The StartupBros logo is dead, and I killed it. While our old logo wasn’t in dire need of replacement, we weren’t in love with it, so we decided to change it up. I’ve had a lot of logos designed, so I’ve developed a pretty good method to finding the one your customers love the most. As you may know, this is one of the most controversial things I’ve ever written (a surprise to me). There is definitely no shortage of people who don’t like this method, even HATE it. That’s fine by me. This is the best method I, as an entrepreneur, have developed to get a logo created. It’s an efficient way to get an effective logo. It doesn’t take into account anything I can’t measure, and I realize many designers think that is the wrong way to go about logo creation. It’s just the way I do it. That being said, keep reading below if you’d like to see how I do… Below you’ll find my “Visual How-To Guide” to getting the perfect logo designed. I’ll also walk you through the recent StartupBros redesign. So let’s get started…
Step 1 – Get Logos Designed
First you need to get some high-quality logo designs to test. I’m going to suggest you use 99Designs for this and any other logo design you need done. You simply won’t get as much creativity for a better value. A lot of designers hate 99Designs, but that is because they can’t compete with it. For $300 you can get hundreds of different logo designs from different artists. It’s an absolute steal. I’ve been running contests on there for a few years now, and I have learned a few tricks that will maximize your value and make sure you get some amazing logos to choose from. Here’s the basics of launching a logo design contest –
The Right Way to Launch a Contest
- Head over to 99Designs and Sign Up for an account
- After you’ve signed up for an account, start a new “Logo Design” contest and fill out the Design Brief. The more details you can give on here, the better. Sometimes, I even attach various logos I like, so the designers get an idea of my style (but I didn’t do that below). Here is what my design brief looked like for the StartupBros logo redesign –
- On the next page you’ll set up payment options and a few other settings. Here are the settings I recommend using most of the time (Note: If you don’t see the “Blind Contest” option, you’ll have to ask 99Designs support to switch it to blind after the contest is live) –
- Pay for the contest and launch it on the next page, and then your contest should be live.
Maximizing the Value of Your Contest
There are a couple of things I do after a contest is live that make sure I get an awesome logo. Honestly, if you don’t do these next steps, I can’t promise you’ll find a logo you and your audience loves. What you’ll basically be doing is going around to existing/past logo design contests to find the best designers, and then messaging them to rub their ego and beg them to join your contest. I’ve done a lot of testing with this, and this is the best way to do it –
- Click “Browse” to browse around the existing/past contests and open up 10-20 of them in new tabs
- On each contest page, click the “Designers” tab. Then, open up 5-10 designer profiles from each contest.
- In each designer profile tab, click “Send message” and send them a message inviting them to your contest. You can also use the built-in invite feature, but I usually just send messages. Here is a message I sent out for example –
Hello, I love your past work and put you on my watchlist a while back hoping I could get your design-brilliance on my next logo. I just launched a new logo contest for my new project, and would really love to get your input on it. Really looking forward to seeing your submission, Will (link to my Design Brief on Live Contest Page)
As you can see, I make it known that I like their past work and tell them they have been on my watch list (even if they haven’t). I’ve found that by handing out a few compliments, you can get the top-tier designers to stoop down for a lower payout contest (which they rarely do). I send these messages to at least 100 designers, but sometimes even more if it is an important logo and I want to see a lot of different concepts. It gets monotonous, but it’s definitely worth it in the end.
Watch Logos Start Pouring In
You’ll start to get logos pretty quickly, and within a day or two you should have 25+ to choose from. I usually just go through and rate them as they come in. Make sure to give good feedback in your comments to the designers. They will read everything and re-design their submission based on your requests. Once you have found 2+ logos that you like, you can proceed to the next step and start testing them against each other. I should note though, I always ask the designers if it is alright that I test their design before moving forward. I’ve never had one not give me permission…
Step 2 – Setup tests
You basically have two options when it comes to running these tests. Luckily, they’re both free with a 30-day trial as of now… If you already have a website or are hosting your landing page yourself, then you’ll be using Visual Website Optimizer to test traffic that comes to the page. This is the method I’ll be showing below. If you don’t have a website, then I’d direct you to this article on using Unbounce to validate business ideas. The only thing to keep in mind is that the only variation should be the logo. So, if you are using Visual Website Optimizer, proceed reading below…
Setting Up the Test
- Create an account on Visual Website Optimizer with a Free Trial account. It should be pretty quick and easy.
