Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Small Business Marketing Secrets #16 - Logos, Colors, Slogans

 
Pretty much everything is wrong. Do you see the errors?

How Much Does your Logo Matter?

Contrarian Warning!  I don't think the success of Nike is related very much to the Swoosh. 1%, 2% of sales. And that is for an international brand who spends massive amounts of money to promote the logo. The Apple with a bite out of it?  It helps, but not as much as one memorable Superbowl commercial.  The golden arches are impressive, but I think the benefit is more in the street visibility, and the original idea of fast, clean, and meet expectations, than in the logo value. 

For me, and I'm not an expert in this area, just a marketing guy with 40+ years of experience creating brands, I placed this marketing basic near the personality basic for a very good reason.  I think the logo, company colors, and slogan should fit like a great Hawaiian shirt on a 55 year old man.  If you love it and it projects your vision, humor, strategy, and personality, it will probably work just fine. 

On the other hand …….  There are some things you just don't do.  The fantastic font should be something the consumer can read.  At a distance.  Quickly.  The colors should take into consideration the customer.  Yellows and pinks for the ladies.  Blue and blacks for the guys. Reds for everyone. And while not as critical as 20 years ago, the logo should still look good in black for certain print considerations.

Should you use the "in" colors for this year?  Only if you plan to change them when they are outdated.  If you stick with basics, they will always be modern. Same applies to fonts.  Is it okay to change your logo often to refresh.  Sure, but if it matters at all, and you don't have a huge budget to reintroduce your new logo and change it everywhere, then you want to keep changes to a minimum and the changes them self, minimal.

The slogan.  You don't even need one, to be fair.  But, don't bother if it's blather.  Give the consumer something to think about or forget it.  Make it a statement about your niche or a strong statement of your unique selling proposition. 

I have been in a position to create many dozen slogans over the years.  I have one that we created for our bicycle accessory manufacturing business, and that we were particularly proud of, "Enhancing the Bicycling Experience." Pithy, established a standard for the employees, and every product had to meet the criterion.  

Do you need some type of artistic piece as part of the logo?  Once again, only if it is going to move the ball forward.  Don't grab some stock item off a website just so you have a artsy looking logo.  Symbols do matter, and if you can use the type style or an artistic element to make it clear you are fast, reliable, homey, smell good, taste better, etc., then by all means pay a few hundred dollars to get a serious piece of art. 

Where have I gone wrong here?  I suspect that the first 15 were pretty safe.  But are there any of you who believe that your logo has changed your business? 

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