The Importance of Logos (and Why Your Business Needs One)

When you’re on the cusp of starting a new business, pursuing a passion project, or testing a concept, you may not think much about designing a logo.

And that makes sense considering all the other things you have to figure out, including what to call your new business, how it’ll operate, when you’ll find the time to do it, and so on.

As you inch closer to launching, the need for a logo will likely pop up, especially if you’re designing a website or business cards.

Even still, you might be thinking, can I put it off a little longer? How important is a logo, anyway?

Here’s the thing: 

Putting a visual on what you’re doing brings your idea to life and communicates it in away that words can’t. 

And while delivering a fantastic product or service is your top priority, you can think of a logo as a support system, helping you gain visibility, trust, and goodwill.

Need more convincing? Here’s why a logo is important for small businesses, especially early-stage ones!

It gives your company an identity.

The famous designer Paul Rand wrote, “a logo doesn’t sell (directly), it identifies.”

Let’s reiterate — the number one purpose a logo serves is to give your business (or organization, group, team, etc.) an identity.

Think about how most people will interact with your company for the first time. Whether it’s through your website, a social media channel, a business card, or a booth at a conference, you want to make a positive first impression — and it’s hard to do this with words alone.

By giving your company a mark that fits into spaces both large and small, you’re strengthening your business name (and overall brand) and providing a visual to your target audience. You’re saying “hi” without being pushy or obnoxious.

That’s not to say your logo has to explicitly identify what you do or sell — for example, if you’re a finance company, you don’t need to include dollar signs or piggy banks in your logo.

But what your logo does need to do is communicate your brand attributes (and personality!)using visual cues like colors, fonts, symbols, shapes, and slogans. And itneeds to do it in a way that’s simple, straightforward, and adaptable across mediums.

It makes your brand stickier.

How many times have you forgotten the name of something, but can describe how it looks? In a world where people interact with hundreds of brands a day, you have milliseconds to capture someone’s attention and stand out.

A distinctive logo makes your brand (and business) easier to recall because humans are wired to identify images and use them to derive meaning and stories.

According to Optimal Targeting, our brain processes visuals 60,000x faster than text, and people remember 80% of images (versus 20%)

You can see this visual recall in action when you look at the results of this experiment, where 156 people were asked to draw ten iconic logos from memory, including Ikea and Burger King. While the resultsvary widely, most people do a good job capturing aspects of these logos,especially brand colours.

When you’re designing a logo, think of the person who might see it on a sign, a social media ad, an event poster, or a sticker on a laptop — and then think about how you want them to remember it.

It communicates professionalism and builds trust.

When you’re starting a new business, it can be a challenge to get others— be it customers, vendors, or investors — to trust you. That’s why it helps to take the old-school advice of “dressing for the job you want.”

Before a person tries your product or service, they assess appearance.Think about if you visit a mediocre website or get handed a business card that looks dated. It doesn’t instil trust or confidence, does it? You’re probably not going to jump to purchase something or contact someone for more information.

In contrast, a strong brand can inspire someone who doesn’t know anything about your business to start to gain trust and interest in what you deliver. It can also help build loyalty over time, as your business grows and gains fans — you need only think of your favourite coffee shop logo and how seeing it on a someone’s cup in the morning makes you feel.

By designing a great logo and putting it on your website and other customer-facing materials, you can immediately convey that you mean business.And because 70% of companies say it’s cheaper to retain a customer than acquire a newone, the more you can do to build trust, the stronger your business will be.

Starting a business or big project is hard. And as mentioned above, it can be a challenge to persuade someone to take a chance on you — especially when

you when you’re not always 100% sure you have what it takes.

Because of the sheer number of obstacles to overcome when starting a business, it can be hard to feel confident in what you’re doing. So many unknowns! So many things to learn!

 Though it sounds superficial, a logo can help with that. It makes whatyou’re doing (or trying to do) more tangible and gives you something to build on.

When you send out an email to a supplier, submit a proposal to a client,or start that crowd funding campaign, your logo will subliminally send the message, “I’ve invested the time and energy into this project. It’s real. It’shappening!”

And it might be a stretch, but if you believe the effects of clothing on cognitive processes, it may even help to get your logo printed on a shirt and wear it whenever you need a confidence boost.

