This guest article was written by Matt Jones.
The logo that a company chooses is one of the single most important components of business success. A logo defines who the company is and what it represents. It is the trademark of the company. It helps consumers to recognize one company from the next. The logo is really the building block of marketing for the company. Choosing a logo wisely and thoughtfully will help build a lasting name and a reputation for the company.
Choosing is Different than Designing
The act of designing a logo is easy, especially today with all of the available resources such as graphic design services and software programs. While the act of doing the work around the logo may be easy, the real work happens before the design even begins. Businesses looking to build an online brand and create a strong solid logo for start-up need to be sure and not rush the creative process. Choosing an effective logo is the first step to building a reputation for the business. Thinking about who you are and what you want to represent is the first step in the process.
A company in the early stages of development wants to choose a logo that will make their goods or services unique. Think of all of the household brand names that have stayed strong over the years and built a good solid public reputation, and then ask why they have been around for so long. A logo creates familiarity and is the stepping stone to building a reputation for the goods and services.
Creating and keeping a loyal customer base is what will eventually grow a business. We have all seen businesses that come and go while others like Gerber, Kodak, Pepsi, McDonalds stick around and continue to build a following because they have become familiar household names and advertise their product in a way that attracts the public.
A good logo grabs people and keeps them. Customers tend to gravitate to the goods and services of businesses that they have come to know and trust. Interestingly, research shows that customers remain loyal to those brand names they have a familiarity with. Familiarity breeds emotional attachment. Customers tend to remain loyal to familiar brand names even when competitors offer cheaper, better or more appealing products.
Appealing to the Customer
An effective logo is not just about a brand name or an advertisement it is about identity and customer appeal. A brand identity often includes components in the logo that will appeal to everyone. While words are powerful and the name of the business is essential, finding ways to appeal to potential customers in a variety of different ways will help them remember one brand over the competition.
Appealing to a variety of different customers involves creating a brand impression that will incorporate many different strategies. Some people remember by words, some are visual and others may appreciate hearing a catchy slogan that advertises a product. Using all three can make a great brand impression. The more senses a product appeals to the more effective it is for a business plan.
The Branding Checklist:
Before you make a decision, it is important to know that you have considered the basics. The following checklist is a good place to start. Remember, if you are difficulty figuring these things out, it may be time to consider hiring a branding expert or marketing consultant to assist you and your team.
- The color. Dark colors are going to elicit different emotions than light colors. Know your audience and what you are trying to emote. Are you trying to elicit a relaxed feeling or something more serious? This of course should depend on the services you provide.
- The size. Are you looking for something “in your face” or are you shooting for something conservative that won’t stand out as much? When I think of “in your face”, I think McDonalds.
- The shape. The shape of a logo can have a strong influence on people and how they perceive your brand. Are you looking for something sharp and serious, or round and relaxed?
- Competition. It would be a shame to choose a logo that is similar to one of your competitors. Make sure that you are distinct from everyone you are competing in the same market with.
- Versatility. The logo needs to function online, of course, but make sure you don’t limit yourself. The logo has to function well with other channels your company is or may be marketing through.
Building an Online Brand
The explosion of technology has enabled a new market through the Internet. Competing over the Internet offers its own set of challenges simply because there are so many new start-up companies all over the globe offering competing for the for the same on-line customer base.
The availability and accessibility of the Internet increases business competition threefold. Building an online brand and creating a logo that best represents the uniqueness of your online business is much more important because the competition is so fierce in the virtual market. Regardless of the platform in which you are starting a business the basic principles around building and creating a strong logo remain the same.
About the Author: Matt Jones is a branding and marketing enthusiast. By day, he is working diligently on improving business signs for his clientele. By night, he is engulfed in the blogosphere writing on all custom signage, branding, and marketing related subjects!