As a business owner, you spend a lot of money on things like logos, websites and other marketing assets. Surprisingly, many businesses don't have processes built in to manage their digital assets. Save yourself money and headaches by auditing your current assets and planning how to store and share them.
Do you know where your logo is?
In one of my many hustles, I had to get my hands on some event sponsors logos. It shouldn't be a problem, right? It's actually surprising how many businesses don't have a good copy of their own logo. They also don't know who actually does have a good copy of that logo. That can be problematic.
Back in the day, the company or designer that created your logo quite often ran all of your advertising and promotion. They probably printed your business cards and stationery too. But in today's world, multiple companies and sources might need your logo. That's why you should have not only various file formats of that logo but the style guide on how to use it and even the original graphics file.
I'm not 100% sure about the legalities, but in copyright law, the creator owns the copyright. So it might be advisable to have a clause in a logo/branding creation contract that transfers the copyright ownership over to you, once you have paid up. This way, your brand can't be held hostage if there comes a time you and your designer need to part ways.
Your designer will probably request to be able to display the work in their portfolio and that shouldn't be a problem. They should also have a clause that keeps you from using any other samples they may have presented to you.
Once you have the logo, make sure you keep the originals in a safe folder on the cloud and make copies to send out. Sometimes over the years, originals get lost in the shuffle and all you end up having is a low-resolution file you were able to pull off your website. Not always the best choice.
Own your website, too.
I would advise applying the same thinking to your other design and communication assets. For example, when you are setting up a website, make sure your name is on your domain name record. You can go to https://www.whois.com/ to see what name is on your domain record. Pay for your URL and server/hosting package yourself and make sure you have login information for your server and your website, even if you don't ever plan on logging in.
Pics or It Didn't Happen
If you have a photographer take pictures for your use, I'd advise you to do the same as the logo and specifically state that you have the exclusive use once you have paid for them. This protects you from seeing your brand pictures on a stock photo site. Unless you want them there.
Jeeze, she's talking about Google again...
The last thing I'll advise is making sure you have control of your Google profile. I know I blogged about this earlier, but I'm constantly surprised by the number of businesses that don't take ownership of their businesses on Google Business.
It allows you to control things like the accuracy of your address on Google Maps, what hours are displayed and allows you to add pictures to your profile.
There have been a couple of times I've heard of business profiles being claimed by someone not involved with the business. They likely won't be able to get verified as the owner, but in one case I know, it did cause a lot of hassle between the actual business owner and Google.
The easiest way to know if your business needs to be hooked up is to search it on Google. If in the profile on the top right you see "Own This Business?", then you know it needs to be verified. Click that link or go to https://www.google.ca/business/ to get your biz hooked up.
If you need a hand with any of the above, contact me and I can help you organize your brand assets or set up your Google Business profile.