They are more than just a logo when they make an immediate impact and grab your attention. There is no reason why this aspect of recognition and impact cannot be created for a business brand.
In business we use logos as a symbol or graphic mark to identify our company or a specific product or service that we offer. It aids instant recognition and defines the brand in the mind of the client. We want it to be memorable and to create a strong association between the business and our area of focus. They see Luna and think branding!
Great logos in the consumer marketing area allow us to recall the brand instantaneously. Think of the curly script of Coca Cola, the golden arches of McDonalds or the AtoZ of Amazon, and it’s instant recognition. They make an immediate impact and grab the consumer’s attention. There is no reason why this aspect of recognition and impact cannot be created for a business brand. The challenge is to create something original and differentiate your brand from the other brands in the market.
So when is a logo not a logo? A logo is not just the company or brand name in a coloured script or a gimmicky font! There are different types of logo. An Iconic Logo has some kind of graphical element, whether related to the product or simply abstract, such as Chanel’s intertwined Cs or Audi’s circles. A Logotype is based on the company name, such as the logos of Google or Ebay. In this case a unique typeface is used to symbolise the name and so it becomes a wordmark. A wordmark is often designed with a graphic image to become a visual unit, Evian, for example.
The company’s name can be the inspiration for a great logo. Companies such as Apple, Shell and Jaguar all have an identifying object that relates directly to the name. The benefit of this is instant recognition, even without the name, but it can be difficult to differentiate the company if there are similar companies already in the market. Some logos have a recognisable image that is not related to the company name. The Starbucks’ nautically themed siren, Peugeot’s lion and Michelin Man are all great examples, but they usually have some hidden meaning or origin story behind them, which adds depth and credibility.
Understanding your customer base is important as a good logo doesn’t just tell you the company name but it should communicate the brand promise. Twitter’s logo has changed from a static bird to one in flight, giving pace and movement to the brand, much like its fast messaging.
Consistency is vital in logo application. A logo goes further than the actual image; it needs to be supported by a Style Guide and Brand Strategy which sets out how the logo is used and in what format depending on the setting, as well as the thinking behind the strategy. Reproduction should also be carefully considered as it might be used on letterhead, packaging, advertising or social media. What works well on the side of a lorry might not work so well on a company uniform or business card. Simplicity in logo design is often debated and current thinking favours simplicity with clean lines. Less is more. Look at the Nike swoosh or the Apple apple. These logos are instantly attributable to that company and easy to reproduce in any size or colour and on any material. Remember, lorry to letterhead.
The point here is that logo design is a key aspect of your brand as a B2B company. What does yours say about you?