Historically, logos have been more a luxury than a necessity. Businesses attracted customers because they were the only game in town, so to speak. No longer. Today’s highly competitive industries, global markets and visually oriented consumers have catapulted the logo to prominence. Now your logo is one of the most critical components of your brand.
#1. Your branding efforts not only start with your logo, they are dictated by it. Your logo appears on all of your sales tools, from your business cards to your website. As a result, your logo design influences the design of all your sales tools, for better or worse. A professional-looking logo can be leveraged to create professional-looking materials. A poorly designed logo cannot. In other words, you need a “brandable” logo – one that you can make use of when designing other materials to brand your company.
“Brandable” logos are scalable, memorable and meaningful. If people can’t remember what your logo looks like, they won’t remember your brand. Think of the logos of some popular brands today. Perhaps M-shaped arches, a shell, and a swoosh come to mind. All are simple concepts, effectively employed by McDonalds, Shell and Nike. If you can’t look at a logo for less than 10 seconds and re-draw it with decent accuracy, it’s probably too complex to be easily remembered. (Besides being difficult to remember, most complex logos cannot be effectively reduced in size or rendered in black and white, as required for materials like fax cover sheets and other business forms.)
#2. Your logo is a quick visual cue that conveys the essence of your brand in an age when image is everything and time is short. Perhaps you’ve heard the writer’s lament that “nobody reads anymore.” In today’s markets, not only do you face ever-increasing competition, you also face an audience accustomed to visually stimulating media, convenience and instant gratification. Sure, a few people may read all of your ad, more may read some of it – but everyone will SEE it. The overwhelming amount of choices faced by time-crunched consumers forces them to identify shortcuts. Your logo is such a shortcut: it instantly conveys your brand message and emotional appeal.
#3. Awareness and familiarity are keys to growing your business, and your logo is instrumental in both areas. Your logo is your brand’s most basic graphic element. It ties together all of your sales materials – in fact, your logo may be the only visual element that your materials have in common. The right logo helps solidify customer loyalty while differentiating you from the competition.
#4. Your logo may be the only thing by which a potential customer can judge your business. Think of small newspaper or Yellow Pages ads. Often all that fits is your contact information and logo. If your logo projects the right image, it may be the sole reason someone decides to try your company. Conversely, if it looks unprofessional or unclear, it alone may be the reason they choose your competition.
#5. Finally, your logo affords a unique opportunity for you to look like a bigger (i.e., more established) business than you are. With the right logo, you can look like a large conglomerate even if you have only one employee. People will associate the positive attributes of big companies – like security and financial stability – with your company.
Building a solid brand identity is pivotal to success in business today. Lay the right foundation with a professional, brandable logo.