A Professional Logo is Important for Your Business. Here's Why.
If you’re a small business and just starting out, chances are your logo probably stinks. That’s okay though! As a business owner, you’re probably not a graphic designer, and it seems frivolous to spend money on having a logo designed for you. After all, you have all sorts of costs to contend with. Having a “pretty little picture” made for your business just isn’t at the top of your list of priorities, but maybe it should be.
According to the Association for Psychological Science (APS): “Companies have been known to spend millions of dollars designing their corporate logos—for good reason. A bad logo design can doom a brand.”
Of course, for multinational companies, spending millions on a logo is a drop in the proverbial bucket. This doesn’t have to be the case for everyone though. Alexander Westgarth, CEO and Founder of Westgarth Wines wrote this for Forbes: “It is very much possible to have style without having a substantial budget. I did not have to spend a fortune to create a logo that translates the iconography of my industry into an icon in its own right.” He goes on to say that finding and refining an existing symbol that best represents your business will save you time and money.
It may be tempting to hand off your logo design to a family member or even a friend of a friend who knows a little something about a design program. Don’t. Spend the extra money and time working with professionals to get your logo designed. You need to work with people who will guide you to the right designs and not people who haphazardly throw designs together because they’re “cool” or “trending.” Professionals will also give you all the right file types for digital and print. They will make sure that your logo looks good no matter where or how you need to use it. You may end up paying more, but you’re paying for the experience and the knowledge those professionals have accrued over their years in school and working with other clients in the field.
That being said, why should you care about your logo? Why is it so important to create something so seemingly frivolous? And why does it need to be created with care?
Your logo is the face of your brand
Think of a company, and think of the image that best represents it. More than likely, you’re envisioning that company’s logo. The power of a logo lies in how many thoughts and ideas it is able to pack into a single image. Even your favorite sports teams have their logos plastered all over their helmets or their jerseys. In short, it’s the first thing people recognize about you.
Your logo represents your brand’s identity. It’s the face of your business. It represents your product, your staff, your online presence, and your physical presence (like your store). Most of all, it represents what customers can expect of you as a business. If you care about your logo, it shows, and customers will feel like you care about all the other things as well.
Your logo sets you apart from the competition
Drive down your local business strip and look at all the store fronts. Which ones are more attractive? Which ones aren’t? Better yet, which ones look like they have staying power? Which ones don’t? Chances are the pop-up shops with their flimsy signs and clip art logos come off to you as less attractive and will probably have less staying power. Meanwhile, the shops with the more professional logos and carefully curated storefronts probably come off to you as more attractive and have more staying power.
This type of snap judgment may be above a business-savvy store owner, but it isn’t above the average consumer. According to a 2011 report by Retail Customer Experience: “One-half of consumers (52 percent) have avoided a business because it looked dirty from the outside.” They also say that “Nearly all shoppers (95 percent) say that exterior appearance is important in their selection of a place to shop.”
Your logo conveys your message in a single image
First and foremost, a logo is an image. Whether it is an icon like Nike’s swoosh or the choice of script font like Coca-Cola, a logo is a picture that conveys an idea to a customer. What is your brand? Is it soft and approachable, with bright colors, and rounded shapes? Is it more corporate with a lot of white space and straight lines? Is it straight to the point with just text, or is there some sort of hidden meaning within your icon? These choices communicate your brand’s personality as well as what sort of relationship you want to establish with your customers.
Look at what Amazon accomplishes with its logo. As LogoGeek cleverly points out, Amazon has a smile beneath its name to “communicate the happiness of receiving something you’ve really wanted.” He goes on to point out that “the smile is also an arrow, connecting the A to Z, showing that they offer a wide range of products”
Your logo will help build brand recognition
Recall that a logo is the face of your brand. This means that your logo will be on everything: your storefront, your business cards, your advertising, et al. Which means that your logo is doing the leg work of representing your brand wherever it pops up. It becomes almost Pavlovian, in a way. The more often potential customers see your logo, the more they will associate it with your brand.
Think of your favorite food, and the restaurant where you can get that food probably comes to mind. Think of your favorite show, and you’ll probably also be thinking about the streaming service or television channel where you watch it. Think of a logo, and you’ll probably know one or two products that are sold by that brand.
Your logo will make you feel more established
There’s nothing quite like knowing that you, as a business owner, have something appealing and professional that represents you. From owning an attractive storefront to having a clean and expertly designed website, feeling established means feeling more secure.
A professionally designed logo lends itself to establishing good branding and good presence. When you look good, you feel good; so, when you see your logo out there in the wild, why wouldn’t you want it to look its best?
At the end of the day, a good logo can’t do anything about a bad business model. Businesses themselves still need to put in the time and effort to build respect and trust for their brand. What a good logo will do, however, is put your best face forward for your customers, set you apart from your competition, convey your message in a single image, build brand recognition, and make you feel more established.
Remember that a professional designer will be able to provide you more value for your money than an amateur. The years of experience really matter when creating something that is so integral to your brand.