Technology has caused an eye-opening, monumental shift in branding. For instance, an influencer sharing a brand message gets 561% more engagement as compared to that exact same message shared by a company. Now, before we rush our ways into searching for a path where a logo design fits into all this, let us break down what this statistic means.
One, the engagement is not entirely dependent on the influencer or a certain person, it is the technology – here, the platform on which the message has been shared, and the influencer’s previous social media activities resulting in self-thriving engagement. Secondly, a factor that results in lower engagement for companies, as compared to people, is that companies sharing a message fall into the category of direct marketing. Let’s get it out of the way: we all know every company is simply trying to sell their products/services to us; this resulting in a lack of trust was inevitable.
All of us, especially artists and entrepreneurs, have been asking the same question since the beginning of dawn, is branding a formula to popularity and success? Well, more yes than no. If not a promising path towards success, branding, at the very least is the beginning of a successful life and business. That is, simply because everyone craves authentic and familiar aspects of a person or brand. With a hint of aesthetics, of course.
How a Logo Design Plays a Role in the Success of a Company
If you were to take a crash course in steps to branding, the first tool you would come across is a logo. However, the first dilemma you would go through is the confusion between branding and logo designing. Thus, as we move ahead into implementing a logo design graphic with branding, I suggest getting a crystal clear understanding of what branding is and isn’t.
Read more: What Branding is Not
The First Impression Could Be the Last
The foremost reason why creators value a good logo design is its potential of becoming the first impression of a brand on people. For some, it is a simple mark. For others, it is a symbol that leaves an impression for decades. Indeed, it is a bit too much to put such reliability on a piece of design that might end up becoming one of an icon on people’s phones. Nonetheless, the Gap controversy proves otherwise; more on that later.
Crystal Ball for Everyone
The quality of your products/services could triumph a bad press, bad design, and even a bad logo. But, wait, that is when you could get customers to see your company only for its products/services. And paradoxically, logos have been acting as a gateway for both companies and customers. For companies, a logo is how they plan to represent themselves. Whereas, for customers, it is a point of measurement concerning a company’s overall UI and UX.
With that being considered, can we depend on a logo design to comprise both the factors mentioned above and still act as a company’s symbol?
Relationship with Customers is the Key
While creators are so consumed with the idea of coming up with a logo design graphic that matches the company, company’s color palette, its overall design, and several other whatnots – which, I believe to be of utter importance, many creators forget an essential factor hidden in plain sight: the users. Creating a company logo for a company is only a part of the entire story. A logo design comes on your path to branding; thus, focusing on a brand more than your company is the gap that many creators fail to fill.
Yes, it is your logo, but it is meant to attract, invite, and influence customers. Thus, it is crucial to create a logo that reflects your company and reaches your customers.
Here’s what might come as a surprise (or not) to you: designing logos that cover both the aspects: a company and customers, has already been taken care of – if we understand the imperative principles of design in their entirety.
- Simplicity: The safest shot at creating a logo that gives the people (a.k.a. Potential customers) a clear and uncluttered sense of your company.
- Versatility: Your customer might want to use your logo on a t-shirt, a keychain, or as a background, which obviously benefits the company as well.
- Memorability: As it happens, customers only give a glance at your logo. And that shall be enough for them to remember and you to be memorable.
- Originality: Yes, you may think this goes without saying. However, here, originality does not simply mean a logo that is not copied. An original logo is what gives your customers a sense of refreshment, which they shall return for.
Read more: 5 Basic Design Principles to Follow
With the help of the above-mentioned factors, legendary design gurus, and free logo design apps, creating an efficient logo design that gives a wholesome significance to your branding is comprehensible. However, from logo to company, and from time to customer preferences, we all change – but do we prefer changes over the sense of familiarity?
Rebranding that Lasted for 7 Days ft. $100 Million
A company established as a result and solution to the simple problem: a man not finding fitting jeans, now has more than 2500 in the United States of America. The exact same company ‘wasted’ around $100 million in the name of rebranding, before going back to square one – quite literally.
From the right name, expressing how the company targets the gap between the silent generation and baby boomers, to the highly influencing ads and music. When it comes to branding, the company had it all. However, if it wasn’t for realizing their mistake, the company wouldn’t have recovered from giving up its blue, iconic logo.
To Blue or Not to Blue
In the year 1988, the company introduced the popular (for all right reasons) square navy blue and white logo. Fast forward to right before the holiday season of the year 2010, the company abruptly dropped a new logo which had the famous blue square now fading light blue to dark blue right off in the upper-right corner. It was not well received, to say the very least. This resulted in one of the fastest branding switcheroos as the company was forced to revert to the famous square logo in just 6 days.
Let’s presume the new logo in 2010 was well-designed, even then, it wasn’t well-thought. It is not a new concept for small, new businesses to name their companies under the name of a well-established organization. While that is not what happened here, Gap users had a hard time accepting it. The buying behavior of customers changed instantly as they assumed the new logo as a logo of a smaller, lesser-known company – just with the same name. However, these are the customers who saved (after damaging) the still-loved company, Gap.
From the design community to customers, for days the internet was angry and threw negative comments and memes. Nonetheless, it all led to the company understanding its mistakes. Of course, a company at that status should be far from crowdsourcing design.
Having said that, the Gap controversy does not define a rigidity of a logo. If anything, it demonstrates the importance of a logo in branding. As for the rebranding, while the world is truly changing, our approach to changing our identities varies from individual to individual, company to company, and logo to logo. All considering your customers and your brand at a well-maintained balance.
Besides having grown up in the design Industry, Christiaan has advised some of the world’s largest companies on their branding & packaging designs. Has been the resident judge for design awards, and has spoken at numerous global design & marketing events. Christiaan founded the London office of the award-winning Cartils agency, and has founded the DesignBro.com platform.