- Create a Multi-Variate Test, and enter the URL to the page you’ll be testing.
- This should bring up a screenshot of your website. Click your logo, then change the image with your designs from 99Designs.
- You can add additional variants on the bottom-right corner
We are testing 11 logos for the StartupBros re-design. Here they are – After you are done adding variants, click “Proceed to Next Step” in the top right The next page will ask you to set up your conversion goals. You can set up multiple goals, and I would encourage you to. Here are the ones I set up. Next is the Step 5 page, there a few things you should do here –
- Enter a name and hypothesis/reason for your test
- Add a * on the end of your URL if you want the test to apply to all of your traffic (which I do). It would be useful to not do this if you were testing an image on a specific page of your website, like a landing page.
- Integrate with Google Analytics (you’d better have analytics…)
- You can also set it to “Automatically disable losing variations”, but I like to be hands on with my testing.
Here is an example of my “Step 5” settings – We’re almost done – I promise! Now you just need to set up your tracking code(s). I use Thesis so this is pretty easy for me (and that is what is shown in the picture below), but most WordPress themes should make it easy to add things into the <head> of a document. There is also a WordPress Plugin you can use to set up the code on your site. Just make sure the end result is this – After you see this, start your test – Now your test should be running smoothly, but I’d encourage you to both check out everything in the “Live Preview Combinations” area, as well as test on different computer to be sure everything is going right.
Step 3 – Drive Targeted Traffic
This step should be easy if you already have an established website, since you can just sit back and wait to see the results (that’s what we are doing). If you are running an Unbounce landing page, you’ll have to run some targeted traffic via PPC or content marketing of some sort. Just make sure it is your ideal customers who are visiting, because that’s who you want making the decision on your logo. This is probably a good time to offer up some more $100 Adwords Coupons as well. If you need a certificate, StartupBros has you hooked up
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Step 4 – Results
The ideal amount of time to run your test will depend on your traffic volume and the number of variations you’re testing. Here is how our test went…
By day one we can already see some of the variants drop off, all though it is a little early to make any judgement with such little data. I did turn off the ones that were really not looking good (all the variants with less than a 5% chance to beat the base variant). You’ll see below that some of the variants I turned off ended up making a comeback. This is due to people that are assigned to a specific variant coming back to the site in the days after their first visit. Obviously, this is a good thing and something we want to keep in mind.
By day three we had enough data to see where things were going. You can see almost all the variants had a slight improvement from day one. This is again due to repeat visitors (which is the goal we are measuring).
By day five, we had enough data to comfortably make a decision. Note – In an experiment like this, the control will raise naturally over time. The reason for this is that your regular readers will be shown the original logo that is in their cache (the control). These are our most engaged readers, and thus they skew the data on the control a little over time.
Step 5 – Select a Winning Logo Design
Now that you have a good amount of data, you can confidently make the right decision and select your winning logo. Just head back over to 99Designs and select a winner, then the logo is yours. The designer will send you the files via 99Designs within a few hours. You can see in our experiment, our control ended up doing pretty well. Again, keep in mind that the control will always be artificially high in this experiment, and will be more artificially high for people with a more dedicated following. This is because the past readers (regulars) will be shown the control. We like our new logo much more, and I’m happy I decided to run this contest and test.
What Do You Think?
So, what do you think? Think I missed anything? Do you know a better way? Think this was a big waste of time? Tell me about it in the comments! And as always, if you decide to use this method and have any trouble with it, comment below or email me at will <at> startupbros.com and I’ll be there to help! God speed, Bros!