Logos and branding have been around as long as people have been doing business. Many of these logos are still around today, think of Coca-Cola, Heinz and Ford just to name a few, they may have had a few tweaks over the years but in essence, they are still the same.
Your logo and brand give your business a unique look and personality, they create expectations in the consumer’s mind.
In the olden days whilst the logo was as important as today most people associated the logo with a physical product and maybe a physical store and more often than not a person serving you the product.
In today’s virtual world many businesses and services cannot be touched and have no direct connection with the consumer except for their website.
It is therefore essential that the website and logo/brand works as your salesperson and conveys the image you want to project into the mind of your customers.
Branding yourself in today’s virtual social world
Today’s economics are primarily based around a social media and internet based world. Yes, there are interactions within the traditional retail and service markets, but even these tend to have a presence on social media and the internet. As such branding, specifically logo creation, has become more and more vital to a small enterprise. Yet, time and again small businesses opt to use clipart or to neglect a logo entirely. This negligence on the small business can have serious results. Here is why every business should have their own logo.
A logo establishes you as unique
Logos are the business cards of the internet and the marketing world. While in the past you could just hand out some business cards and people would associate your company with your card, in today’s world the logo is what people associate with a company. If I were to pull up a swoosh symbol, most people would identify it with NIKE, the same would be true with the Starbucks or the Xbox symbol. All are iconic logos for the company.
If you are a small business and you are serious about making a presence in the business world then you should have a unique logo. It establishes you as a unique entity amongst your competitors. Your logo should define what your business sells/offers and should stand on its own to represent your company.
A unique logo and brand identity gives your business a personality and helps you stand out
This is an extensive subject, countless books have been written on it and experts charge thousands, even hundreds of thousands to create a unique business identity. The colours you use, the shapes, the typeface all say something about your business. Think of Virgin as an example, the bright red conveys it´s personality, the font conveys the casualness and friendliness of the company. This isn´t to say it isn´t serious, just more fun! IBM on the other hand gives a serious image and not a lot of fun. It is well worth investing money on a professional logo and business identity as it can speak volumes about your business and help to project a unique personality and professional image to the world.
Logo vs brand identity
Typically a logo is a symbol, graphic or business name written in a unique style. The logo is part of your brand identity. So what is a brand identity? The brand identity is the overall look or ´uniform´ for your business which includes your logo. It is the overall look in everything you do and communicate and it must be consistent. Done well people should be able to identify your business straightaway and the brand identity should convey exactly the image and feeling you want your customers and potential customers to see.
Logos are marketable
If your logo is aesthetically pleasing and creative, you can use it to market your brand as well as to increase sales. Put it on a coffee cup, have business gifts and staff uniforms made, the options are limitless. Logos work for identifying your brand, yes, but they also can work to increase your sales if done properly.
Text logos have their place in the world, but personally, I find that many small businesses would do better with a unique logo accompanied by a font. This allows the logo (art) to be used in products and marketing, but also allows for static advertisements and print to have the text associated with the logo if needed. Having just text can limit the functionality of the logo, having both gives you more options. Make sure your logo is scalable, i.e. can be seen clearly in all sizes. From displaying your logo on a mobile screen to a massive billboard. Think about where you will be using your logo, if your business makes clothes for example then make sure the logo can work well on fabrics and not be unnecessarily expensive or complex unless you are a high end fashion brand and want to do this intentionally.
Logos can add value to your business
A logo can add value to your business, a good business with a well known and recognisable logo when it comes to selling a business will leave you in good stead. Whilst it can be difficult to put a money value on your logo / brand be assured that there is an opportunity to add value which can leave you with more money should you sell your business. Don´t leave money on the table!
Who are you?
Perhaps the most important reason that you should have a logo is that it says who you are, like a smile and a firm handshake in the physical business world, the logo is the first impression that many people will see and associate with your brand.
The bottom line
While in the early stages the logo or brand image may not seem like much of a priority it is actually one of the most important aspects of your business. Good branding will help to set you apart and create a connection with your prospective customer. Over time your branding will help to build the lasting relationship you want with your customers.