any new branding needed to move away from the name “Monica Charles” solely. So we decided to shorten it to “MC”.

The new strategy is to have three new brands; “MC Shave Gear”, “MC Spa”, and eventually “MC Home” or some derivative of those because we are still debating “MC Home”.

MC Shave Gear final1 png.pngWith that decision in strategy made, it was back to 99Designs.com.  Our next design was to develop something very masculine for the “MC Shave Gear” brand. This is what 99Designs.com delivered for us.

Wow! Right?

Between this logo and some other derivatives of the logo, we are set for our branding needs for the MC Shave Gear products.

We are currently in yet another contest with 99Designs.com for the MC Spa products. We are still in the qualification round but the results so far have been very good.

In addition to the new logo, I am working with the designer of the MC Shave Gear logo to develop packaging for me.

As you can tell, I cannot recommend 99Designs.com enough. You know your costs going in, they attract amazing designers and the quality of the work is phenomenal.

If you are struggling with a logo, packaging, website, or other design elements, you should at least consider 99Designs.com as a resource for your business.

 

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