Do You Really Need a Logo?

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Powerful tools, well designed logos can tell your customers things like what flavor to expect, what experience to anticipate and how much to expect to pay. These symbols of the businesses they represent are some of the most effective marketing tools ever created. Multinational corporations spend millions of dollars creating them, protecting them and promoting them all over the world. So, do you really need a logo? Well, like so many other things in life; it depends.

In this case, it depends upon your answers to the following questions.

What Are My Advertising Goals?

If you’re planning to mount a full-scale advertising campaign across a broad range of platforms, along with an all-out assault on social media along with guerilla marketing efforts, going without a logo will be a missed opportunity. If omitted from all of those initiatives, you will miss out on an opportunity to create instant recognition where the logo subsequently appears.

In fact, mounting full-scale campaigns of that nature are generally designed to engender name recognition and a key component of that can be the association of your business with a logo in the minds of consumers.

What Kind of Marketing Materials Am I Using?

If yours is a very small enterprise and all you can afford is a simple social campaign and flyers, a nicely stylized version of your name might suffice. After all, you’re promoting your services more so than a brand at this point. Plus your restricted budget might make it difficult to get a truly distinctive log designed at this point.

With that said, there are a number of ways to create a logo that won’t cost you at all. Ultimately, you have to decide if the marketing materials you’re using warrant the effort.

Do Key Competitors Have Logos?

Think Coke vs. Pepsi for a moment. Both are cola drinks, and yes, if you drink them a lot you can discern a flavor difference between the two. Now, let’s say you go to a movie theater, order Coke and it comes in a Pepsi cup. Will you accept it right away, or will you ask if it’s really Coke? You’re very likely to question it.

Brand identity is a powerful thing. In many cases, it can have a definite effect upon consumers’ perceptions of a product or a service. Again, the logo gives them an idea of what to expect. If they get it, all is well, if they do not, they’ll be dissatisfied. If you’re in a situation in which all of your competitors have logos, you will need one to help differentiate yourself from them.

Can I Function Without One?

It is very possible to do business without a logo. Lots of small businesses and ecommerce sites do quite well with them. However, consistency in branding is paramount, if you want to stand out from the crowd. You can do this without a logo, if you make sure the look of your site matches the look of your packaging and the look of all of the tools you employ to communicate with your customers.

Again, a stylized version of your name, can serve as a de facto logo. However, if you choose to operate in this fashion, you must make it a point to ensure it always looks the same. You should also settle on a color scheme and use the palette consistently so it becomes associated with you in the minds of your customers. The graphics, colors and fonts you use should always be the same.

So, do you really need a logo? Yes—and no. The requirement is largely dictated by your advertising goals, marketing materials and the nature of your competitive set.

Ultimately, though, if you’re planning for long-term growth, you’re better off with a good one than you are without one.

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