“You had me at hello” — has that ever happened to you? The first firm handshake, the first, “Nice to meet you,” with a genuine smile and direct eye contact?
You had no doubt that this new acquaintance would be a solid friend, employee, vendor, client, or business partner (yes, a romantic interest could apply here — but we’re thinking a little more universally).
Likewise, your logo is your brand handshake with future clients and customers, and you want it to make a great first impression.
Going a step further, what was that person wearing? Did their manner of speaking, sense of humor, energy level, and ideas fit — not only with your first impression — but with your concept of what the nature and personality of a good friend or employee embodies?
And, as your relationship grew and you found out more about them, did that first impression carry through in a positive way? Slightly pushing the metaphor aside, that person gave you their logo first and then filled in the whole picture with their brand, and their brand story.
Most importantly, their brand story became part of yours. You couldn’t think of a time that they weren’t a part of your life.
Isn’t that exactly what you want your brand to be?
Your logo determines the first opinion of your brand. It’s the hello, and the handshake, that gives prospects and customers an idea of what you’re all about. If your brand story stands up to that initial impression, then your logo will prompt positive recognition every time consumers see it.
Plan for the Best Outcome: Tell Your Story
In order to create a logo that visually expresses the essence of your business or service and fits your style, it’s important to clarify your story. Once you have that, all of the pieces of your brand identity fall into place. A logo is crucial for the first and subsequent encounters but it isn’t the only thing you need to bring your brand to life.
Here are 5 key questions to answer that will help flesh out what makes your business unique and begin work on brand identity and management:
- Who is your customer? Be as specific as possible. If your audience is broad, try to target a core group.
- What does your customer need that you can provide?
- What makes you better than, or differentiates you from, your competitors?
- What is the personality of your business? It helps to think of your business as if it was a real person … outgoing? caring? detail-oriented? sensitive? creative? highly skilled? helpful?
- How will your product or service change someone’s life? And a sub-question: if someone chooses not to buy from you, what will they be missing?
Understanding your story is the basis for selecting a design style, appropriate colours, shapes, symbols, and typography that will identify and distinguish your brand through your logo and your marketing projects.
Your answers will also help clarify your company mission and values, define how business representatives speak to and serve your customers, determine staffing needs, and focus marketing efforts where your customers will see them and respond.
Examples of Memorable Logos
In 2002, Le Tour de France replaced its circular logo with the current logo, which has a fun, hand-drawn feel. If you look at the O, U, and R in Tour, you’ll see an image of a bicyclist on a bike formed by the letters. The yellow circle (front wheel of the bike) is reminiscent of the prized yellow jersey worn by the winner of each stage, which is another prominent symbol that helps tell the continuing story of the race.
Even if you don’t know the story behind its logo, Nike’s swoosh symbol is instantly recognisable worldwide. So much so, that the swoosh doesn’t need to be paired with the Nike name any longer. The swoosh is not a check-mark, but a representation of the wing of the Greek goddess of victory, Nike.
Starbucks’ twin-tailed mermaid, the siren, was based on a 16th-century Nordic woodcut. The company is named after Starbuck, the first mate in Moby-Dick. While the iconic illustration doesn’t tie directly to coffee or the company’s underlying mission of being good to people and the world, Starbucks’ consistent practices are now intertwined with her.
The Coca-Cola logo has never strayed far from the first depiction in Spencerian script, introduced in 1886. Then, their mission, vision, and values were not as extensive as they are now, but they’ve had a little time to work on answering the brand story questions.
Let’s get started!
When you’re ready to create or update your logo, our experts at Seedling Digital can help you tell your story and design a logo that personifies your brand at a glance.
Whether it be WordPress web design expertise, brilliant logo design, or cohesive brand design, you need to ensure you’re hiring a designer that meets your business’s needs.
Luckily, Seedling Digital offers all of the above services and more. Your focus should remain on your business. Your products and services should be your priority. Let the experts at Seedling Digital help shape your brand into what you’ve always known it to be.
Check out some of our available services or reach out to us to schedule a consultation to take the next big step for your up-and-coming business.