Creating a logo sounds easy, but many young entrepreneurs don’t realize that a logo is about more than just “looking cool” (although that’s always a plus). A company logo is, in a sense, the quintessence of everything a company stands for—business, customer service, quality, etc. The best logos are recognizable and let consumers know what to expect from a company right off the bat. Because logos are so important to the branding of a company, many startups actually change their logos from time to time. Although re-branding can be risky, sometimes logos need to change as the company changes. Even major companies such as Pepsi, Microsoft, Starbucks, and Apple have changed their logos as their businesses develop.
In other words, a company logo is something that should continually be analyzed whether you’re a rookie or in charge of a well-established company. Re-branding is not always recommended, but if you’re young and your company is still in the growing stages, don’t discount a new logo.
How to Create a Recognizable Logo
• Consider Your Target Customers
Your personal preferences should be put on the back burner when it comes to design. You want to make sure that your logo is appropriate for your target audience. For example, if you suspect that the large majority of your audience is teenagers, using the face of a mother might not be your best choice.
• Decide What Makes You Unique
If there is something about your company that is unique, try and tie that into your logo in some way. This will let people know right away why your company is different than all of that cookie cutter competition of yours. If you haven’t quite found your distinctiveness yet, create something! Think to the future and what you hope to be, and try and incorporate that in some way.
• Study Your Competition
You never want to have a logo too similar to the logo of your competition. Make sure that your logo is completely different than that of your competitors in terms of shape, color, and overall design. After all, the whole idea of a logo is to be able to recognize your company easily; not get confused.
• Ask for Opinions
Many companies ask their existing customers what they think of a few different logo templates. This way, you will get the opinion of people already interested in your company (and your customers will certainly feel honored). If you don’t have many customers just yet, seek advice from family and friends. You may see your idea one way, but sometimes it doesn’t come through quite as well when said aloud.
• Consider Your Company Name
Many companies have been very successful when adding their company name into the logo. This works best for companies with a shorter name, and is preferable to most. If your company isn’t too well established, having your name out there will be extremely important. If all you can get is a logo on the back of a T-Shirt, in a newspaper, or on a website, having your name within the logo will be crucial.
The general rule of thumb when it comes to logos is “the simpler the better.” You want people to be able to remember your logo, so lots of detail isn’t necessary. If no one in your company is an artist or particularly creative, you can actually hire design companies to help you draw up a few sketches.
Carol Grady is a writer and marketer for Calvin Klein Underwear retailer, Chonies. She has also written for various blogs and marketing communities giving small business advice to entrepreneurs looking to optimize their marketing strategies.