… Create your magic brand

Large companies can spend millions creating their brand (not on advertising or marketing it, just creating it!) These companies realise it’s important to be recognisable to the customer, and often quickly convey what they do.

One of the biggest brands in the world is Coca Cola. The colour they use (white text on red back ground) and the font they use is so obvious that in 2014 they replaced the words “Coca Cola” and “Coke” on their products with people’s names. Even though the words, and even the language, can change, you still immediately know what the product is.

Logos of some of the biggest brands in the world

Another major brand is McDonalds, and their “golden arches” logo. Although the big yellow M was around since McDonalds started trading it doesn’t immediately represent fast food or burgers, but over time we as customers have made this association, so now we just need to see the yellow arching M to know that convenient food is nearby.

The same with Apple. A picture of an apple with a bite taken out has nothing to do with technology, but by associate you would immediately know the brand of some technology, or advert promoting it, as soon as you see the Apple logo.

Of course, these are three of the world’s biggest brands who have spent years (and millions of dollars) dominating their market place allowing them to simplify and simplify. I’m guessing you haven’t got a a few million spare for brand development.

When you first think of brand you probably think of a logo, basically a graphic that summarises your business. This is only a small part of the brand. Branding includes (and is not limited by) the following:

  • Any graphics or logo you use,
  • Fonts and styles of text,
  • Style of imagery,
  • Colours,
  • Company name,
  • Taglines and USPs.

Your branding style needs to be used every time you have any contact with a client to develop a consistency and familiarity. Places you will use your branding will include:

  • Website,
  • Flyers and brochures,
  • Business cards,
  • Letter heads,
  • Posters,
  • Advertising,
  • Social media (such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube profiles),
  • Show reels and promo videos,
  • Giveaways (party-bags for children, pens/playing cards for close-up),
  • Props,
  • Clothing,
  • Anywhere else a client may see you or your company.

When starting out and growing your business needs to do two things. The first is to entice new customers and let them know what you do, the second is to be recognisable to existing customers, or to those that may have seen you elsewhere and searching for you again at a later date.

Magic Branding for Generating New Customers

A logo and brand needs to cut through the traffic and immediately tell the potential client what you do (primarily) and then who you are (secondarily). There’s no point proclaiming you are “Bill Smith”, tell them you are a magician who provides the entertainment they want, then tell them who you are.

Remember, as logo doesn’t have to be a graphic, in fact I recommend using text to say who you are and what you do, but use the choice of font and colour to give character.

For example, a children’s entertainer should use bright primary colours. When I performed children’s shows I used the name “Magic Rob”. I wanted to keep it simple so used Comic Sans as the font, had the text in red (with a yellow shadow) and a green background – when I performed I wore a red waistcoat and had a green backdrop.

Two different styles of magic logos and branding

Because of the simple font, the colours and the words “Magic Rob” is was immediately clear I performed magic for children.

For close-up magic I realised use my name written in Felix Titling font. The colour is either black or white (depending on the shade of the background) which has a more contemporary feel, which compliments my performing style. Although the name itself doesn’t make it clear I’m a magician, if someone sees this on a Google search for magician it is clear this is magic for adults, not children.

You may wish to add a tag line such as “Children’s Entertainer” or simply “Magician”. Personally I would use a similar font but try to change the colour/style slightly from the main name. Of course, this depend on your personal preference and style of the logo.

I tried to avoid cliches such as top hats, magic wands, rabbits and playing cards because they are too over used. I felt that using this type of image did not reflect my performing style, and that a prospective booker may interpret a logo incorporating them as lazy, unprofessional, cheesy and dated. This is again down to personal preference, and if your style is of a classic magician who wears a top-hat and produces rabbits with a wave of the magic wand then by all means incorporate this imagery into your brand.

Above all try and be original. It’s one thing to be inspired, it’s another to copy, and for more than one reason. For example, Dynamo used a stylised Ace of Spades design to replace the letter A in his name, and soon many magicians who had an A in their name copied suit.

Although it initially look cool and reflect your inspiration, it goes against the reason for developing a unique brand – in that from the start your brand is not unique! If you copy an idea, other will, and suddenly you are just one of many. An original idea may take longer to develop, but it will stand out over the others when a client is scrolling through adverts on a computer screen.

Brands and logos for client recognition

You’ll see that the large brands no longer always include their company name. For example, Starbucks dropped the ring around the mermaid with their name in. This is because these brands have done the hard work, we know who they are, they no longer need to educate the public on who they are and want products and services they offer.

Unfortunately it’s unlikely that your magic act will get to the stage that you are recognised by a text free logo alone, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take some of the lessons on board.

A good example is speaking to brides at wedding fairs. Often the wedding is between a year or two into the future, and booking entertainment can be booked quite late in the process due to budget constraints. Therefore you are potentially relying on them having a good memory.

I aid this by making myself memorable in the first place, then giving them a flyer with my picture on, as well as in my branding style. This way in 18 months they are likely to still recognise my details when sifting though paperwork and not confuse me with other magicians they may have seen elsewhere.

If they haven’t kept the paperwork but do an internet search they’ll be able to spot my site.

Remember, you can change your brand as time goes on, so don’t waste too much time when you very first start creating a logo, but do give it more than a little thought to push your brand in the right direction. It will naturally evolve and adapt to fit your personality and performing style.

And remember, the key to a unique logo is for it to be unique – originality will pay off!

Finally, make sure you have fun when you create your magic brand.

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Then let’s start looking and marketing and promoting your magic business.