Maybe your company is just starting, or maybe it’s been around for a while. Either way, you know how vital marketing is to making it strong. I’ve also talked previously about creating a brand that makes the difference between marketing that works for you and marketing that is an uphill battle. Well, as with most great teams, your marketing mix has one central player that rallies all the rest – the quarterback, the captain, the center, if you will. That player is your logo.
Now, I know that a lot of business owners might roll their eyes at this point; the company’s logo is one very tiny thing, and there are so many other considerations that are more vital to keeping the doors open. That thinking is a mistake…a big mistake. You see, as integral as your brand is to connecting with clients, both potential and established, your logo takes point in the creation of that image. Think about it: whether people first encounter your company on the Internet, or by picking up your product, or by driving up to the front of your building, the one thing that people will see before any other aspect of your business is going to be your logo. Your point man doesn’t stop there, either. Once someone is familiar with your company, a mental connection will be conjured every time they see your logo after that. So, what is that connection, and how strong is it?
Forgive the nerdiness for a moment, but the significance of the logo makes a lot more sense if you consider the actual meaning of the word. It’s based on the Greek word logos, which literally means, “word.” Think about that. A word is a small collection of elements that have been combined to represent a much larger, more involved concept. Any time you see the word “tree,” it means much more to you than just the letters “T,” “R,” and a couple of “E’s”; instead, you immediately picture a tree, you picture leaves, bark, roots, etc., and maybe you even start thinking of specific species.
Starting to see a connection? Your logo is supposed to do the same thing for your company. There’s so much more to it than simply “hey, there’s an empty space on the business card template; I guess I might as well put some sort of picture there.” The image and/or words that make up your logo are your company’s representative; they need to be you. When prospective clients see your logo, they should immediately know something about your business – not just what you sell, but who you are, because that matters to people in their patronage decisions. Every time existing customers see your logo, it should likewise connect in their mind with all of the reasons they came to you in the first place, and all the reasons that they want to keep coming back.
The message here is that there’s a lot riding on your logo, and its design is not something to be taken lightly. So, what can you do to make sure that you end up with a logo that will serve your brand well for decades to come? Here are a few closing tips:
- Demand Quality – If you were to hire a person who was going to go out into the world and represent your company in absolutely every interaction that anyone ever has with it, you’d be pretty careful about your selection of that individual, wouldn’t you? Well, that’s just what your logo will be doing, and it’s essential that you be just as picky.
- Be Open-Minded – Don’t go into the design process with assumptions about what the finished product should look like. It’s common to say, “I know that I want my logo to have a picture of my kid, playing with my product, etc., etc., etc.” However, what really matters about a logo is what it accomplishes…and the logo that best conveys the message you desire might not end up looking exactly like you thought it would. Be prepared for and open to that possibility.
- Less Is More – No, this isn’t a universal truth. There are certainly plenty of things in life for which more is more. However, when it comes to logos, complexity will get in the way. Think about it: logos must send a very clear message, and they must be able to do that at a glance. They won’t be able to do that if they have too much going on. Don’t worry; you’ll get to show as much as you want once clients walk into your shop or browse to your page. The logo is just the front door.
- Don’t Call On Just Anybody – Considering all that your logo needs to do, its design calls for more than just someone who’s good at making pictures; it demands an expert, in both visual communication and marketing. Make sure that you talk to someone who knows how to ask the right questions and consider all of your needs. Do that, and you’ll have a logo that does exactly what you need it to and the start of a rock-solid brand.
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