Everyone interested in building a successful brand in today’s ever shifting B2B market should develop or flame up an interest on how to know a good logo.
A good logo is worth a billion words.
It is tough these days for companies to find what makes them different and stand out. At a time like this, individuals and organizations should seize every opportunity that has any slightest chance of aiding their being able to build a brand that stands out.
If you have not thought about it before, one or all of the following reasons are why you should get a logo for your company. A good logo:
Reveals the identity of your company
Quickly introduces you to new customers, and even returning ones.
Distinguishes you from the competition.
Facilitates brand loyalty, as it helps people to quickly connect and reconnect.
Can be everywhere; you can easily place it on your website, social media and even print materials.
A good logo is the foundation of your company’s visual branding.
Sugar tastes sweet, a new car smells nice. But how does a logo taste? How does it feel between two fingers? One can’t say if a logo is strong and won’t break easily. It’s hard to know if it won’t fade after a few months of investing a huge sum to get one.
What then makes a good logo?
You can conduct a litmus paper of your logo using the following tips, to know if it’s a good one or not.
A Good Logo is Simple
Simplicity, when it comes to a logo is like the difference between the rich and the poor.
When a poor person (without prejudice) gets an opportunity to dress well, he will definitely over dress, having all sorts of jewelries that are not necessary at a time. A rich person at the other hand is not just always comfortable with whatever he wears, he remains an object of admiration even under such simple dresses.
Think of the most premium brands in the world and simplicity will come to mind. Think of Apple logo. It’s very simple, but it was not that simple from the beginning.
The old version is more complex than the new one. If simplicity is not important a point, would it have been necessary to change from the old to the new one?
A logo becomes simple when there’s nothing to remove from the concept any more, not when there’s nothing to add any more.
A Good Logo is Unique
The uniqueness of your logo is one thing that will help distinguish your business from the commodity brand.
Let’s take some instances from the consumer brands. All wrist watches look almost the same, but one can still identify a Rolex watch. Hang an Armani suit and one made by Gucci on the same wardrobe, it’s the logo attached to the label that will help you identify one from the other, most often than not.
One effective way of getting a logo that is unique is basing the design on the personality of the brand. That’s why in the design process I have been using on brand building projects, the strategy session is a core step that helps identify among others, the distinctiveness of the brand.
A distinct and unique logo can never be confused with another.
A Good Logo is Audience Friendly
A good logo most be one that easily resonates with whoever you are selling your product, services or ideas to. A good logo is not one that you or your company executives like. It’s not about you. It’s about them – your target audience.
One of the many phrases I’ve heard within my years in this brand building business is “I don’t like it”. But this has been minimized to almost zero percent since I made Market Research an important part of my process.
It’s market research that will reveal everything about the target audience that will help build a brand that resonates with them. Who are they? What makes sense to them? What are they afraid of?
This is important as selling to married woman who spends their time at home is not the same as having an audience of married women who have 9-5 jobs. The two categories have different pain points and interests.
A Good Logo is Timely and Timeless
The major point here, which is what you will find in other literature about the characteristics of a good logo is that it should be timeless. But it’s way beyond being timeless.
First, a timeless logo is one that is guaranteed to work after today. They are the logos that stand the test of time. It’s not very difficult to see logos that have their foundation on current trends.
But that’s wrong. It doesn’t matter who is doing such and how many they are.
A multitude of wrongs do not make a right.
Where do you see your business in next 5, 10 and even 20years? Will the logo you are adopting for your company still be able to represent such vision?
Remember I said it’s not just about the logo being functional years to come. It should also work here and now. That’s what I mean by “timely”. It will not be a strategic move to use a vintage logo that will work well only during the Roman Empire for a modern hi-tech brand. So it should be timeless and timely too.
A Good Logo is Scalable
This is a technical term for being resizable. Though many times, what comes to mind when one talks about scalability is the file formats, the actual logo concept too is of considerable importance.
Generally, no logo is meant to take the exact size it was designed with, in all environments.
This is why it is important to make sure not just that such logo does not lose quality (get blurred) when scaled up (increase in size) or scaled down (decrease in size), but also that all details are retained in such a situation.
If we reduce the size of the logo so it can fit on a mug or coffee cup, do we have all lines intact? If we blow it up for a billboard ad, do particular details remain the same?
In all, no details should be lost.
A Good Logo is Proportionate
If I was making this post pre-2000s when social media was almost not in existence, I wouldn’t have bothered about this point at all. This is because in those old days, the shape of the logo (which in technical terms is the aspect ratio) can be whatever the designer wants it to be. But things have changed.
And here we are today. In this age of social media, your logo should work well as the profile images of your social media handles and also work on your website. I am emotional here as I have had a client in the past who insisted that her logo should be rectangular. Attempts to convince her that there should also be one that will fit as profile images (square shape) almost was futile.
While logos that have square shape will fit well on both social media profiles and your website, you can also have two shapes (versions) of the same logo: rectangular for the website and the square shaped for the social media profiles. Just like in building a brand in general, CONSISTENCY is a watchword here.
A Good Logo is Defines Your Brand
I saved this important point for the last, but I believe it’s the last straw that will not break the camel’s back. I want to clear up the cloud as there have been diverse views on what it means for a logo to “define a brand” or “tell the brand story”.
To some individuals, your logo should say what your brand does. That means a fashion designer should have a pair of scissors, a lady in gown or a man on suit (as we see always) on her logo. A caterer’s logo should have a pot of food, and a restaurant logo should have plates and spoons/fork. I am still wondering what a dentist’s logo should have so we know he’s a dentist.
I am not here to quote such people wrong, as everyone is entitled to his opinion.
But I want to help you see things from my views and decide on what will work for you.
When we spotlight the big brands that are moving the world, we will see that almost known of the above applies. Apple has its major products as computer and phone and the accessories, but such is not communicated on the logo.
There’s no soft drink on the Coca-Cola logo, neither is there consulting services and solutions on Accenture logo. What about the Armani’s cited earlier, and even Unilever’s? When one tells you that your logo should define your brand, what that means is that the logo should bear one or all of the personality of your brand, its core values, the brand message, amongst others.
What it means is that the logo should be built on that spectacular thing that makes your brand what it is and not what the other is.
It doesn’t mean that the logo should readily show your products/services.
Taking another instance from another consumer B2C brand, Starbucks just refined their logo not long ago, and have removed the coffee part of the logo. People have suspected that this might mean that Starbucks as at the time was planning to extend its business tentacles to other areas beyond the sell of coffee.
What does this mean?
A logo that readily tells me, “He sells bread”, will no longer be useful if tomorrow, you decide to add tea to your list of products, to be able to sell bread and tea, or add beans so you can sell bread and beans.
Key Take Away
Doing an x-ray of your company logo on all or most of the above points will help you choose the best logo for your company, anytime you want to brand or rebrand.
What is worth doing is worth doing well. Your investment is worth every return. And I strongly believe this will(has) help(ed) you make the most of the money you put into building your brand.
How Can Elinae Help?
Develop (re)branding strategies that better connect with existing clients and prospects. Our Branding Program can help your company stand out from the competition and build a brand that drives sustained growth.