What’s in a Brand? María López García from Loga Translations

Today’s guest is María López García, a young English into Spanish translator, who recently launched her new website, Loga Translations. María specializes in sworn and certified translations, and in the legal, business and marketing fields. In her spare time, she enjoys learning British Sign Language and to post short videos of her signing on her Facebook page. She can also be found on Twitter.

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Hi María. I’m really glad you accepted my invitation to join this series on branding. You recently launched your new website and thus your point-of-view on this subject is unique and different from the previous seasoned translators I have interviewed. So, first of all, why did you decide to even have a brand? Do you think it adds something to your business?

Salut Emeline! Thank you for inviting me to share with you a bit more about Loga Translations.

Yes, I have recently launched my website and I could not be happier! My brand is my essence and everything to my business. It represents my ideas, my personality and my approach to the translation industry.

When I started thinking about setting everything up, I knew from the very beginning that it had to be something more than a name so it took me a while. Branding gives you visibility and, if used correctly, can make you stand out from the crowd which is something really important nowadays. At the same time, we have to bear in mind that visibility will not give you automatic success just because you are known or can be found everywhere; you have to be good at what you do. It’s all about the balance.

However, I´m not saying that if you don´t have a brand you can´t win because it is not true and in fact, there are many successful professionals out there without a brand or a strong presence in social networks.

Could you tell us a little bit about how you came to choose to name your business Loga Translations?

Well, that’s a tough one! Many people decide to use their own name, something that I also considered at the beginning. Unfortunately, I can be really picky sometimes and for me, my name was simply not enough.

I wanted something which could show straight away what my business was about but which represented me at the same time. I tried different combinations playing with my name. I ended up using the traditional pen and paper method and writing the different parts of my name trying to create some sort of anagram with a twist.

After trying different combinations I came up with Loga which, apart from having part of my surnames (López García), had also a twist and winked at the Greek term λόγος (logos) which can be understood as “word, tell, speech”.

I have to say I am in love with your logo! Maybe I see too much in it, but I see a coffee cup stain as an O-shape. Was it done on purpose? What did you try to convey through this design?

Thank you! I am really touched with the amount of positive feedback I have received about my logo. Some people have even told me that it’s one of those logos you will remember, which is exactly what I wanted to convey.

As I am a sworn translator and, as this is one of my main areas of specialisation, I wanted to reflect it on my logo without limiting it only to this. I started working with a patient and creative graphic designer (Santi fromGraficAdver) which guided me through the whole process and came up with great ideas. The “A” from Loga comes from a fountain pen which is exactly what I use to sign my sworn and certified translations. The “O” is a handwritten O coming from the fountain pen as well. I did not think at all about the O-shape and the coffee stain but it would make so much sense as I am definitely a coffee lover and as such, coffee is an active part of my business!

You also like cooking and you decided to bring that passion into your marketing strategy. Could you tell us a bit more about that?

Oh yes, I truly love cooking! It all started when a fellow Spanish colleague (@tuitsdegabriel) launched his “galletas de visita”  (“business biscuits”) and the whole concept of edible branding. Doing a bit more of research on this field, I found out what seemed to be a new tendency with even some specific companies specialising in corporate/logo edible products.

Out of curiosity (and because I can’t help myself and always try to do different things, especially if it involves cooking!) and after asking Gabriel for permission, I tried to cook some business biscuits myself. I quite liked the results but it was obviously not my idea so I just left it there.

A few months later and completely out of the blue, I was working in the office and it just clicked: what about fortune cookies? They are fun, everyone likes them and I can use them as an innovative way of introducing my business in networking events. I am currently using two variations: the usual fortune cookie card that I would use for networking (with my contact details and specialisations) and the #LogaFortunes range which consists of “real” fortunes and messages, sometimes personalised for someone in particular. Every Monday, I share the fortune of the week on my Facebook and Twitter pages so keep an eye on it, you might get a personalised Loga Fortune soon! 🙂

We all know that branding is more than a name and a logo. If you had to choose three words to represent your brand, which ones would they be?

Fresh, personal and approachable.

Finally, how do you manage to convey these aspects to your customers?

It may seem obvious but all my clients receive an individual and personalised approach. Everyone has different needs and I like to go the extra mile in order to provide them with what they need. I usually adopt a friendly approach as well (being myself but always being professional, of course!) so they know they can get back to me at all times and this is reflected in some special and strong relationships with some of my clients.

Thanks ever so much for being a part of this series, Maria!

My pleasure, Emeline! I am really flattered that you thought about me and my brand on the first place and invited me to contribute with my story.

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