Say for example you are starting your own business, an online bake shop. You picked this business because you love baking and what’s better than doing a hobby? Yes, it’s making a living out of your hobby because you’re getting the best of both worlds (cue in Hannah Montana!). Who doesn’t want that, right? And not only that, this kind of business has been steadily growing into a healthy community and it’s never bad – actually it’s also smart and gutsy – to take advantage of a trend. Because the thing is when something is trendy, it means that there is a large demand over that product but the catch is that there is also heavy competition accompanying it. And that means, in order to gain customers and keep them in, you need to set yourself apart.
There are two baby steps that you need to do to start making your name in the business. First, set off to make your unique menu – what are the products and services that you can offer? In any business, it’s not only important to have quality but also variety and creativity. Since there are a lot of shops that offer the same products that you do, you have to establish your unique taste in the market. Otherwise, you’re just another shop. People will come in just for a bite but never return to see what else is there because there are many other options.
Second step is to create your own distinctive logo. In simple terms, you have to put a face to the name. A face that captures everything that you want to say to your customers. A good logo does not directly drive the sales or automatically sets you high up apart from all the competition but it does give you a good start.
What is a logo and why is it important?
Logo in its simplest definition is the brand’s identity. It conveys the message of the brand, its mission and vision. It’s a simple image that brings life to your product and the brand. These are used primarily for advertising. According to studies, people register images faster than they do text so in a competitive market, you have to make that single image count.
A logo is important in business and advertising because it’s the first thing that grabs the attention of a potential customer. Continuing our online bake shop business narrative, you want to invite them to try your cookies (you can’t offer free taste!) so you have to pique their interest and make a good first impression to make them order your product.
As Paul Rand once said, “A logo doesn’t sell. It identifies.” You want people to remember your brand. You want them to think of you when people say baked goods.
Logos also communicate professionalism and trust. It’s like dressing for a job you really want to get. Your logo is your outfit and the job is your customer. You want to say that this is the quality of product that I am offering the market and you dress that part because as much as quality is what’s important, you can never discredit the power of appearance. In connection to that, your logo also bridges familiarity to your customers as it constantly pops up in all your advertising platforms. Familiarity gradually builds trust and then turns into loyalty. This is important in a business as it establishes your market. You want people to keep coming back. That is how you put your business in stability.
A logo also gives the business a legit vibe. It’s like that blue check next to your twitter account saying you’re verified. Or that profile picture that gives a face to a name. For example, that facebook account without a display picture makes it look sketchy but those who have display pictures give an impression of authenticity.
And lastly, your logo is the foundation of your visual brand. When you set-up your business, the logo dictates the theme of all your advertising strategies. You do that to establish consistency and familiarity of your brand to the market.
How do you design your logo?
There are a lot of things to consider when designing a logo but there are four characteristics that should be present in your logo.
First, your logo should be simple.
Simple designs can actually be more challenging than fancy ones because it takes so much understanding to put something in its simplest form.
Remember also that there are three different kinds of logos and you have to decide where to take your simplicity: the logoface or those logos with your brand name in it. This is a smart way of advertising as you don’t need to do extra effort in brand awareness because it’s literally the logo as well. But some opt for symbols to describe their brand. As the saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” The third kind is a combination of both.
To design a simple logo, you have to be able to immerse into the brand and encapsulate its ideology, inspiration, and personality. At the same time, you also have to gear it towards the brand’s target market. You’re tugging in two directions and you have to make them meet in the middle and achieve the perfect balance.
Second, your logo should be versatile.
There are a lot of things to consider in versatility. One factor is that it should be scalable. In other words, it should look good in all angles and sizes. Logos should be able to adapt across all mediums, from physical to digital. You have to imagine putting it into your packaging, in your business card, in the tshirt you will give as a souvenir on Christmas, on other merchandise. You need to make sure that it’s compatible in all advertising platforms that you would use – from your website to the different social media applications such as facebook, twitter, instagram, and pinterest. These are very different from each other and will require different proportions. If your logo doesn’t look impressive even in one platform, consider redesigning it because it has failed its purpose.
Aside from that, the logo should imbibe the feeling of belongingness in any platform you decide to put it on by using colors. This gives off the vibe that it is strongly tied to the community and also gives a sense of familiarity.
To be versatile, a logo should also be able to adopt minimal – meaning it should look as good in a non-colored version as well as in different tones. If putting variety into the logo makes it less appealing then it did not serve its purpose.
Third, your logo should have an impact.
When you say impact, it does not necessarily mean it has to be fancy. Again, logos should be kept simple but you have to put in boldness and uniqueness to it to make it stand out.Therefore you should think differently or out-of-the-box to make it stand out. But how do you make a simple logo… memorable? Note that simplicity does not always mean bland or easily forgotten. There are a lot of brands that brought impact with their simple logos like McDo with its distinct yellow M arch and Apple with its apple with a “byte”. And these brands have turned out successful in their respective niches!
Fourth and last, your logo should be relevant.
In order to strengthen your logo as the brand’s identity, it should also reflect the nature of the business. This does not mean though that you have to put in elements that directly identify to the line of work. For example for insurances, you don’t necessarily have to put dollar signs to make it look relevant. You just have to be able to connect it into the niche to convey your message.
But avoid putting relevant into the concept of trend. Your logo should be independent of trends rather it should first and foremost embrace the brand’s personality. Trends come and go but your logo should remain classic. Although there are certain perks in sticking to trends, these still do not justify the advantages of having a classic relevant to its purpose design.
In summary, your logo is the representation of your whole brand. It should be created with a lot of thought, time, and effort. If you think that a circle and a brand name is enough, then you’re doing it all wrong. Remember that a logo should also be meaningful but it does not get its meaning overnight. It’s something that you earn in accumulation over the years. It’s the quality of the products you deliver always bringing consistency and constantly reinventing. It’s the respect that you gain from the community you serve and the respect that they also give back to you. It’s the countless hours of hard work that you give to the business. And that’s what’s ultimately going to set you apart from everyone else.