3 Mistakes Businesses Make With Their Logo
If you run a business, chances are you have a logo. This logo is often the first and last interaction your business has with a customer in the purchasing cycle. Whether they’re walking into your store, they view an advertisement, they take home something in a package, or they view your website – your logo says a lot about who you are.
What does your logo say about you?
Here are 3 mistakes many small business owners make with their logo.
Underestimating The Value Of A Logo
We see this one A LOT. It usually comes in the form of “I’ve been successful for 15 years, so my logo must be fine.” What if I told you that you could have been MORE successful, and that your logo was holding you back?
Bill Gates once said that “Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.”
Your logo is just one of several hundred things you need to do right to be successful. Look at it like a checklist. On that checklist, there are 1000 items that make a good business. Everything from hiring good staff and making a good product, to treating customers well and paying your suppliers on time. Making sure your store is clean, and your store hours reflect your customers peak shopping times is also important. There are 1000 things on this list. If you get most of the things on the checklist covered, you’ll probably be a successful business. If you miss most of the items, chances are you’ll fail.
That said, you can get 900 out of 1000 things right, and if your logo isn’t one of them, you’ll probably do OK. However, those that excel, will get as close to 1000 as humanly possible. If Tesla and Google scored 900 out of 1000, you can bet the CEO’s would be asking how the heck are they missing 100 items on the checklist!
On the flip side, you can have the best logo in the world, but if you only cross off 50 out of 1000 items on the good business checklist, you’ll still fail.
Don’t underestimate the value of your logo just because you’ve made some profit. Always look to improve.
Not Understanding The Purpose Of A Logo
Some business owners think the logo has to tell the whole story of a business. It doesn’t, nor should it. A good example is the logo with the giant purple “S”. Do you know that logo? Probably not, because I just made it up. It’s to illustrate that a giant yellow “M”, or the golden arches, is just a colourful letter. Without context, it means nothing.
Pepsi, Nike, BMW – if you didn’t know the product, the logo would mean nothing. It’s up to you, the business, to add meaning to a logo. It’s not for the logo to add meaning to your business. If you’re a bakery, you don’t need a baker, bread, or cake in your logo to make it meaningful.
So what is the purpose of a logo? There are several purposes. For the first, think Pavlov’s dog. Every time Pavlov would feed the dog, he’d ring a bell. Eventually the dog associated the bell with food to the point where Pavlov just had to ring the bell to get the dog to salivate.
What did the bell have to do with dog food? Absolutely nothing. Pavlov made the association – and a powerful one at that. If your customers enjoy your product or service, they will associate your logo with those feelings. Eventually, your logo will stand for quality, service – or whatever values your company has.
Another purpose is top-of-mind awareness. By having the same logo plastered on your store, packaging, advertising materials, you’re burning it in to people’s minds. Hopefully when they require your product or services you’ve built enough equity up there that they think of you.
All of this is only possible if you avoid the next mistake…
Making It Too Complex
Many logos are simply too complex to work properly. Simple is better. In fact, make it as simple as possible. Even just a word-mark if you can. If you’re the type of business that has too much detail in your logo, chances are you’re not being remembered. Too much detail is as good as not having a logo at all.
Here’s a simple way to test it: Have an employee outside your business asking people that have just left your store to describe your logo without looking. Ask them about the logo, colours, slogan, etc. See what they say.
By asking people that are leaving what they remember, you’ll get a good idea of how well your logo is working. These people should have the most vivid image of your logo – They just left your business!
Keep is simple. Don’t use 5 different fonts, with 300 different colours. You may think it’s a great work of art, or clever, or tells a great story – but none of that matters if it’s not doing what it’s supposed to do: being memorable.
Bonus Mistake: Not Thinking of Use
Lastly, one big issue we hear from business owners is about logo use. Maybe they had a cousin draw something on paper as their first logo. What they have found is that now that they have to apply it to their website, business cards, on jackets, etc – It may not be so easy to use. Having 300 colours in the logo really increases printing costs! Not having a vector graphic means putting it on apparel is hard and doesn’t look good!
A great logo should be forward thinking for all parts of your business.
A great logo can be simple AND tell a story.
A great logo should be memorable and something you’re proud of.
What does your logo say about you?
Contact us if you want to know what your logo is doing for you.