Logo and brand identity: their importance for startups
Table of Contents
Why logo and brand identity are important for a startup
Having an innovative idea, completing the validation phase for a startup project and going to market is not sufficient to be successful. You need to deploy a series of tools able to effectively communicate the value of your product or service to your target audience, and logo is the first and foremost communication tool you should use.
In the initial phase of your project you will have to deep dive numerous aspects – from the market to the competition, to the business model – which will allow you to define your positioning, your tone of voice and your company key values, create a pitch to present your idea to investors, partners and mentors. In addition to curating the contents, you will have to visually convey the quintessential message of your business idea to be imprinted in the mind of your audience.
Logo is fundamental because it defines yours and your brand identity. It embodies the concepts and values that your company wants to communicate to clients; it helps you to capture attention and conquer a leading role within your market segment.
With the launch, you will realize that creating a logo is essential in order to have a visual reference that helps to bring your idea to life and communicate, in simple terms, what words fail to say. And, even if your priority is to offer a product or a service, you have to consider the logo as an essential tool that will help you gain visibility and trust.
A logo will not help you selling immediately, but it helps your venture to be identified and increase your sales opportunities. So the main goal is to give your business an immediately recognizable identity.
It doesn’t matter if your company is a multinational or just a startup: nowadays, it is essential for everyone to have a well-defined corporate identity. To be successful you need to be known, recognized, remembered, and the first thing that is associated with the image of a company is the logo.
Logo represents the distinctive sign of your brand identity that will allow you to be immediately recognized in the eyes of your consumer, creating uniqueness and visibility on the market and it will be used in all official communications and coordinated graphics.
Logo, Corporate Communication and Storytelling
Logo is an integral part of the success of your brand, it is the starting point for creating effective communication.
It is not easy to identify the ideal logo for each business. It is important to analyse its communication, values, ideas and mission to be conveyed into a single symbol, capable of creating trust and being remembered over the time.
Human being is an emotional and rational creature, and the right logo, able to leverage on these two aspects, will be a winning tool, able to convey emotions and your values to your customer, and push her or him to choose your brand rather than a competitors’ one.
If we think of the top successful brands, much of their luck lies in their logo that has now become an icon recognized in its strength and immediacy. It is the final consumers who decide the fate of a brand, it is the people who choose and use it and decide whether to love it. Human beings are primarily moved by emotions that drive action, while rationality plays its role in a subsequent step. Logo must be able to convey positive values and feelings to those we address, and with its immediacy it must reveal the company identity and history.
Logos are crucial for top brands competing on a national or global scale; however, measuring their true importance and impact on the business is a challenge.
Logos support visual communication and sustain your corporate and social identity, increasing its values, brand preference and corporate differentiation. Logo is an attraction for your customers, captures attention and has to genetare a good first impact.
A Logo is a tool to position your business in an increasingly visual landscape, becoming the face of the brand identity, and it is therefore essential that it is properly developed in a consistent way with your image.
Without a logo, you are missing out the opportunity to capture new customers’ interest and expand your audience while strengthening your credibility.
In our time, the attention span is short, especially that of consumers. Currently, companies have a few seconds to convince potential customers that their products deserve consideration and, in this context, logos that can quickly attract the attention of viewers and communicate the key values of a company in an interesting way, are crucial. Actually, if well designed, it can arouse the interest of your public and encourage them to get to know your company better.
Creating successful branding means telling a story that will establish a strong emotional connection with customers.
If logo design is only part of a company’s brand, it is also true that it represents the foundation of all the narrative that supports your brand and storytelling.
The logo serves to distinguish you from the competition
Taking a cue from top brands is very important, but it is even more crucial working out something original, designed specifically for your business.
A winning logo must be able to distinguish itself from the competing ones, making it recognizable and original.
Dare to be different with your logo because it will let consumers perceive how your business is unique.
A well-designed company logo can communicate anything, from the company’s background (professional, informal, fun) to its mission (entertainment, efficiency, innovation) through the right icon or the matching font.
Logo, Brand identity and visual branding
A logo provides identity to your company, it is the heart of your brand identity, it provides the foundation for your visual branding.
A logo serves to provide a visual element that your target audience can easily refer to.
Devising something that is easily identifiable and recognizable, focusing on simplicity is a good strategy, but, at the same time, try not to fall into triviality.
The choice of the colors used is crucial. Your brand must reflect your company personality. Colors are important, but it is equally crucial that a symbol works the same in black and white and on whatever material it is printed. Logo must maintain scalability and clarity, i.e. they should not lose recognition if reduced in size. You must consider that it will be used everywhere, not just on the web or in promotional videos, and consequently it will have to be performed in vectors. You should create something unique and distinct and, at the same time, that can remain so, over the time.
The choice of font is fundamental because even the font, like colors and more, conveys additional information about your business. For example, serif fonts give an extra touch of elegance, tradition, reliability, seriousness, while sans serif fonts suggest clarity, immediacy, modernity, solidity, and script fonts, which are all those that recall a calligraphic style, inspire spontaneity, emotionality and originality.
Logo and Brand Loyalty
Logos must communicate professionalism and help build trust and promote loyalty to your brand.
The goal of your company logo is to create an attachment to the brand from your consumers, in one word: trust.
The power of an effective logo reaches people’s hearts, touching emotions and responding to their needs and desires. Only in this way a brand becomes memorable, only in this way is it remembered and becomes unique.
When starting a new business, it’s sometimes hard to get people to trust you.
A strong brand can make anyone, who knows nothing about your business, trust you and take an interest in what you do. Over the time, as your business grows, it will also help you keep your customers loyal.
