In a society where logos have grown to represent many things, it appears as if a logo is the most important part of a brand. Whenever big companies flash their brand mark, it might look like advertising is simply slapping the logo on the right stuff. But, it’s not the logo that brings value to the products. It’s actually the other way around.
A Logo Belongs to a Brand
Brands are made up of tactile and visual elements that are brought together, creating something memorable and recognizable. Elements of a brand include voice, imagery, fonts, in-store experiences, online experiences, colors, products, and a persona. Any form of a brand that appeals to the senses, is part of the brand experience (i.e. taste, sound, vision, touch…).
Walking into a restaurant, or using an app, are both forms of brand experiences. They might be different in what needs they solve for the customer, but they can also work together.
2 Major Things Give A Logo Value
A good logo is backed by great customer experiences. For example, let’s say we have an imaginary coffee shop called The Lofty Café. They are a cute coffee shop with a comfy, modern space for customers. A great logo in and of itself is not going to help The Lofty Café sell coffee, because it’s only a small representation of something bigger.
Therefore, The Lofty Café should have amazing, tasty, coffee to become a success. That doesn’t mean the logo is brushed to the side, however. The logo helps people recall how amazing the coffee was, and maybe how cool the interior was too. Therefore, it gets a positive emotional response from people. That’s when logos do their job, and are most effective.
Now, imagine that a few people have never heard of The Lofty Café. They’re new to town, and they just so happen to be driving past the café. Those newcomers may have no initial reaction to seeing The Lofty Café’s logo, because it’s unfamiliar to them. There is nothing to associate it with (positive or negative). This is their first moment of exposure to that brand. This is where marketing comes to the rescue.
Marketing is powerful, because it’s building trust with the customer. Marketers use this strategic communication to tell customers exactly why they should be using their company or brand. Many people’s first experience with a brand, might have been through an advertisement. With time and repetition, people will recognize the logo because of the messaging behind it.
Logos Rarely Speak For Themselves
It’s rare that a startup company has a logo that makes sense to the viewer right away. Younger brands have to work a lot harder at getting attention, and helping people understand the message behind it. Older brands are in luck, because they don’t have to put in as much effort.
For example, big companies like Google, Disney, and McDonalds have been around long enough to tell people what their company is all about. People have experienced their products, services, and brand many times over. They’ve reached the point where they can display their logo, without the company name! And people will still recognize what the brand is.
Again, the logo didn’t accomplish all of that. Everything surrounding the logo did, and the logo represented it all in the simplest, and clearest way.
The next time you see logo or emblem floating out there by itself, you’ll know that it took time and effort for it to stand alone. Good brands elements work together to make a logo powerful.
As a hint, if you’re looking to brand or re-brand your company, try developing the other elements first. Once the vision, mission, market, and visual looks are established, sometimes making the logo last becomes the finishing touch.
What do you think is the most important part of a brand?