Building your brand encompasses a range of activities that are focused on a common goal: creating strategic positioning for your company. Many elements go into brand development—including your copy style, layouts and colors, and core messaging—but perhaps nothing is quite as compelling, or can have as significant an effect, as your logo.
Once you’ve designed your logo, your work has just begun; you need to creatively use it to ensure maximum exposure to your target market. The consistent use of your logo on everything that emanates from your company should not be overlooked as an important way to brand your company. At its highest level, a well-branded logo can stand on its own to represent a company (i.e., McDonald’s golden arches). That familiarity certainly doesn’t happen overnight, but is a byproduct of the frequent, repetitive and often creative use of the logo.
Given the age in which we live, the importance of logos has probably never been as high. We don’t read; we scan. We don’t research; we surf. We want information quickly, at a moment’s notice, and we don’t want to sort through meaningless data to find what we want. A logo can actually be considered a shortcut—a way to quickly memorialize everything your company stands for without infringing on the “now, now, now” aspect of today’s consumers.
It almost goes without saying that your logo must be supported with strong messaging that represents your company’s core values. An image alone only goes so far to define a company, but when it’s combined with other brand attributes, and is “out there” on a frequent basis, the messaging ultimately seeps into the logo. Nike has done an excellent job of branding its swoosh, so much so that “Just do it” is synonymous with its use.
Your goal should be to have a memorable logo that evokes your company’s messaging, but you have to start somewhere. Even if your logo is not well known, using it in creative ways will help build familiarity and generate interest in learning about the brand behind it.
Remember that the goal is not necessarily to saturate the entire market with your logo, but to make sure that your target audience gets a heavy dose of it. Be savvy in choosing opportunities and strategies that are relevant for your company. Here are a few suggestions to get you started
Don’t discount the importance of your logo as part of your brand identity. Remember that the swoosh and the golden arches were once unfamiliar to most people, but they are now images known to just about everyone…because they’ve been smartly branded.