06 Oct Your logo is wack, and here’s why…
Your logo is wack and it’s not for the reason you think?
The title is a bit harsh, but I needed to make a point. And most likely not the point you are thinking about. I DO think there are a lot of bad looking logos out there. However, I am not saying your logo is wack solely based on aesthetic. Keep reading for some context…
So You’ve got this shiny new logo and paid a pretty penny for it. You are ready to launch your new business. So you add the logo to your facebook page, twitter, and even launch it on your brand new Instagram’s account. I mean after all this was the missing piece to your start-up, right? All you needed was the logo. But then nothing happens…
You may or may not be surprised by the scenario above. but, yet I get clients all the time who come to me for help with a new logo or branding and Quite often I hear “my logo isn’t working…”
How most people think a logo works…
- Potential Client sees pretty logo
- If it’s pretty enough they will get excited (positive emotional connection) and want to spend money or hire you because now that they have seen your logo they know exactly what you do…
- They spend money with you.
Unfortunately, this is rarely if ever how it goes. Almost no one has an initial positive emotional reaction to a logo even the business owner. Have you ever bought something solely on the logo alone? Maybe. Some of you are adventurous so you may have done this but most people don’t.
In the case of the business owner looking to get a logo, I see quite often the proprietor knows what they want the logo to look like in their mind but hasn’t thought through how this actually fits in with the overall brand beyond just a cool looking mark. This becomes a problem because without the context of branding I often hear “I’m just not feeling it…” iteration after iteration. Why? They haven’t developed memories for recall around that mark.
So why is your logo wack?
Well, some of the common themes I see are…
- This person/company has a bad or outdated logo
- The logo is low resolution, pixelated and not scalable
- The person or company thinks the logo is what makes the difference in their success.
- They don’t have consistent collaterals and touch-points for the company
- Their logo is fine, but they don’t understand the function of a logo in the brand
- No one knows who they are
For the sake of time and not writing a book I am going to focus primarily on the difference between logo and branding.
When we talk about logos we are talking about a simple mark that represents your company. For instance Nike’s Swoosh, Apple’s bitten apple, Mickey D’s Golden arches. Logos can have meaning, but they need the context of branding to function effectively. So what do we mean by branding? Well, branding is the sum total of all the experiences a customer or potential customer may have with your company.
Bare with me, I am working on my analogies but think of it like this…Your brand is a 100 person choir singing in unison and your logo sometimes steps out for a solo. The brand is much stronger and louder as a choir than it is as a solo artist (logo). If you get the analogy then my work is done. I’m going to assume you didn’t though. Ha!
Let’s use Apple as an example. Apple’s is a pretty popular brand these days. Their logo is the Macintosh Apple with a bite mark in it. The Apple computers logo symbolizes knowledge. In the Bible, Adam and Eve are tempted, by Satan, to taste the fruit from the tree of knowledge. This symbol is one of the oldest and most potent in Western mythology. Apple’s use of the logo works and is extremely powerful due to its connection to mythos and the bite, although added to distinguish from a cherry, because of its use in multiple mythological stories. Ultimately, The Apple logo symbolizes our use of their computers to obtain knowledge and, ideally, enlighten the human race. All that said, it’s got a lot of meaning but it’s just a simple mark and without branding elements there would be no context.
Apple’s branding its packaging, advertising, sponsorships, endorsements, Store layouts, uniforms, customer service, commercials, website, apps, photography, in-store experiences, UI, UX, phones and more. Anytime you come into contact with one of these things you have had a conscious or subconscious experience with Apple brand.
“I’m not Apple, so why should I care?” Well if you are in the business of making money, pushing a movement or building a long lasting campaign then it should matter. It should also matter that you and the agency you are working with to create your logo understands the difference between a logo and a brand. This is important because your customers don’t experience your company solely through a cool looking logo. Your customers experience your brand through various channels and media.
So how does a logo work for a company like Apple?
Well, It looks a little something like this…
- Potential customer/client sees logo
- If it is familiar to them it will evoke memories of the positive (or negative) experiences they may have had with Apple i.e. commercials, owning an iPhone, or being the cool kid with the newest apple watch on in junior high.
- These experiences trigger emotional responses which have established familiarity and trust with this brand and…
- Voila!! They are breaking bread buying the newest iPad every release.
Is all of this becoming clearer for you? Simply put, the logo is the visual reminder of all the experiences good or bad a customer or potential customer may have had with your brand (company).
So why is your logo wack?
Well quite frankly in most cases you haven’t created enough experiences or positive experiences with your customers. It also may just be a poorly designed logo. Side note: my company can help you out with that. Even it is a cool mark, you don’t have your rep built up enough. You just have this pretty logo floating out there in space somewhere waiting for people to see it amongst the million other stars.
Now let’s take a quick second to think about this from another angle. Have you ever had a really bad experience at a restaurant, store, etc? The restaurant menu was handwritten on balled up paper, There were no pictures on the menu, or the pics look nothing like what you actually received? Now ask yourself what does that logo mean to me now? Would the logo alone make me go back and spend money or participate or, is it merely a reminder of how they never got my order right?
All this is relative and experiences matter just as much if not more than a stand-alone logo. This means every touchpoint with your brand will create an experience.
Companies like Apple and Nike have spent years building their brands. They haven’t always got it right, but they have been massively successful by tuning in and understanding their customer. If you want to have an Apple-like brand or even if you just want to get more customers for your small business, you have to create experiences for your potential customers. This happens beyond the logo this happens by making sure the logo isn’t just a solo artist and has an accompanying choir.
Que the shameless plug:
All being said we’d love to design that fresh mark for you. However, when Soulo works with we want to go beyond the logo. We look at fonts, colours, style guides, advertising, website, experiences even strategies for engagement. It is our belief that these elements are essential to creating meaningful experiences with your customers in a day and age where paid attention is no longer sufficient.
Was this helpful? Ready to move your company beyond the logo and build your brand? Holla!