Updated: Jul 28
We all know that every business needs a logo and the overwhelming majority want this image to be something unique, something timeless and something that people will remember. How do we achieve these desired outcomes? Is there some science to it or plan to follow? There absolutely is; let's dive in!
The Market Expectation
In order to create a successful logo (the focal point of your brand image), you not only need an awesome graphic designer, but you need to understand what visual elements your target market is comfortable with. What are the people who are going to purchase your products or services used to seeing? Not only that, but what are they EXPECTING to see from you? First impressions are key when presenting your brand to the market. If the market is expecting fish and you show up with tri-tip, you’re going to be in a world of trouble!
If you’ve been following my postings, you’ll notice that in my last article, we touched on the importance of choosing the right colors for your brand, because different colors mean different things to your potential customers. Well, choosing the right visual elements to represent your brand is equally important! For instance, let’s say you’re starting a real estate firm; you will want to include some representation of a home or corporate structure (depending on what type of real estate you’re selling) in your logo. For an industry such as real estate, this is not optional! Any other focal imaging will miss the mark. Those looking to buy or sell their real estate will inadvertently (and often subconsciously) lose trust for your company.
If I decided to create a logo for my motorcycle shop that included an image of a car, I would be confusing my target market. They would walk into my shop and expect to find cars. Put lightly, they may be a little upset to find Harleys on the lot! If your brand imaging does not accurately represent your business’ operations, the result is loss of credibility, which, in return, results in loss of revenue! You not only need to give the people what they want, you need to give them what they expect.
Some of you may view what I’ve just revealed to you as a radical concept that limits your creativity. This is not the case! Think of it as a guideline to brand image creation. You will want to stay within the overall guidelines, but within those lines, you’re free to be as creative as you wish! This exercise may challenge your creativity and you may even need to seek the help of a professional such as myself, but I encourage you to do what is necessary to accurately determine what visual elements work best within your industry and to make them your own.
Strategy vs. Personal Preference
All too often I see business owners and entrepreneurs who are so in love with whatever logo concept they have come up with, that they fail to even consider doing any research on what is acceptable to the market they service. This is one of the biggest mistakes you could make as a business owner! Humility is important when establishing your brand image. You have to admit that you do not know everything and be open to either researching your industry, target market and competitors yourself or seeking the help of a professional to give you solid recommendations.
I worked with a gentleman once who wanted to use the colors red and yellow for the logo of his psychiatry practice. Coupled with the wrong colors, he wanted to use the image of the sun with some random object around it. I strongly advised against not only the color selection, but the visual elements, as the entire logo was simply missing the mark! Red is an agitating color and evokes anxiety and anger. The image of the sun is fine if you’re a breakfast restaurant serving up eggs, sausage and waffles, but most individuals who visit a psychiatry office need something neutral and calming, not bright and in your face. The logo concept that he came up with was exactly the opposite of what the industry called for and would likely agitate his already fragile client base.
My recommendations were that a more serene image be used with a combination of blue, green and grey. Visually, I suggested the logo incorporate a leaf, an RX symbol or the pharmacy symbol and that he should go with blue and gray for sure and only incorporate green if he were to choose the leaf as a visual element. I strongly believe that had he gone with my recommendations, that he would have seen a HUGE difference in not only the client type of his practice, but an increase in clients as well.
Being able to let go of your own personal preferences and embrace a strategic approach is not easy, but knowledge is power! I challenge you to do your research or reach out to me! There is no shortage of substandard logos out there, don’t let yours be one of them!
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