June 28, 2021

October 9, 2020

How important is it for your company to have a great logo?

Brand Identity

June 28, 2021

How important is it for your company to have a great logo?

Brand Identity
Good question. You’re not the first person to ask us this. The answer is that it depends.

In our experience, most people start by asking this question. It could be because they feel like they need a visual mark to represent their business. But, oftentimes, just having a great logo can only do so much for a brand. Here are some real-world business logo examples:

June 28, 2021

How important is it for your company to have a great logo?

Brand Identity
Good question. You’re not the first person to ask us this. The answer is that it depends.

In our experience, most people start by asking this question. It could be because they feel like they need a visual mark to represent their business. But, oftentimes, just having a great logo can only do so much for a brand. Here are some real-world business logo examples:

Capital One and Enron

Capital One’s logo was criticized as very bad when it debuted in 2008, but it is a highly trusted American bank, specializing in credit cards and loans. Its logo has not affected its reputation as a trustworthy company. Meanwhile, Enron’s logo was designed by Paul Rand, one of the most respected graphic designers ever, but that didn’t mean anything for the company’s reputation after it was cited as the largest auditing failure and the largest corporate bankruptcy in U.S. history at the time.

The point is, a logo is not what makes your brand, your brand is built on your reputation. Reputations are built on perception and actions. If you are considering having a business logo designed for a new venture or redesigning one for an existing business, we usually recommend investing in the entire brand to get the most impact. Doing so allows you to strategically plan for the business’s future goals and position it within the market. If a logo is the tip of an iceberg, the part you can actually see, brand is the larger sub-surface portion of that iceberg. It provides stability and holds it up.

Brand vs. Logo

So what is the difference between a brand and a logo? We wrote a whole blog about it, but here are the highlights.

A brand is your customers’ perception of your company, it’s their gut feeling about what you. A brand’s identity communicates your value and culture in various ways. It is a strategically united front communicating your unique perspective and approach within your market. Brand strategy defines how you do business with your customers and, in turn, shapes your business’s reputation from your customers’ perspective.

A logo is an icon that represents your brand. Your business logo design should be simple enough in design that it can be easily reproduced. It should say something about your brand while having the ability to take on more meaning and absorb more information as your brand grows.

The Nike swoosh logo is perhaps one of the most recognizable logos in the world, but it wasn’t always. The swoosh was created by a Portland State University student for $35, and until 1995 usually appeared with “Nike” written over it. By 1995, when Nike removed its name from the logo, it was recognizable enough to stand alone. Today, the Nike swoosh has grown with the company to carry even more meaning. The swoosh has taken on all of the meaning that comes along with everything Nike has produced and done over the years.

A logo is one piece of brand identity. Other pieces are colors, fonts, taglines and other icons that make up your brand’s full identity set.

Brand identity should accomplish a few things. It should:

  • Resonate with your ideal customers, not everyone
  • Feel authentic to the brand’s values, values that are unique to that organization
  • Carry consistency across many platforms
  • Have enough flexibility to adjust to many platforms

If your brand identity is checking all of these boxes, it can help you accomplish things, like:

  • Attract the right customers and employees
  • Make a great first impression and set expectations about what your brand is about
  • Differentiate your brand in competitive markets
  • Bring consistency to your brand’s look and feel; doing so builds trust

Ultimately, it’s up to you to determine whether investing in a brand for your company is right for your organization. Here are some questions to consider when deciding whether to invest in a brand identity:

1. Does your audience care? (customers and employees)

Could Costco’s logo and brand identity be better? Certainly, but do Costco shoppers care? Probably not. Costco is an established brand. Unless it is trying to solve a new problem, like not connecting with its ideal customers, a new logo will likely not do anything for it.

2. Is it going to appear on a lot of different marketing and business materials?

If you are going to spend $500,000 on print assets and promotional materials that have your logo on it, investing in having a great logo is a good idea. If it is only going to exist on your Facebook page, it’s not worth spending the time and money to have a first-class logo. The more touchpoints your logo appears on, the more important it is to have a great brand identity. Invest accordingly.

3. Is your competition investing in their Identity?

This is more about perception, but if your company logo design looks less polished than your competition, it is not good. After Target rolled out a new brand identity and started attracting more customers, Walmart was quick to update its identity.

4. Do your future growth plans include expanding to a size where this could matter in five or 10 years?

Sometimes it is better to get it right the first time. If you have aggressive growth plans, our advice is to invest in brand first to help propel your goals. If you do not plan to grow and expand much, a logo could be a fine solution for your current goals.

At Hardy, we help companies build their brands

We do this by effecting foundational changes to the organizations we work with. We start with brand strategy. Then, we develop versatile and authentic brand identities that support our customers’ needs as they work to achieve their business goals through brand execution, which includes marketing and advertising initiatives as well as anything else a company does to connect with its customers.

A good logo is just one piece of the brand pie. If you would like to learn more about brand strategy and the work we do to help businesses reach their goals, we would love to talk with you.

want to chat? give shane a ring

We’re always eager to talk branding with interested business owners.

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