When starting up a new enterprise, one of the first things you are forced into thinking about is your logo. For most businesses, a logo is an essential part of your marketing toolkit. It will be on your website, your business cards, and will hopefully be printed alongside any articles written about you in the press (trade or otherwise) but do you need to spend a fortune having a logo designed by a professional? Surely something knocked up in Word or Publisher will do the same job and will cost a lot less.
So does a small business need a “brand” or is that only for the Coca-Cola’s and Apple’s of this world? The answer is if your business has a name, it already has a brand, so it’s worth spending a little bit of time making sure it is working hard for you. We’re always told: “never judge a book by its cover”, and I expect most people would like to think that they don’t. But there is a good reason why publishers spend a lot of money on the design of their book covers.
From a marketing point of view, your logo is the front cover of your book. If a potential customer has never heard of you, their first impression of your business will be taken from the logo. When people tell me that a logo doesn’t matter, I ask questions like “would Harrods have the reputation it has if it’s logo was written in Comic Sans?”, “would Coca Cola have the following it has if it’s logo was written in Courier?”. A logo alone does not make a company, but for the same reason that you would tidy up your shop and lay products out attractively to entice customers to buy, a good logo entices people to come to your business in the first place.
Investing in a good logo is like Andy Murray spending hours and hours practising his serve – it won’t win him the match but it’ll give him the best opportunity to win the point. Sprinters practice their start off the blocks, swimmers practice their dives; there are so many analogies from the world of sport, and it all comes down to the same thing: if you have something that will help get you a opportunity, why would you waste it? So often I hear people say that they are not influenced by branding, and the product they manufacture is so much more important, and I’m always keen to stress that this is true in the sense that your logo is worthless if your product is not worth buying. But a logo is a weapon in your sales and marketing arsenal and, as in battle, one small opportunity can mean the difference between success and failure.
By Rosalind Conkie, Marketing and PR Consultant