There is a popular belief that all you need do to make a winning logo is to create a cool design that will establish your brand and send your customers directly to your business. After all, we see such logos every day: the Nike swoosh, KFC, McDonalds, Google, Apple, and so forth. None of them say anything about the brand they represent, but each one of them instantly conjures up in our minds what the company stands for and its products.
In fact there is an odd one out. One of them does say something directly about the company’s product. Have you spotted it? But even then the reference is a little oblique unless you understand a little about the origins of the company. If you haven’t spotted it yet, you will find the answer later on in this article.
There is a huge difference between the impact of those logos and any logo that you might design for your business. It has nothing to do with the logo itself, though there are benefits in creating a logo that is both simple and immediately recognisable, but more on that later. When the logos mentioned above were created they didn’t have the impact they have today. It is only because of the huge investment made in creating the brand awareness that goes alongside the logos that they gained the magic that they have today.
You probably know the story behind the creation of the Nike swoosh, but we will remind you anyway. It was designed by a graphic design student for a young entrepreneur who at the time was teaching accounting at her college while setting up a deal to import running shoes from Japan. He paid her $35 for her work and he went on to become a co-founder of the company with the most recognisable brand in the world. Now that $35 logo is arguably the world’s most valuable.
So how can you get your brand noticed and what kind of logo would help? There is no easy answer; if there was then everyone would be doing it, but there are a few pointers that you can follow.
Do I need a simple logo like the Nike Swoosh?
Just like the Nike swoosh, your logo should be simple and memorable. In fact a test for an effective logo is whether people can reproduce it after viewing it for just a few moments. You could certainly do that with the swoosh, even after seeing it for the first time, and you could probably take a good shot at the McDonalds logo. But that doesn’t mean that’s all you need. However attractive and memorable your logo might be, by itself it won’t bring customers flocking to your door. You need to establish in your prospects’ minds a link between your logo and your business, in other words you need to invest in brand awareness marketing.
How much must I invest in brand awareness marketing?
If you want to follow the traditional approach, then the answer is more than you can afford. It takes many years and a great deal of money to build the kind of brand awareness associated with companies the like of Apple. You don’t have enough money or enough time, but what you do have is what they didn’t have at the time; today you have social networks, but we’ll come to that later.
Then how do I get people to understand about my business?
Your logo alone won’t say much about your business. It can say a certain thing and you could consider a tagline, but taglines make logos a little cumbersome and even then in many circumstances they are not going to inform people that much about what you do and sell.
So I need more than just my logo?
Yes, that’s right. If you business card displays no more that your logo and contact details, nobody is going to be any the wiser about what your business does. You might explain it to them at the time, but you can rest assured that they are more likely to forget than remember. And when they come across your business card a few weeks later they will have no idea about your business does and they will probably consign your business card to the waste paper basket.
It is important to tell the world what it is you do. If your business is all about fixing computers, then say so “We fix computers” would be better than nothing; if you are a mobile beautician, then you might try “We provide beauty treatments in the comfort of your home”; or if your business is garden landscaping, tell the world about it.
Should my logo also show what I do?
There isn’t a simple answer. That depends on many things, and all cases are individual. Sometimes it helps, and in others circumstances it can be counterproductive. Remember, your logo is simply your logo; it can’t substitute for your brand. What it can do is act as a prompt to remind people about what you do, but they need to know in the first place. Until you get that over to them your logo is just a random design in an ocean of other designs.
What about my website?
Your website is the perfect vehicle for telling the world about what you do, but to be effective it needs to be well designed with informative landing pages. In today’s world our attention spans have diminished to what seems like microseconds so you need to make the right impression and make it quickly. It’s worth investing in a little money in developing it and making sure it works.
You mentioned social networks – is that the answer?
Well spotted. Yes, what the likes of Nike didn’t have was social networking. All their advertising had to be paid for and it was really expensive; it still is. There were some cheaper alternatives to advertising such as press releases, but brand awareness building generally needed both.
Today we do have social networks, and apart from your time they are essentially free. By engaging with social networks you can build up awareness of what you do with the added benefit that if people like what you have to say then they will share it, thus spreading the word. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and so forth provide massive opportunities to build your brand, both your personal brand and your business. It is about engaging with your potential clients and providing them with the information they want and are happy to share.
So it all kind of fits together?
Absolutely; the pieces fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. You need a memorable logo; a message that tells people what you do; an excellent website; and a social media campaign that will help build your brand for free.
Can you help?
Yes, we certainly can. We have a wealth of experience in building brands for our clients and we use all of the above in the process. Don’t let your logo lose you business; if you would like to learn more about our brand building services , or logo design please get in touch. We look forward to talking with you about it.
PS: the answer was Google of course.