It provides a foundation for your visual brand.  

After you’ve designed a logo, you can confidently move on to other visual branding decisions because you’ll have chosen some key colors and fonts.When you buy a logo, you’ll usually get a set of brand guidelines that explain what your logo consists of and how it should be use don different applications. This codified set of guide lines helps you build visual consistency (and brand memorability) as you grow your business and hire others to create assets for you.

Even if your logo doesn’t have a type face that can be applied to headings or body copy, the style of your logo and font (e.g. sans serif,script, futuristic) will give you a basis for making those decisions. (Psst…Looka’s Enterprise Package includes brand guidelines to guide your future branding efforts.)

It helps you create online and offline branded assets.

 The amount of to-do list items to tick off when you’re launching abusiness is daunting. Typical among them is “finish the website,” “get businesscards,” and “start a Facebook page.”

These to-do items can easily get stalled or put on the backburner if you don’t have a logo. But remember: even if you’re launching the most basic of“Coming Soon” pages, a logo will put a professional stamp on what you’re doing and let you move on to other tasks.

In other words, by investing in a logo you love, you’ll be able to check off the essential marketing to-dos, choose the other branded applications that make the most sense for your business — and then create or outsource them accordingly.

It gives you something to put meaning into overtime.

As famous logo designer Michael Beirut points out, you have to think of logos as “empty vessels…and then you pour meaning into them.”

Even a super attractive logo doesn’t have meaning right away — it’s something that’ll grow stronger and more impactful as you gain the respect ofusers and customers over time.

To get started, do your research, consider multiple options, and think about the brand attributes you want to be known for (check out our ultimate guide to logo design for more details).

Then start brain storming the awesome logo you’re going to create!

Why A Logo Is Important

When you’re considering all of the factors that go into building a business, creating a logo might not seem like a top priority. But it should be!

“Maybe I don’t even need a logo at all,” a little voice is whispering in the back of your mind.

Don’t listen to that voice; he couldn’t be more wrong.   Your logo is an integral part of making your brand a successful one – right up there with having high-quality products and positive referrals.

So, if you don’tknow just why a logo is so important – then read on to find out why.“A strong logo is the beginning of your company’s branding
and conveys your business’s vision.”

1. Grabs Attention

Attention spans are short these days – especially consumers.

As things stand, companies have about 2 seconds to convince potential customers that their products are worth any consideration.

Enter: Your logo.

A logo can quickly grab viewers’ attention and communicate a company’s core values in an interesting way. That short attention span – you know, the one that causes consumers to judge your business by its appearance – can work to your advantage, if you have a solid logo to speak for your company.  

“Most viewers take less than three seconds to scan
a full web-page and form their first impressions.
The next thing they look for?  A company’s logo.”

2. Makes a Strong First Impression

You have one chance to get this right.

A logo is a company’s first introduction to consumers. If designed well,it can pique the interest of the public and invite them to learn more about the company; if not, you’ve just alienated a potential customer base and basically tanked your business.

(We’re kidding – sort of.)

This first impression is your way to immediately communicate ownership over the product(s) you sellor niche you dominate.

Do you offer women’s basketballs with an enhanced grip? Is your financial advice particularly helpful for solopreneurs? Your logo introduces your company as an authority in your professional space from the get-go.

3. It’s the Foundation of Your Brand Identity

Successful branding is about telling a story that will influence customers’ emotions – plain and simple.  

And, while it’s true that logo designis only a part of a company’s brand, it serves as the foundation for the entire narrative on which the brand is built.

Colours, tones, fonts – all of this is determined by the story you’re trying to tell, and your logo sets the stage for this story.

These elements will later translate from your logo onto all of your branding materials –letterheads, business cards, landing pages, you name it – creating a concrete,marketable brand identity.  

4. Visual = Memorable

Your logo leads the horse (your audience) to water (your company).

Logos are a point of identification;they’re the symbol that customers use to recognize your brand. Ideally, you’ll want people to instantly connect the sight of your logo with the memory of whatyour company does – and, more importantly, how it makes them feel.

Because a good logo is a visual,a esthetically pleasing element, it triggers positive recall about your brand that the name of your company alone might not.

