A common request for a branding designer to receive from a business owner.
“G’day Frank! Mate, we were referred to you by X Client after we saw you did a bit of work with them and we’ve also seen what you can do after having a squiz at your website. We’re in need of a new logo to be designed for our business, just to update our bits and pieces and shouldn’t be a big job. Are you free to help us?”
I think every designer since the advent of business practices in the ancient days of Egyptian pharaohs has probably had a similar request. I know I have and I’d bet my Mac Studio computer that one fellow branding person a day would receive this request somewhere in the world.
Of course, it’s a completely reasonable request as most will only see the logo as the key identifier when a competitor or other business changes its logo, prompting a change in their own business.
So the answer is “Absolutely, we can certainly design a logo for your business”. Be it for a fresh change, a point of growth, a new venture or you simply hate the basic logo you had made via an online logo generator.
And that’s usually where the conversation ends. The budget lands anywhere between $10 and $500. A pretty logo gets made… now what?
WHAT IMPACT DOES A LOGO MAKE?
Think about this (no matter if you’re a business owner or a branding person), how big of an impact does your logo really have on its own?
I’m talking just a logo, nothing else going with it apart from the product, service or the people that represent your business.
The impact a logo has on its own:
✅ Yep, it can help consumers easily recognise your business.
✅ And it might illustrate the personality or type of business you have.
(eg. you’re a plumber and you have a dripping tap in your logo — it’s a bit cliché but I’ve seen plenty of them)
So in many instances, a logo won’t or doesn’t need to communicate what you do.
See there’s not much value in just designing a logo on its own. Unless there is a solid brand already standing tall and the logo doesn’t align with it.
So yes it can be useful, but it can be more impactful!
HOW TO GIVE YOUR LOGO MORE IMPACT
When you approach a branding designer, most including me, is far more capable and considerate of giving you more than a logo. Because frankly, we know a logo is going to be of little to no value on its own. This might be why the $10 — $500 logo budget is what it is.
See, when we develop a logo we also consider creating it in combination with other captivating assets to amplify its impact.
Fonts & Typography
Those elements are your visual identity.
Now this person might be able to go a few steps further to help you develop:
Naming your business/products/services/events
Brand messaging (taglines, story, tone of voice)
Website & social media content
Additional brand experiences (menus, customer service, uniforms, apps, etc)
These assets give you a distinct advantage to captivate and connect with your consumers so that when your customer sees your logo, it now has some meaning.
If I could compare it more comically, it’s like seeing the bat symbol. If you saw it for the first time you’d have no idea what it meant or what a symbol that looks like a bat was doing being shone brightly in the sky. But if you’ve experienced Batman raining hellfire on you from above, you’ll know to haul ass if Gotham Police have you in your sights if you’re robbing a bank.
So if you’re savvy enough to see the impact these distinctive assets make on your business the value infinitely grows.
Colour helps you stand out over others and captivate attention.
Naming your business can set the tone for the type of brand you communicate.
Packaging and signage can signal to a consumer how premium, inviting, and interesting your brand is to choose you over others.
A website can deliver what a consumer needs, when they need it.
While every experience a consumer has amounts to the overall impression they have of you and influences what they say to others to spread the word about you.
This could and should be 10x (or more) the investment you make in developing an external Brand Identity — this is the term for your customer’s brand experience of the identity you externally communicate.
In other words, we’re building a brand that is going to be known for more than what you sell and your logo alone to captivate and connect with your consumers. That’s the goal of branding.
However, we’re missing a step, what influences these assets? How do we decide what colour, what name, how the packaging should look, what your tone of voice and story should be?
BUILDING UP FROM A FOUNDATION FIRST
When we develop a brand identity, the external visuals and message are what our consumers experience.
If we go a bit deeper, under the surface propping them up is a foundation for your Brand Identity. It can be based on your Brand Strategy for success and what informs your team’s Brand Direction and culture.
As for what goes into your foundation, you’ll be quite familiar with most of them:
Target market — who are the most viable target markets you want to connect with? Giving your team an understanding of who they need to connect with most.
Your goals — what are the objectives you need to hit and tactics to help us proactively hit them, so that you can successfully connect with your target money and make money? So your team knows what they need to work towards achieving.
Positioning — what do you want your brand to be known for most so that consumers think of you first? So your team knows what to lean into, to elicit consumer feedback/testimonials that reflects this.
Purpose — what do you get out of bed to achieve each day for your consumers beyond making money? Apurpose gives your team a direction to know why they’re doing what they’re doing.
Values — in addition to a purpose, what values do you stand for that represent what you offer, believe in and share with consumers? Keep it at 3 so everyone in the team remembers them and utilise purpose and values as the foundation for your team culture to hire, promote, reward and fire by.
Personality — what personality reflects the brand you want to be or reflects who you inherently are? Try keep this as genuine as possible and think about how it influences the voice, message and visuals you communicate.
There’s clearly a lot more going on here than logo design, huh? There’s some tremendous value if you see how it can be applied for the long and short-term success of your business.
Just imagine attracting and retaining a great team that knows what, how and why they do what they do and align with the success being achieved. It’d be a shed load more beneficial than a revolving door or staff that aren’t interested in what you’re working towards beyond them collecting a paycheck. Not to mention the cost (time, energy & money) of letting go/hiring new staff on your business requires.
What is that worth to your business? I’d say it’s likely to be the tune of 100–1000x more than $500, right?
What has the most impact on brand success?
To stand out, certain assets of your brand could have more impact than others.
For instance, consumers could recognise your brand colour long before they even see your logo.
Meaning that some elements that go into your brand identity are likely to outshine one another, including your logo.
While other brands, bigger or smaller, lean into the distinctive assets that work best for them.
See a logo might not be what makes the most lasting impact on your brand and consumers. Either initially or over time as your brand evolves.
If you’re not considering these things, how can you expect to know what success looks like and develop a sound identity that not only your consumers can be attracted to but you can be ridiculously proud of?
So if you haven’t considered:
What is your message?
What is the concept of your brand?
What direction your team is headed?
Who is your most viable target market?
What will you/it be called (naming)?
What is your team culture to influence your success?
What colours represent your brand to stand out?
How will your product/service be packaged/presented? and muuuuch much more
Can your logo communicate all these things? Realistically, no. As that is way too much to visually communicate and as I said before, it doesn't need to.
BUT! Your logo can become a conduit for your consumers to remember all these things they experience, hear about or have formed an opinion about your brand when they see that logo. When I see the McDonald’s Golden Arches, I think about taking my kids there for ice cream the same as my parents did as a treat after school on a Friday. It makes me recall their fries, burgers, fast service, their tagline “I’m lovin’ it”, brown paper packaging, and convenient drive-thru. It even makes me think back to having my 6th birthday party at McDonald’s and so much more.
Now do the Golden Arches look like a burger? Well, maybe 2 soggy fries. But of course not and it doesn’t need to.
So if we develop other assets AND establish the foundation those assets are influenced by, we have created a brand that can grow with your business as it evolves.
Which I gotta tell you, then gives your logo some kickass value, known as brand equity.
To market your business effectively and help your brand grow.
DID YOU FIND THIS VALUABLE?
This is why branding is not just designing a logo. Sure you get one, but from me, the value you invest (which as a heads up, is more than $500) to have a logo made comes with a tremendous amount of value in return when we develop more than your logo.
So if this has inspired the need for change in your business, embrace the value of the brand you have and you want to utilise it more effectively, say g’day today if you want to make more impact with a brand for your business.