Creating a logo and placing it on your website will help you communicate the meaning of your business. It costs less maintaining a customer than acquiring a new one. The more trust you create, the stronger your business will be.
Trust is built on a well-designed logo, and brand loyalty comes next.
After they embrace your products or services, your customers will look for you continually – and your logo is the thing they will be looking for before anything else.
After having built your brand identity, found the logo that embodies your mission and values, you are ready to apply your distinctive symbol on all the visual elements you will use to promote your company, from the brochure to the business cards, from the website to social networks and so on. Your logo will be your signature, the soul of your corporate identity.
Logo and memorability
A logo makes your brand more memorable, it gives you a specific sign which will deliver long lasting meaning.
A great logo will make your brand easier to remember, because human beings can easily identify images and use them to connect stories and meanings.
Our brains process images faster than they do with text, and people remember images they see more than texts and sounds.
Why own a payoff
It is important to combine the image and name with an effective “payoff”, ie. that small phrase placed under the brand that identifies a company corporate identity.
In the language of corporate communication, the payoff is nothing more than a short sentence that accompanies logo and that encompasses the philosophy, goal or spirit of the company.
Payoff functions are manifold, because its goal is to strengthen brand identity, which can be a further distinctive feature in the competition, capable of establishing a trusting relationship with customers.
Logo creation is an operation that, nowadays, anyone is able to carry out, helped by a series of online tools, without necessarily having to be an expert. However, having the possibility of creating something does not mean having really the ability to do it, because in order to conceive a logo that is successful, that remains impressed in the mind of the consumers and it is effective, good will is not enough; but you need competence, creativity and experience.
A logo must be versatile, adaptable, scalable, capable of adapting to various uses, media, devices and more.
Each brand certainly has many attributes to emphasize and communicate, but you need to focus on some of the most important and, above all, more distinctive ones for the success of the brand.
The distinctive traits of the company and the keywords that describe them are fundamental to immediately understand the attributes of uniqueness that must emerge in the logo.
Graphic design requires creative and interpretative skills of the reference industry. Designing a logo for a company is something more complex than alternating some trendy fonts with symbols downloaded with impunity from the web. A modern logo must reflect precise aesthetic standards in order to communicate the soul of the company with clarity and effectively.
The steps for creating the logo
There are several study phases that precede the creative phases, which will be useful for you to be able to create a truly effective logo.
Briefing, Research and brainstorming
The briefing phase will be summarised in a document, called brief, and it includes the internal and external elements of your business, as well as the objectives to be achieved in terms of communication and target audience.
A good brief for the creation of the logo should be concise and contain some fundamental information such as the marketing objectives, the background of the company, an in-depth description of the idea, the tone of voice and the keywords of the project.
The search for ideas involves outlining a list of keywords related to the project, developing a mind map that includes all the main concepts that emerged during the briefing phase, carrying out a series of image searches. In short, it will let creativity flow to achieve the goal.
When we talk about benchmarking, we are referring to an analysis of competitors. It is essential to analyze how competitors communicate. You will consider for example the logo, the website, the advertising campaigns of all the brands that offer a product or a service similar to yours, in order to understand how you can differentiate yourself. It is essential that the brands analyzed are as close as possible to your business idea. Do a thorough analysis and you will surely be able to understand how each brand wants to be perceived by potential customers and, then, you will decide how to make yourself stand out.
Positioning is an essential aspect, which often is key to business success. Closely related to the value proposition, it represents how you want your business to be perceived by your target audience. Your logo design is closely related to placement.
You need to create your company name. Naming is the first creative phase in defining the image of your startup. Brainstorming is the starting point for naming, starting from the keywords of your project you identified in the brief phase. It is essential that you use online search tools to verify there are no companies that already use the name you have chosen. In this phase you can also check if there are already domains registered with the name you want to use for your company, using for example hosts in order to understand if the word you have chosen can have its own domain name.
The creation of the logo is the last step of the process. At this point you will have a very clear idea of what the objectives and tone of voice of your startup are, and probably you will believe of having already the solution for your logo. We recommend developing more variants, starting from different concepts. So, try to create different sketches starting from the keywords of the brief. Once the sketches have been made, you will need to digitize your logo and, in this regard, we suggest you use online tools to build your logo.
A payoff should be created.
It is not a simple slogan, but an indelible brand that will compliment the company logo, making it stand out and making it even more unique: “Impossible is nothing” by Adidas, rather than “I’m loving it” by Mc Donald’s are some of the most famous and iconic examples.
In summary, in order to create a company logo, it is necessary to follow a series of steps which define the company philosophy, so that both the images and the textual contents can best reflect your company values. You need to identify your audience, because in this way you will be able to establish the graphic aspect of your logo, meeting the preferences of the consumers you want to reach and conquer.
You have to stand out from competition: carry out a very in-depth study on your competitors and identify their weak points and offer a better proposition.
Stand out, be original, make sure consumers surfing the web are able to notice you immediately. Take a cue from the best companies operating in your market, analyze and learn from the work done by those who have captured the attention of their target audience. An eye-catching logo will be an extraordinary additional weapon for your success. Identify what the trends of the moment are and ride on them, following your industry developments. Choose a suitable combination of colors. The appearance of your company logo should reflect your website, and create a coordinated image consistent with all your communication. You will need to work out an ingenious payoff that reflects both the identity and the mission of your company.
If you are interested in logo creation and brand identity, please read also Logo Creation for startups: more than 30 tools and Corporate Branding and Brand Awareness for startups and find out more on Start your startup page. You will discover more interesting content and videos to watch!
For more information read also the related white paper that you find on this page Digital Marketing for Startups.