When it comes to presenting your image to the public, one key marketing element is the logo. For companies like McDonald’s, the familiarity of the golden arches has drawn the attention of billions throughout the world. But, consider what would happen if they changed their logo. Would customers still frequent that establishment? Would they still trust their services?
Brand and logos work together to create your image, familiarizing you with both the quality of your services and products with the trust that your logo represents in the public eye. A logo does more than market your business; it represents what your brand does.
The relevance of your logo
To bring things into perspective, ask yourself how relevant your logo is to your brand image. Harvey Briggs stated that: “Logos are only relevant if you make them relevant.” A logo relies not only on clever design and ingenuity, but on your originality. When designing a logo, it needs to represent not only your brand, but include the quality of services or products you intend to provide for your clientele.
In addition to design, you further create the image for which your logo represents through the quality of your services and products. Your brand’s quality will carry over into your logo, which means that wherever your logo is placed, the quality of your brand carries over.
Hijacking your logo
This brings up the question of what should you do if you find a small, barely visible brand utilizing your logo as their own? Though the old saying that imitation is the highest form of flattery is highly noted amongst the social world, it isn’t very good when it comes to your business logo. If the other business performs poorly or presents a bad image, it will likely reflect on your brand image by association even if it is only on a small scale.
There are some questions to consider about this as well. How are they using it? Is it actually promoting you? Is the company even remotely similar to yours? Or do they operate in a completely different field of operations?
While there are occasionally accidents and coincidences, there are always those willing to take advantage of profiting from an already established brand image through their logo (not including parody). In these cases, it is necessary to protect your image by taking copyright and trademark measures. While these can be expensive, your brand’s image can suffer greatly from the image that another unrelated business is promoting through sub-quality efforts.
Additionally, Judy Gombita recommended that a brand should: “Make sure to prominently display the “history” of your logo on relevant sites, including rationale & modification over years.” This helps provide a definition of your logo and separate you from other businesses that attempt to utilize your logo as their own.
Mix things up
Your logo is defined by your business, and therefore represents your business. But, what happens when a company decides to change its logo? With that question in hand, you should ask what the image is that a brand wants to portray or endorse. Perhaps they are trying to “go green.” Changes in logos can lead to a series of unintended problems that one should consider well prior to such a significant change. John R. Bell gave well the warning: “Beware. The person who tires of an existing logo is often the marketer.” Many times, it isn’t the customer that has grown tired of the logo, it is the brand itself. When marketing strategies begin to taper off or the think-tank seems to have run dry, one choice has been to re-vamp or change a logo image. You logo should always relate to your brand, and customers should be able to make that connection.
Putting it in the right place
Brand placement also plays a role in how effective your logo and marketing efforts will be. The most important thing to remember is that context and timing are crucial to its effectiveness. Your main focus is to associate your brand with appropriate or related surroundings at the appropriate moment.
Put your brand in context. Don’t sidetrack or stray from your main purpose. At the end of a commercial, have you ever found yourself wondering what it was actually about? For the last thirty seconds, you’ve watched a series of unrelated cut scenes and at the end you catch a glimpse of a newly released pair of shoes. But, you’re still wondering who makes them and what they’re for. Context is very important to your brand placement.
On the other side of the coin, oversaturation of brand placement can be just as easily bad. Your task is to find balance between promoting your image and putting it in an environment that defines it. You are basically giving your customers an image that they can remember with little to no help from you.
Consider word of mouth marketing. When you talk, it’s good to talk about your business, but you need to relate it to something that clients are readily familiar with. If you have a commercial that only pertains to your brand, they will only familiarize your brand with your logos and images. But, the real task is to get them to familiarize your logo and brand with their daily lives and the things they interact with. You think of Starbucks when you see coffee and you get an image of the golden arches when you see a hamburger. This is basically relating your brand to the public.
A brand and logo work together to create the image your clientele sees whether or not they are doing business with you. Your business’ success relies on the efforts of a clever, original design and a brand with the quality to enforce.