Most customers recognize a company by its logo before anything else. A logo doesn’t even need to have the company’s name in it to be effective.
Logos are powerful. Businesses use symbols to efficiently advertise without using words, hoping that, in an instant, a customer will know who the company is, what they do and what they stand for. But even though logos are often the most appealing part of a company, they only represent one part of a company’s branding.
In this post, we will discuss how logos are just as important for small businesses as they are to larger companies with established, powerful brands. We will work through the common speed bumps small business owners run into when using, creating or refreshing brand symbols. Finally, Uptimize wants to help small business owners and entrepreneurs, so we will discuss how to go about designing branding marks and help you up your marketing game with an effective and attractive logo that matches your business goals.
Amazing logos are possible
It’s easy to think of ten logos you know off the top of your head. These logos or icons (a piece of the logo) represent powerful branding because the symbols came into your mind in a second.
But effective and powerful brands are just as accessible to small businesses as they are to the biggest companies.
Most entrepreneurs or business owners are too busy working on building and growing their businesses to create a company symbol or work with a designer to make one for them. In other cases, business owners are juggling too many things to know how to approach creating their branding thoughtfully and strategically.
Small businesses can create compelling brands but must remember that making one is not checking another item off the to-do list because a logo is only one part of branding. A powerful brand is not just a symbol. A company’s name, colors (as discussed in our previous post Importance of Color), slogan and more come together to create a company’s brand.
Creating a powerful brand, including an amazing logo, starts with a clear strategic direction. Strategy involves analyzing what the company does, what it stands for, who its customers and competitors are, its location and much more. A marketing strategy gets everyone on the same page, driving toward the same goal, and a company icon is one piece that develops after a company makes a marketing strategy.
Businesses often get caught up in twinkling, slick and sparkly logos. Designers can do wonders with pictures and letters that make companies look top-notch. Most innovative companies want to create a symbol that instantly attracts customers or clients.
You may think the companies with polished and professional logos have the upper hand in marketing know-how or have it all figured out. You can undoubtedly watch, admire, study, analyze and learn from these businesses, but in the end, does the company you admire do what you do in the exact same market?
Your business’ position is unique. Do you remember your ultimate why? If not, go back and read our blog post Your Identity. Consider what makes you different. What makes you famous in your community? Your ultimate why makes up the backbone of your marketing strategy and eventually the building of your logo and colors.
The Biggest Drain
The most significant drain pulling entrepreneurs and small-businesses owners away from creating a powerful brand is usually the time commitment and resources. Unfortunately, most small-business teams will answer the call of daily operations and obligations before spending the time to organize a thoughtful approach to business and marketing decisions that work to grow the company.
Some businesses never start a marketing strategy because they are too busy or don’t know where to start. In a rush to get things done, one person uses an outdated logo, others use the wrong one, while another makes their own logo to suit their needs. This is the reality for many busy small-business owners.
Uptimize has several clients who have walked in our door, or Zoom window, for their first consultation, not knowing how to answer simple questions such as, do you know where your native files are, or do you have a high-res version of your logo?
For example, a company starts with a design and redesigns it a couple of times throughout the years. However, the logo was not updated in all the places it was used. It is hard to remember what you had for lunch, let alone all the places you have ever put your brand on something. Eventually, several different designs are floating around town, either on a pen you gave away in the first year of business, or the truck you never repainted.
Law firms are one example where Uptimize has seen logo confusion occur. A firm starts with two partners and then expands and adds more partners. In this case, the law firm redesigns the original logo to reflect the new partners. Unfortunately, they didn’t pass the news on to the team, or a team member simply didn’t like the new logo. Eventually, everyone’s email signatures are using different designs. In these cases, clients will start getting confused.
What boat are you in?
Is your business in the same boat? Here are some questions for you to consider:
- Can you accurately describe the colors or picture in your logo (Hex or RBG color codes)?
- Do you know where your native files are?
- Do you have a high-resolution file?
- Are you using the same logo all the time in all places, or do you have different versions you are using in different mediums?
Looking for a change?
When was the last time you updated your logo? Developing a marketing strategy and creating a powerful brand doesn’t just apply to new businesses.
Companies can change their branding and colors if they begin serving different customers, or the look becomes outdated. For example, Starbucks’ Siren and Zillow’s logos have evolved four times in 15 years. However, these companies take a strategic look before changing their designs since it will significantly impact their customers.
Naturally, our goals change with time and circumstances, but the overarching vision should stay the same. Therefore, changing designs shouldn’t come often. However, a change in circumstances may necessitate a logo redesign or refresh.
It’s okay to revisit, recreate or start all over with your marketing strategy. At the very least, it will organize your company, making your future marketing efforts more efficient and polished. You will also avoid wasting time tracking down the correct logos and money on advertising that isn’t consistent with your brand.
Stop the confusion and create a marketing strategy
Businesses of all types can get stuck putting off creating a marketing strategy, and this especially holds true for small businesses and entrepreneurs. The daily obligations of making business happen, paying bills and making money can put developing a powerful brand on the back burner.
Confusing messaging and duplicate logos begin to creep in without a well-organized and thoughtful approach to marketing—Hello, storage box of outdated company swag. Goodbye, Instagram account the company opened and never used. In these cases, marketing and advertising dollars are spent haphazardly, not knowing if the marketing efforts were successful or chasing after short-term impressions without long-term customer gain.
If you are up to your eyes in work, don’t know how to move forward or are tired of wasting money on ineffective marketing and advertising, take a step back and start outlining a marketing strategy that matches your business’s goals. This effort will put your company in a profitable position, give you actionable ways to succeed in marketing and create a powerful brand.
Building a solid brand through strategy is key to building a brand, and it is as vital for a small business as it is for big ones. If it seems overwhelming or out of reach, it is not. Uptimize is here to tell you there is hope.
Uptimize partners with small business owners to help them succeed. Our free consultations will help you assess where you are or simply answer any questions you might have. Book a free consult now. We’d love to talk to you! Book a consult.