A brand logo is ultimately a brand’s identity. See three stripes and we instantly recognize it as Adidas. The Golden Arches will brew a rumble in your stomach.
Some logos will signify quality, happiness, cool, a small icon which portrays ‘the best’. Many others won’t. Which is why getting your brand logo right and on point is absolutely essential.
It’s one of the first things to consider when building a brand and there are a million things to consider before sending a brief to your agency and the team behind making your brand instantly recognizable.
Here are the 10 questions you should ask before deciding on the right logo for your brand…
1. Does it tell us what we do?
A brand logo is ultimately a shortcut into understanding who the brand is and what they do.
For new business in particular a logo should be representative of what the brand does. You’ll find many great examples of this.
Colonel Sanders for example is wearing an apron in the KFL logo, clearly provoking thoughts of food. Vans have a logo that is the shape of a skateboard.
In the first instances of creating a logo, designing something which represents what you do can be incredibly useful, especially if your brand name doesn’t necessarily.
2. Does it represent our brand values?
When building a brand, a key part of that will be developing a company ethos and brand values in which every member of staff should adhere to.
It reflects how you as a brand look within the marketplace. This should be reflected within your logo.
The psychology behind the logo is huge and all major brands use aspects of this. The FedEx logo is a prime example of this, with the white arrow between the E and X signifying speed, directness and precision.
3. Where does our brand sit within a market?
It’s important to know where your brand will sit within a market before you even consider your logo.
High-end products have vastly different types of logo in comparison to low-end. Take fast food market and fine dining as an example.
Subway uses a bright logo and uses the New York subway as a benchmark to promote its fast food and on-the-go element to its food.
Tribeca Grill, owned by Robert De-Niro and an upmarket mainstay in New York on the other hand uses calligraphy within its logo, highlighting its sophistication.
4. Who does our brand appeal to?
One of the first questions a logo designer will ask will be regarding the demographic of your customers.
That will generally walk parallel to where your brand sits in the market and will hugely dictate how your logo looks and feels.
5. Is it unique?
Once you have a few ideas in place, you need to analyze whether your logo is unique enough. This is for all manner of reasons, although there are two predominant ones.
Firstly, you wouldn’t want consumers to confuse your brand with another one and secondly, you could be breaking all manner of copyright laws.
Formula 1 had a problem with this and many others have faced similar. Don’t become one of those, it’s costly and will significantly damage your brand.
6. Does it stand out among the crowd?
Designing a logo that stands out among competitors is a must, especially if you’re dealing with products.
Ask the questions to your designer about how you can outdo your competitor. If you’re a lawyers for example, what can you do with your logo to look more authoritative?
If you’re a fast food chain, how do you give off the impression you sell better burgers than Burger King? Your logo jumping out will go a long way to doing that.
7. Will it stand the test of time?
Of course, it’s difficult to know what will stand the test of time. Musicians make an album with the aim of it to be a positive influence on fans for generations. Many find themselves in bargain bins a few months later.
This applies to logos, too. They can look dated very quickly, particularly if you produce something that is very much just a fad of today.
Analyze the logos that have been around for decades. How have they stood the test of time? Usually they’re clean, crisp, simple and capture the brand and it’s ethos perfectly.
9. Will your logo identify your brand immediately?
A brand logo is used as the quick route to your brand name, what you do as a business and what you stand for.
Being unique and standing out from the crowd will certainly help with that, but there are also a number of other ways to make it instantly recognizable.
Tying in your logo to a name can be done in a number of ways. You can use initials or acronyms, just as the Golden Arches do, or a visualization such as Fairy Liquid.
9. Do your market research
Less of a question more a mandate that you put plans in place to ask your potential customers questions.
Study what they think of your brand logo, whether they would notice it among a busy marketplace and what information it tells them.
You’ll get a much clearer idea of how successful your logo and brand will be through this process than you ever would just passing it around a boardroom.