Ok, I have to admit something that I probably should not say too loudly, primarily because my clients pay me to create logos for them.... but asking for a new logo might just be a call for help... might be a subconscious distress call for something more systemic and problematic with your business.
Don't get me wrong, a strong logo adds value to your business perceptually, but there is a strong argument to be made that the logo is also just a superficial facade of a more necessary brand enhancement.
Take Brandi, a client of mine (made up name). She came to me last week and said “we need a new logo". It turns out after some intense discussion that her issues go much deeper than a new logo.
What I often find is that a large majority of the time, a request for a new logo is actually a subconscious demand for something else entirely. Perhaps, even a signal that there is something that needs unearthing in the structure and competency of their business. And while the artiste in me loves creating new logos, after a deeper dive, I usually find that there is something much more inherently deeper that is the issue, i.e. marketing standards are out of date, social media reach is struggling, frustrations with their overall branding in general...on and on I can go.
But I can confidently argue that 99% of the time, the logo is the least of their issues, and I quickly adjust the conversation directing it towards their branding and marketing and the plan they have around that.
Before I continue and piss some of you off that just spent thousands on a new logo, hear me say this loud and clear - A LOGO IS IMPORTANT, it should align with the rest of your branding, you know what they say about first impressions… yada yada yada, but your logo is just a singular element of the larger brand, and if your branding and/or marketing is suffering, what use is a strong logo?
So, to recap… Your logo is an individual and visual cue representing your brand. Think of it as part of your wardrobe. Just because you prefer to wear jeans and a t-shirt most days (especially now working from home) those garments are not inherently WHO you are.
Your brand on the other hand embodies a comprehensive statement and philosophy around what, who, and why your business exists. The basic tenets of branding [your business] include: your tagline, mission, vision, values, story, voice, tone, AND logo. In essence, serves as your catalyst and barometer for internal and external decisions about how you operate and why people would do business with you and your brand.
Let’s use real-world examples for a moment to further explore this because I can feel the heat in the room rising. When you see the NIKE logo, and all things being equal, had never heard of them before, would you know exactly what they do in their business? I think not.
My new logo for Sprout Connectors - it’s gorgeous, clean, modern, simple - yet we have not officially launched the new brand. Would you know what it means by simply looking at the logo, would you know that we are visual intuitives that use digital assets to help brands scale and profitably use social media with efficacy and connection? I think not.
Your [potential] customers will never do business with you because they love your logo. Subconsciously they might be curious and attracted to it, but their purchase psychology will NEVER be driven by the aesthetic of how it looks. NEVER EVER.
Or to drive my garment selection even further - if you are married or dating someone that you really love - do you truly think they are with you because of how you dress?
So, understand all of this, how can you properly and clearly first create a brand that defines your core values and includes a nice looking logo representative of what you stand for? It all starts with an introspective discovery of your core values, your arete, clearly and succinctly defining what problem you are solving for the customers that will be paying you for your service and setting out to establish processes and procedures that clearly address your solution and at the same time provide an experience for your customer that is better than they could get anywhere else.
Your logo is just a participle of the princess - not the end result.
Back to Your Branding
1 - Involve all key stakeholders in the Discovery. To borrow a team sport analogy, you are only as strong as your weakest member. If Jed from Operations is not on board with your rebranding of customer service and Jed is managing customer service, then you will very shortly have a problem with client retention.
It is important to understand the marketplace. There are a lot of innovative people doing innovative things, when you understand this, use it to your advantage to offer something that could also be unique and solve a problem for your customers, or seek to do it better than your competition.
The objective is to always understand your brand and define what makes it different and then tell that story.
4 - Make sure EVERYONE on your team is on the same page (referencing Jed above).
5 - Clearly define what works and what is broken. Set about to improve, streamline, that which works and resolve the problems of that which is broken.
I should note these same steps work for a rebrand too. At some point as your business grows, you will need to consider updating your brand - this is normal Running a business is an iterative activity and never stops. If this sounds like your current position consider these elements above before you undertake a rebranding exercise.
Does this blog resonate with you? Maybe you're going through a branding struggle or even struggling with what your mission is as a brand? If so, we'd love to have a deeper conversation with you about your brand and give an "outside looking in perspective". Hit the button below and let's talk!