A logo is a first impression and a lasting piece of your business that people recognize over time. They associate that imagery with what kind of business you are. Its a marketing tool that is sprinkled across print media, online media and every day physical products. Its the first thing people see sometimes, and that image can evoke positive or negative feelings.
A logo tells people a lot more than just what you do. Its who you are as a person, its what kind of quality service you provide. All of us, no matter what business we are in, are selling ourselves. We are usually the driving force behind what we present as our business. We are why things get done, why people come back and why what we do turns out so well.
The value of a logo, when done right, is immense in how much it can help your business. There are countless brand names that have logos that we remember. Nike, Coca-Cola, Apple - all have very powerful logos that evoke emotions, memories and feelings for us. Lets look at some things that great design can achieve.
Investing in great design can make your product more desirable.
Lets compare some soda brands to illustrate this point. So I mentioned Coca-Cola above, the single most recognizable brand in the world. They over time have upgraded the branding to reflect current looks and trends, but have never wavered from the iconic script text. They also have some imagery like the signature bottle shape that helps keep marketing fresh. They are a brand that has always been about uniting people. Getting the world to sing in perfect harmony and stuff.
Now, lets think about the major department store brand cola. Its generic in its design, it probably tastes mostly the same. It costs less, and mimics the major brands design... But you are at the store, and you are making a quick choice… You opt for the TRUSTED, the RECOGNIZABLE, the RED BOTTLE OR CAN YOUR GRAND PAPPY DRANK. You grab a Coke within less than 30 seconds of interpreting your decision. *Mic drop. Coke slowly sips a coke.
Investing in great design can make your customers feel more satisfaction about their choices and purchases.
For this point, I’d like you to think about the brands that make you, you. For me its all about those outdoorsy brands. The brands you see in Outside Magazine. The brands that are kayaking, stand up paddling, camping, saving the earth and recycling in their advertisements. Lets think about what brands evoke those kinds of values. REI, Patagonia, The North Face, Mountain Hardwear, Kleen Kanteen, Camelbak, Nalgene, Keen….
Okay I know I probably rattled off more than I needed to, but I feel strongly that these brands are overall doing the right thing. They have the earth in mind. Quality, adventure and living life are major themes for them. These are all ideologies that I strongly prescribe to. When I buy these brands I feel good about my choices, and feel like I am living my best life. Powerful stuff when you start thinking about it.
Investing in great design will lower your costs.
This is my favorite. I seriously love saving people money. When I am able to really do my thing and make some pragmatic, strategic designs for people its where I am at my best. The reason that investing in a great logo or brand identity saves you money is that when its done right, a branding kit can last you YEARS. DECADES. If a designer has been given the room to really research your business and all of its pieces, she can come up with a plan and graphics to dominate your market.
This saves you money because a proper foundation for a system of design that targets your audience has been put into place. When that system is used properly, you have the tools to market across all media and mediums for a long time. A logo is just the beginning, and when you have the colors, fonts, imagery, voice, and system in place it becomes a matter of focused branded show and tell. You build it up, you use the kit and your brand loyalty grows day by day. Before you know it, people are tattooing your logo on their body because they are that loyal to your vision. Because your vision is now their vision.
Definitely if your business has horrible customer service, deep seated organizational issues or passion problems a logo isn’t going to help you get your business any more money. Appealing to your audience and sharing values doesn’t happen on its own. It takes careful planning. It takes understanding your customers. It takes being grounded and running your business. Sometimes you have to share things for free and help educate people. I know, crazy.
Also, a quick note about business ideas - ideas are a dime a dozen. Execution is what separates ideas from businesses. Having a freshman in design school bang out a logo so you can just get past that item on the checklist isn’t a great start to something you are about to put your whole life into. Just saying.
So what does a logo cost, you ask? I say that its an investment. And it may cost you more than you thought. Just like any other service based profession, you get what you pay for. I liken the design process to the phrase “measure twice, cut once.” If you spend the time upfront with a designer, and she works out all the possibilities, makes you think of parts of your business you never thought of and makes you something that feels epic; you won’t have to go back to another designer to get a new logo next year. Quality takes time, costs money and usually isn’t easy.