Think of any iconic brand, and the first thing that usually appears in one’s mind is its logo. Nike’s famous Swoosh, the Golden Arches of McDonald’s, the bitten apple of Apple, Gucci’s iconic double “G” and many others have become synonymous with the brands they represent. It’s no anomaly that some of the most well-known brands also have equally as famous logos. The right logo can play a massive role in building your brand and is an important marketing tool. And the wrong one can make your company forgotten among your many competitors.
Knowing that a logo is critical to your company’s success is essential. But understanding the reasons why a logo is vital is just as crucial. Without that knowledge, designing a good logo can be a challenge. And it can be easy to overlook just how significant a role the right logo can play for your brand. The following are all the reasons to pay close attention to your logo’s design regardless of the size of your business. Read on before you decide to leave your logo’s creation up to some random graphic designer you met at Starbucks.
LOGOS ARE CORNERSTONES OF BRAND IDENTITY
A brand’s identity can be thought of as a company’s personality. It conveys to customers what a brand’s values are and what it hopes customers feel when interacting with it. A brand’s identity should never be something nebulous. If you don’t define what your brand stands for and represents, your customers and your competition will do it for you. And you might not like the results. The hazier your brand identity is, the harder it is to form a bond with your customers. People with boring personalities are usually forgotten; the same can be said for companies with bland identities.
Creating your brand’s identity should be a well-thought-out process, and making a logo is one of the first steps. As your brand’s most visible and forward-facing element, your company’s logo plays a huge role in brand identity. Every one of your customers will see, or should see, your brand’s logo. And if your logo is impactful enough, it becomes synonymous with your brand. According to an overwhelming amount of logo statistics by Finance Online, over 90% of the Earth’s population can recognize Coca-Cola’s logo. Yet, according to that same article, 65% of small businesses are only willing to pay up to $500 for a logo. You don’t have to spend a fortune on a logo (Carolyn Davidson charged $35 for the iconic Nike Swoosh in 1971), but it shouldn’t be an afterthought. Your logo is the cornerstone of your branding efforts and should be treated as such.
LOGOS CAN BE ANYWHERE
Writing your brand statement on your product is usually impossible or, at least, not a good idea. Most won’t fit on the grille of a car, the center of a steering wheel, or on whatever limited space is available. And, even if your brand message did somehow fit, plastering it in whole across your goods would be a visual mess. Part of the reason logos are so important is because they are smaller and can be used in a lot more places.
Your logo isn’t the entirety of your brand. But it is a visual extension of it and what your brand stands for. If implemented correctly, your logo will become synonymous with your brand for customers. That is why it is essential to prominently use a logo after its creation. With the scalable nature of a logo’s size, it is easy to use almost anywhere. Logos can fit on everything from a pen to the side of a building. You should include your logo on all signage, communications, work uniforms, packaging and products. Don’t expect your logo to become well-known if it is never used.
LOGOS CREATE BRAND LOYALTY
Creating brand loyalty is extremely important and also exceptionally difficult. The shift to online retail supercharged by the pandemic has made this even more apparent. Building brand loyalty for online transactions can be challenging without retail stores and sometimes even human interaction. If customers don’t feel connected to your brand, they will shop by price and move on to the cheapest option. And trying to compete only on pricing usually leads to a downward spiral of cutting costs and product quality.
According to an article in Forbes, three key factors to building brand loyalty are inspiring your customers, being consistent and promoting core values. Brands like Nike inspire their customers to be active and get in shape. The popularity of In-and-Out Burger might be mystifying to some, but it consistently delivers a quality burger with fresh ingredients at a low price. And Starbucks tries to be more than just a place to buy a cup of coffee by valuing inclusion, warmth and nurturing.
These companies have successfully incorporated their logos into their marketing efforts and branding. Nike’s famous Swoosh encourages people to just do it. In-and-Out’s yellow boomerang arrow logo is a beacon for a tasty burger in a sea of questionable dining options. Starbucks’ famous Siren lets people know they can get a coffee in an environment that welcomes them regardless of who they are. They are perfect examples of how essential logos are and their pivotal roles in building brand loyalty and creating returning customers.
LOGOS ATTRACT ATTENTION AND CONVEY PROFESSIONALISM
Something seems shady about those random and logo-less businesses that are usually named after whatever product or service they provide and are often located in strip malls. Beyond feeling slightly off, most people won’t take your business seriously if you name it “Pizza” and have no logo. Without a logo, customers will feel your business is “fly-by-night,” unprofessional or possibly a front for the mob. And don’t expect customers to connect with your brand if you can’t be bothered with one of the essential steps of building a brand identity.
Beyond making your brand seem professional, a logo can help get attention in a sea of competitors. An attractive and eye-catching logo attracts eyeballs whether on a storefront, on the side of a product or online. But it is important to remember not to design a logo with the only function of attention-seeking. Garish colors, giant fonts and over-the-top designs can have the opposite intended effect and turn away customers. Your logo must align with your brand to help build its identity. Fail to keep that in mind, and you can wind up with logos like these that, while hilarious, get attention for all the wrong reasons and do more damage to your brand than build it.
LOGOS CAN CHANGE OVER TIME
Even if you already have a logo, it is important to remember that logos should change over time. Fonts can become outdated, along with certain colors and design styles. Everyone remembers the Neon Noir design craze of the 1980s with its overly bright colors and excessive use of palm trees. But unless your business specializes in retro aerobics apparel or selling “Miami Vice” LaserDiscs, your logo shouldn’t be stuck in time. But never make the mistake of completely changing your logo, as it can seriously harm branding efforts. Instead, think of your logo redesign as more of an update than a complete overhaul.
Logos can also change when the priorities or focus of your company changes. Many automotive brands have tweaked their logos to signify their shift to an electric future. General Motors recently swapped its previous dark blue block with white letters logo for one with a white background and light blue lowercase “gm” with a gradient. The look is not just more modern but a nod to the electric vehicles that will increasingly play a more significant role in GM’s future. “The underline of the ‘m’ connects to the previous GM logos as well as visually representing the Ultium platform (GM’s electric foundation for future EVs). And within the negative space of the ‘m’ is a nod to the shape of an electrical plug,” notes General Motors Executive Director of Global Industrial Design Sharon Gauci.
Technology may also necessitate changes to your logo. Many companies, including Volkswagen, BMW, Volvo and Apple, have recently “flattened” their logos by making them more two-dimensional in appearance. The reason? Logos now have to appear in a lot more places, including apps, social media and websites. And the primary way people interact with brands is now on their mobile phones. Two-dimensional logos are easier to work with, resize and modify for the multitude of sizes required across various social media and digital applications.
LET US HELP
Creating a logo is one critical step in building a brand, but there are many others. At Kahn Media, we are a full-service marketing agency specializing in content creation, social media management, digital marketing, public relations, and building or strategically repositioning brands. Contact us to see how our experts can help you with your branding or rebranding efforts.