Almost every company today recognizes the value of a strong logo and visual identity as a competitive edge. Unicorns like Airbnb and Uber demonstrated that design can bring huge advantage not only in terms of certain aesthetic and appealing look and feel but also in business and measurable value terms.
From start-ups to big corporations, today as never before we feel the need of defining a compelling visual surface if we want to stay in the game.
But in our image-obsessed era, we are so eager to be visually appealing that we often forget one very important thing.
A logo is a reflection of what we are as a company.
This means that its main task is to express the company spirit, by enhancing its uniqueness and values above all. It’s part of a promise the company does, starting from the roots and spreading throughout the brand touchpoints.
Many enterprises don’t have a proper logo because they simply don’t have a clear idea of what their points of difference are and what values they should promote.
So, before starting the rush of designing your identity, there are some things you should ask yourself:
What do we want to say to the world?
The output strongly depends on this answer but also relies on previously made strategic choices that are often taken for granted.
The company name
Imagine designing a logo for a company called Mailking or Fastcloud: it is pretty straightforward to come up with a cool pictogram that perfectly represents the company’s name. It is just a matter of execution. Now let’s imagine designing a logo for a business named Krixlo: what would you expect? The best you can do is involving an expert in the process of naming your company in the first place and avoid unnecessary misinterpretations. This move will also give ground to smooth creative work.
A logo itself cannot tell a story that is different from your brand essence
The product or service you sell
The unique selling proposition is made of features that your product or service embeds. Sometimes it is a really hard job to define a logo that reflects something that’s not clear from the beginning. I once had to struggle with a building company that wanted an app icon inspired logo, just because they found it fancy and modern. This is why you should always keep in mind that introducing a visual language you don’t identify with could generate noise and confusion. If you are a copycat startup, the road to defining a unique identity is long and full of obstacles. If you sell a unique product or service, however, it will be much easier to stand out from the crowd even from the visual point of view.
Different targets mean different languages and mindsets. Depending on that you naturally come across some limits and constraints. The tone of voice you choose should fit the overall brand experience and as I wrote in a previous article you should carefully define what is the best one to go for. My advice is to always think about what is best for your target and maybe push the limits, even if you are defining a logo for a B2B service. If you take risks, of course, you might be among those who can reap the biggest rewards.
Last but not least, if you are a founder, you should delegate the task of collaborating with a brand agency to someone that is not too much involved with the company itself. Although it’s true that knowing the company spirit and value proposition is important, it is also true that following your personal taste could lead to worse results.
In the end, I would say that a logo itself cannot tell a story that is different from your brand essence, it just should tell the truth in the best possible way. Following these tips could really help you defining something great that represents your company well and stands out from the crowd at the same time.
Are you ready for your next adventure? Let’s talk!