Why Investing in a Logo is Key to Startup Marketing Success Jason Byer | July 20th, 2016

Great companies know that to be successful you have to build trust with your audience through a consistent brand. Brands encourage trust by designing a consistent message in their graphics where the customer knows exactly what to expect. Its why a webpage, email or social post from a well known brand all visually fit nicely together and looks like something you would expect. The standard for your future brand starts with your logo.

Why Logos are Important

A logo will be seen by prospective customers, new employees and investors. Logos provide legitimacy to your idea by taking it from the abstract and creating something physical. Just as a company is more respected when the founders go from just the idea to a physical prototype of their product the same legitimacy is captured when you add a logo to your company name. The step of taking your company from the abstract to the physical using a logo provides a huge boost of confidence. If you feel like you’re a real company you will act like one regardless of how few employees and sales you have early on.

Every day we have the potential to be exposed to thousands of advertisements. Those are thousands of companies all competing for your prospect’s attention. Brand recall is the ability to recognize why a customer should pay attention to your company over your competitors in all the noise. The advertiser John Hegarty put it this way, “The first lesson of branding: memorability. It’s very difficult buying something you can’t remember”. How will you stand out amongst thousands of ad impressions and be remembered? It starts with a logo that summarizes what makes your business unique.  

Logos Make Brand Creation Easy

When a startup is trying to build a product, test the market and acquire customers not only is it difficult to spend time on a brand but often you’re not sure what that brand should look like early on. You may like many different aspects of competitors styles but are struggling to create your unique style. Logos help set the guidelines for building your initial brand so you can get back to building your company.

The process of creating a logo allows you to communicate to a designer high level aspects of your company vision. This could include your target audience, emotions you want to provoke and the companies you view as your competitors. The designer then uses colors, fonts, graphics and styles to create a visual description of your company.  

Once you have a logo it will be easy for anyone working on presentation materials or social profiles to know what is acceptable. The logo will provide clear direction on colors available to use, font styles and other triggers (fun/serious, innovative/stable). This consistency will help your brand to emerge.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

A good designer can communicate a lot of descriptions about your company in your logo. What main emotion do you want the logo to evoke that is important to your business model. For example everyone wants to be trusted but for an online reviews website trust is their highest priority because without it they don’t have a business.

Colors play a key role in communicating your messages logo. Red can promote energy and passion where blue symbolizes trust and stability. This infographic illustrates the psychology of colors and the message they communicate to your audience.

Logos are not Permanent

If all of this seems overwhelming early in your startup launch realize that the first logo does not need to stay with you forever. Look at many successful companies today and their first logos were often very different. Amazon.com’s current logo has an arrow from the letter A to the letter Z to show they carry everything from A to Z online. But they weren’t always a marketplace for everything. The initial logo and text was solely focused on just books and serves as an entrance into the market. Their logo underwent rebranding as Amazon evolved into the company it is today.  

Learning from Amazon’s example the important aspect of a logo is to design it for the customer target and strategy for today. When Jeff Bezos founded Amazon and focused on selling books it was simply a single channel to improve. He did not start on day one with the world’s online store and his logo reflected this focus.

Logos should be designed for where your business and the market you are in today. This logo style can last as long as your current business model. If you decide to pivot to a new business model or expand into a wider market you can update your logo to reflect that change.

Strong Logos = Success

The strength of logos depends on their ability to graphically portray the mission of the company. A creative logo designer will be able to articulate your business in a non-verbal manner that matches your description. If you can do this in a clear and compelling manner your startup is much closer to success.  


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