As a startup business, how do you come up with a logo that will stand out from the rest, and capture the imagination of your clients?

I learned about the value of a strong logo brand and how to create one while working in the marketing department of a large cosmetics company. There, the first step in creating a new perfume was oddly enough not the actual fragrance – instead, it was the logo brand! Only then, after finishing the logo design, did scent development begin. These savvy marketers knew that people buy the dream first — and the product second.

Although customers are surrounded by logos everywhere they turn, we can always differentiate, can’t we? Brand recognition brings a whole new level of value to your business. Become iconic enough, and you can even capitalize on making fun of your brand — like Gucci did with their new “Guccy”  sweatshirt — selling at $1,390 at Neiman Marcus!

When starting up, you need to carefully consider what kind of logo is going to help you succeed in your competitive marketplace. Start with these guidelines, and you’ll be on track to be an icon (as if you weren’t already).

Strive for Simplicity

In the last few years, company logos have become simple. The logic behind this move is that a logo with fewer details is easier to remember. There is even a new trend called Ecobranding, which is the simplification of logos to reduce printing ink, be more environmentally friendly, and save millions of dollars for brands like McDonald’s.

For instance, if you are operating a tech startup, you need to remember that the logo you choose will also be used as the icon at a tiny size for your mobile apps — thus, the simpler, the better.

Use the Power of Color

A bold and streamlined logo needs some influential colors to boost its marketing power. Many people don’t care about their color choices, opting to instead focus exclusively on their product offerings. From a design perspective, this is dangerous. As much as you need to focus on your product, you still need to keep in mind that your client’s perception will take place at an unconscious and emotional level — long before they can ever use and objectively review any product. Recent scientific studies discovered that 93% of buyers focus on visual appearance and 85% claim that color was their primary reason for purchase. The color you choose for the logo will therefore be incredibly important, as it needs to be a color that can communicate the feelings and emotions associated with your startup firm.

Don’t forget to consider your target market, as different cultures tend to have different color perceptions.

For instance, red is globally associated with passion. However, there are countries that associate this color with communism — not exactly the same message. Focus on consumer perceptions, and remember that your color palette needs to resonate with your company industry and product.

Identify Your Company & Industry

Although the design of your logo is vital, you need to ensure that it informs your customers what it is you actually do. Customers need to know the industry you are in, and the factors that drive your business.

Make sure the image you choose for your logo makes sense, and communicates your mission or product clearly. Dropbox’s logo has a box in it, which communicates the idea of storing things. Instagram’s is a camera, communicating the fact that this company mainly deals with images and videos. Creating a logo is essential for your business, but so is telling the clients what it is that the startup does. Having a logo that is different from what you do will only serve to confuse people. You could even risk clients not noticing your products altogether if they confuse the logo with something else! This often happens when people focus on the letters of their company name and try to make them into some form of logo design. Instead, focus on your visual message and get that right first. When you speak to benefits you are offering customers, your logo will be magnetic and classic, surviving over time.

Make Your New Logo Timeless

When you are considering design, don’t forget to consider the timeless nature of your logo. Don’t just think about your present needs — think whether this logo will still be appealing 20 or 30 years after it has been launched.

Although you could make some variations in the future, you ought to make certain that the logo maintains the original concept. It therefore has to remain recognizable as the years pass by. For this to happen, you need to come up with a great design from the get-go.

A good example of such a logo would be those of the Target and Dayton’s chain store. This is a logo that has undergone numerous changes over the years but has remained noticeable, and relevant, to their target demographics. The Target stores logo was created in 1962 and has evolved to keep up with design trends — but is always a bull’s eye.

Ensure Your Brand Identity Remains Consistent

Target also exemplifies logo consistency throughout their stores, products, website, social media and press, which is an essential strategy. Make sure your company’s visual identity gets incorporated into all the aspects of your startup; a good brand ought to be able to maintain a style that is coherent.

The identity of your startup is an important asset to the business. You need to use the visual aspects of the company logo to represent its core mission, communicate with your target demographic, and establish your brand within the industry. First impressions always count — so make sure your logo leaves great one.


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