And, if we’re all being honest, some of your audience will likely forget the name of yourbusiness (don’t take it personally – it’s human nature), but they’ll immediately associate your logo with their memories of your brand.

5. Separates You from Competition

Dare to be different with your logo,because your company logo tells consumers why your business is unique. Sure,maybe there are 50 other coffee shops in your city, but yours is the only one that’s committed to sustainability, and your green, earthy logo drives that message home.

A well-designed company logo can communicate everything from the company’s background (professional, relaxed, fun) to their mission(entertainment, efficiency, and innovation) through the right icon or proper font.

In other words, your logo is the forum to both convey your values and show consumers why you’re not like your competitors – you’re better.

6. Fosters Brand Loyalty

Say it with me: Consumers crave consistency.

As your brand grows, your logo is going to become more familiar to awide range of consumers, and this familiarity creates the perception that you’re trust worthy and accessible.

Think about it: When you’re out shopping for work out gear and suddenly spot track pants with the Nike swoosh, you’re instantly ready to buy. Why? Because with Nike apparel, you know you’re in safe hands; Nike is a brand you trust. Trust is built on a well-designed logo, and brand loyalty is quick to follow.

Once they like you, your customers are going to seek you out again and again – and your logo is the thing they’ll look for first.

7 Your Audience Expects It

And, last but not least. 

Your logo is the first thing that your audience will look for when they see any communications from your brand. It should be front and center of all your marketing materials such as business cards, flyers, advertisements, etc.

If you don’t have a logo (and one that stands out), then you are missing an opportunity to make your business stick in the minds of your audience.

5 Characteristics of An Impactful Logo Design

At first, logo designing seems like a fairly simple skill to acquire. But, that’s only until you get started on designing one! As David Airey puts it in his book-Logo Design Love,

“Any one can design a logo, but not everyone can design the right logo”

A logo is not just an image, but also an introduction to a brand. And since first impressions matter, it is important to design a logo that inspires brand trust,loyalty and admiration. Here are 5 important characteristics of an impactful and effective logo design:

Original:


Imitation is the best form of flattery, however this is not the case when it comes to logo design. A good logo aids in creating a unique visual identity for a brand and helps it to stand out in a sea of competitors. While there is nothing wrong in taking a little design inspiration while creating a logo, it is important to push to be creative and as original as possible.

Relevant:


Sometimes, even the most beautiful and unique logos may not be successful. Why?Because they may not be appropriate for their intended audience. For example,using a playful, child-like font is great for a logo for a toys company, but for a bank? Not so much. Its important to research a brand’s mission, value sand its target audience before designing a logo – this will ensure that the logo is appropriate and effective for the brand.

Versatile:


From large banners and bill boards to something small like business cards and websites, typically a logo will be put to several uses. So it is important to create a scalable logo that is legible and maintains detail at all sizes. Also,a great logo is versatile in terms of color – it should look great in black and white, as well as in color as the contrast will help emphasize the idea. A few things to consider while designing a versatile logo are:

  • Will the logo look good in reverse color? (light logo on a dark background)
  • Will the logo be clear when sized to fit a postal stamp or favicon?
  • Will the logo be clear when sized to fit a billboard?
  • Will the logo be effective when it is printed in just one color?

 

 

Memorable:


Some logos are so iconic, that even toddlers can not only easily recall and recognize them but also figure out what the brand sells just by looking at the logo. This is exactly what a great logo is – memorable. Iconic logos in vokee motion and hence make a permanent impression in the minds of customers.

Timeless:


Keep away from trends while designing a logo. An effective logo is traditional and timeless, not trendy. While creating a visual brand identity, its important to ensure that its effectiveness is long lasting.

Conclusion

Finally, the K.I.S.S. (Keep it simple, stupid) approach is the way to go in logo design. Simple logos are incredibly effective, recognizable and versatile.

To summarize, here is a quote by Paul Rand, one of the world’s greatest designers:

“Alogo is a flag, a signature, an escutcheon, a street sign. A logo does not sell(directly), it identifies. A logo is rarely a description of a business. A logo derives meaning from the quality of the thing it symbolizes, not the other way around. A logo is less important than the product it signifies; what it represents is more important than what it looks like. The subject matter of alogo can be almost anything.”