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A Logo is More than Just a Graphic
 

As you develop your marketing plan, you will naturally think about creating a logo for your company.

Before you make what could be a lasting and expensive decision, you should understand the role a logo plays in your marketing strategy. You also will want to understand what you should look for in a logo.

What is a logo and why do you need one?

You may see a logo as just an eye-catching graphic used to attract attention to your website, business card or letterhead. But it is so much more. A logo represents your company’s culture or philosophy. A logo is where your company identity starts. Think of it as the face of your organization. It is the graphical equivalent of your company’s name.

Your logo is one of the elements that will set you apart from your competition. It plays a key role in delivering your brand’s message. So take your time in making your selection, but don’t put it off until your business is up and running.

Before you approach a graphic designer, collect as much information about your audience as possible. What are their preferences and expectations?

Before you consider what image you want your company to portray, take a good look at your business sector and the competition. Gather samples of the logos of the market leaders and the competitors that are most like your company in size and market reach.

Share this information with the person who will design your logo.

Logo graphics: the shapes you might see used as graphical logos.

What makes a great logo?

A great logo has a strong, graphic representation. It can convey at a glance what your company is about and how you want the world to see you. In selecting a logo, you’re looking for just the right blend of color, style and symbolism.

The logo you pick should appeal to the demographic your business plans to serve. It should help you distinguish your business from the competition, while working with your colors, tagline and message to help you reach your ideal audience.

"A good logo and web design alone can make a business worth 10 times more," says Designer Daniel Will-Harris.


Aside from the idealized features of a logo, there are some functional factors to consider.

  • Stick with a simple logo; you don’t want it to be too complex or detailed.
  • The style of the logo should fit your business. Newer companies might choose more modern or high-tech logos, while businesses trying to evoke a nostalgic element, or suggest an enduring quality might strive for more traditional symbolism.
  • Don’t be afraid to be different. You want a logo that will make your business stand out.
  • The colors used in your logo should work well with the style of logo. Keep in mind that different colors evoke different emotions.
  • You want your logo to have longevity, so steer clear of designs that may become dated quickly.
  • Prefer vector images over bitmap ones formed from dots to make your logo scalable. It has look as good on a billboard as it does on your business card and website.
  • Finally, make sure it shows up well in black and white, so you can copy it or fax it.

Before you select a logo you can live with, study the logos of major companies. Try to determine what makes them memorable. Which ones really stand out? What do they tell you about the corporation they represent? Armed with this information, you should be able to make a great choice.

Once you make your decision, use your logo on all your marketing materials. This frequency of use will help you build name recognition and establish trust in the marketplace.

Marcia Ming
April 2008

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