When you start a business, there are numerous things to consider—company name, target audience, internal structure and branding, to name a few. As any successful businessperson will tell you these are all important decisions that can make or break your business. If you make one small misstep, and you risk fading into obscurity before you ever get started.
For today’s purposes, we're going to focus on one of the factors mentioned above—branding. When you think about it, your company logo and brand is the first thing people notice about you, so you better make sure it leaves a good impression. According to research conducted by the Journal of Consumer Research, a company logo is actually even more important than previously thought. We've discovered from this study that everything from a logo’s shape, to the colors used, affect how consumers perceive a brand and everything it has to offer.
Take a minute and think about some your favorite—or most widely recognizable—companies. What do they all have in common? I'd bet a pretty penny one of the things they have going for them is their logo. Think about Twitter, Apple, McDonald's and Starbucks, for example. Putting aside how you personally feel about these companies, one thing we can all agree on is that their branding and logos are well-recognized. Whether it’s on a billboard, social media site, website or business card, a smart and well-thought out logo can draw people in.
Let’s now look at a few more reasons why your company logo matters:
Your logo helps explain your brand.
A good logo should require no explanation and speak for itself. It’s safe to say that the majority of people, whether they are in the design business or not, can tell the difference between a professionally designed logo and one your uncle made as a favor. Design is one of your company’s most important weapons, which is why it is absolutely imperative you spend some time on coming up with a logo that will represent your brand in the right light. Design has the ability to communicate things without words, which is why you want to make sure your design is sending the right message.
Logos make an impression.
Building off the above point, your logo is the first impression people will get of your business, so make sure it’s a good one. People are more likely to remember what they see over what they hear or read, which is why your logo needs to adequately portray your business model, products and services. If people aren’t visually engaged, chances are you will fade into the background, no matter how great you are.
Your logo will be everywhere.
You better feel good about your logo before you launch, because it will be on everything, including your website, products, business cards, newsletters, invoices, social media, ads and so on. If your logo is weak, you’re in trouble. Spend some time trying out different logos and see which speak to you the most. Don’t rush this process, as your logo is forever and you certainly don’t want to regret what you end up with.
There are plenty more reasons why a logo matters so much to a company’s overall image, but this is a good place to start. When coming up with a business plan, make sure you aren’t skimping on the design aspect. Be creative and really take the time to think about how you want others—consumers and competitors alike—to perceive you. You want your logo to resonate with your customers and be something they can understand, while at the same time putting forth an image that inspires them to give you their business.
What tips do you have for startups and small businesses looking to make an impact with their logo? Sound off in the comments below!