Creating a strong brand identity for your small business significantly increases the power and effectiveness of all your marketing efforts. Think of the successful branding achieved by companies such as Apple, QuickBooks, and IMAX. Mention Apple and people immediately think cutting-edge technology and quality products. Bring up the subject of accounting software and QuickBooks comes to mind; QuickBooks has managed to create a business brand that identifies it within the very industry in which it operates. Likewise, IMAX is virtually synonymous with the cinema experience.
There are key elements and design principles to creating a logo and brand identity for your small business, such as using color effectively, careful logo design, and a focus on the customer experience you want identified with your company.
Creating Your Brand Identity
Ideally, defining the brand identity you want to create for your business precedes creating a logo and marketing materials. Once you choose a brand identity to foster, you then design a logo and all subsequent marketing materials to reinforce that identity for your company.
The first step then is to decide what experience you want customers to associate with your business. It might be superior quality products or services. It might be low prices. It might be outstanding personal customer service. Think of what your business offers customers or clients that makes you stand out as doing something better than your competitors. Then, design marketing materials to foster and reinforce that image. The totality of your brand identity encompasses your logo, website design, content you create, and advertising.
Key Design Elements for Creating a Great Logo
There are secrets to creating a great logo for your company. One of them is the psychology of color. A 2006 study in the Management Decision journal on the effects of color in marketing revealed that up to 90% of customers’ first impressions of products may be based solely on color. For example, the color red is often associated with excitement or passion, while blue is traditionally associated with superior competence. This is a key fact to keep in mind when designing your logo and company website. A financial services company will probably do better using colors in the blue spectrum rather than red.
In designing a good logo for your company, think simplicity. Consider the simple, but very distinctive, logos of companies such as McDonald’s and Coca-Cola. Simple logos are more easily recognizable from a distance, or when reproduced on lower-quality surfaces; think T-shirts.
Coca-Cola also illustrates how important font choice can be in creating a logo. The distinctive script is recognizable even when the letters aren’t so clear. Using a distinctive font for your company name is one way to make your logo and business more memorable.
The appearance of your logo should also be consistent with your company website design in regard to both color and general appearance. If your logo is flashy and upscale, your website design should echo the same look.
The keys to creating a strong brand are simplicity, appropriate color schemes, consistency in appearance and messaging, and a focus on your company’s uniquely appealing identity.