Your logo and your brand are the hallmarks of your business. They symbolize all that your company stands for in a single, inclusive image. A strong logo builds brand identity, making it easier for consumers to associate themselves and their lives with your business. Brand identity is crucial in competitive markets, and defining yours from the outset can boost your marketing and deliver the results your company deserves.
The Basics of Building a Logo
Think about your favorite soft drinks or alcoholic beverages. Did the names immediately jump to mind? Were they accompanied by the red-and-white swoosh of Coca-Cola lettering? The blue and white of Pepsi? Did you see the “Silver Bullet” of Coors Light? Now think about your brand. Does your logo pop with color? Does its style leave viewers with an impression without muddying the waters? Two key elements go into a logo: style and color. Choosing wisely early on can eliminate potentially massive time and rebranding costs in the future.
The style of your company name is important. It should be easy to read, but even if the letters were removed, your customers should be able to recognize it. This lets you play with elements the way that Coke does, giving seasons greetings in a font that none can mistake for any other. Make your logo pop with a style that stands out from others in your field and you’ll benefit immediately from enhanced brand recognition. Then put that style to work in your marketing tools and publications. From letterheads to magazine ads, everything should feature the logo style.
It’s widely accepted that color has its own psychology. The colors you choose go a long way towards defining the “feel” of your brand. Red, white and blue are colors with a storied heritage in America, making them a smart choice for national brands. White and red are popular in Japan, while Mexico likes red, white and green. It’s not just about demographics, though, colors can make us experience things or remind us of fond emotions.
Website color schemes are often chosen specifically to evoke those underlying feelings. Bold red makes a strong call to action, while blue inspires trust and serenity. Yellow exudes confidence, and green promotes balance. Which of these traits fit your company best? Red is great for innovators in various markets, while green makes consumers think of eco-friendly businesses. Doctors and lawyers love blue, and what companies do you know that use yellow to good effect? Combine two to three colors with your logo for a breakout look that is all your own.
The Benefits of a Strong Logo
Now that you’ve got the basics down, look into application. Internet marketing is more important than ever, and a logo that is easily identifiable as a postage-stamp sized icon on a smartphone is one that works. Remember that it often takes many impressions before consumers start to identify, and identify with, your brand. Just getting that brand identity out there has value.
The ability of consumers to recognize your brand wherever it crops up builds trust. They may not trust a business they’ve never heard of, but if they’ve seen the logo on billboards, benches and in the printed media, they get a sense that the company isn’t some fly-by-night operation. Each of those impressions adds up and can drive business. Once you get the customer into the store or online shop, then it’s time to build loyalty from the trust they’ve volunteered and your logo has engendered.
Once you’ve proven your company’s worth to the consumer, your logo becomes a banner for support. Further impressions give customers the opportunity to become word-of-mouth proponents, speaking on behalf of your company to others. Each time they see your logo, that’s a reminder of the good work you’ve done on their behalf. It fosters support and allows the building of a community around your business. This type of positive community can support a company even through lean times and market downturns.
Brand identity doesn’t begin or end with a strong logo, but the logo is definitely a large part of sharing that identity with potential customers. Take the time to get it right and find a look and color scheme that best matches your business. Share it with your current or potential clients, and invite feedback until you decide on a final version. A little side-by-side testing can go a long way towards getting your company the logo it deserves: one that will drive its success in the future.
Avery T. Phillips is a freelance human being with too much to say. She loves nature and examining human interactions with the world. Comment or tweet her @a_taylorian with any questions or suggestions.