For small businesses, every part of the marketing mix needs to speak to the question of the “why” of the brand. The “why” is basically the reason the company is in business, and the benefit of communicating such a story is that it has the ability to connect with the customer in way that promotes recall.
One part of the marketing mix which is often overlooked is the single distinctive symbol which embodies the “why”. It appears in every form of media, from printed publications and internal documents, to the website itself, thereby encouraging online engagement which leads to conversion. This symbol is the logo.
Because the logo is a physical representation of your brand, it should be carefully created by a skilled graphic designer and evaluated through focus groups, market-testing and social media analysis. While you may enjoy your logo, it’s important to keep in mind that the customer is the one who decides whether your logo is an icon or an eyesore.
Elements like color, typeface and graphics work together to give your logo meaning. Before you feature your logo across your website and marketing materials, make sure your logo conveys the right meaning.
What Color Says about your Small Business
Among the top 100 companies, the most popular logo colors are red, blue, black and gold or yellow. There’s a reason these colors dominate: They evoke positive feelings in customers, who then develop a positive association with the brand.
Red, popular among technology, food, and automobile companies, evokes feelings of passion and energy. Blue signifies security, dependability and peacefulness and is a top choice in healthcare, technology, finance, and airline industries. Black evokes prestige and sophistication and is common among clothing, cars, and airline companies. Yellow, common in the energy, home, and restaurant industries, evokes feelings of hope, warmth and creativity.
If you want to use multiple colors in your logo, it’s worth thinking about what they communicate when used together and how they look together when used in web- and print-based marketing materials. Your gold-and-green logo may look nice on your website and signify the sort of green optimism that’s perfect for your alternative energy company, but if the logo appears washed out or hard to read when printed on brown recycled paper business cards, you may want to tweak the colors.
What Font Communicates about your Small Business
Logo font plays a role in communicating tone and audience. While a cartoonish, curly font may be appropriate for a children’s product or a tea parlor, it would be a poor choice for a funeral home logo. Before you finalize your logo, think about how it will appear to your target audience in terms of color, font and design. Does your logo rely on overused or cliche symbols, like a globe? And if there’s a chance the audience could misconstrue your intent or confuse your logo with that of a better-known company, consider making logo changes.
Evaluating your logo’s impact
To help choose between logo designs, consider using a focus group composed of up to 10 people in your demographic. Develop a list of insightful questions that will help you evaluate logo impact. Avoid simple yes or no questions, since they will not tell you that much. Questions to consider include:
- Aesthetically, does this symbol embody what you are trying to express?
- What message does the font communicate?
- How would you improve upon the logo?
- Do you like or dislike the logo design? Why or why not?
While it may be hard to accept criticism of your logo, the feedback you receive from a focus group can be valuable. It can help you create a logo that speaks to customers and enhances brand credibility. Don’t try to guess what customers think when they see your logo. Ask them for input so you can be sure your logo is communicating the right message.