I have seen many business owners get stuck when deciding on their logo because they are not seeing the bigger picture. Now this is not their fault at all, in fact if you’ve had this same problem then you are in the majority, not the minority. The likelihood is that the designer, on the other hand, is a few years down the line in their head and can visualise everything from the business cards and brochures through to signage and exhibition stands and everything in between. With this extra information they have an advantage in being able to see the brand as a whole rather than the logo on its own, which is really a rather small part of the brand.
But Nike’s ‘swoosh’ is legendary and McDonalds golden arches and the CocaCola logo are both know across the globe.
Yes, indeed they are BUT it’s not the logo that has done this and I’ll give you a few examples below of what I mean.
As the adverts above demonstrate, each brand is working at getting across a message and attracting their Perfect Client.
You see, when we think of different companies we are thinking of much more than the logo, we are connecting with their brand. The persona of the company, their mission, the image that they want you to see and feel and the emotions their branding illicits within us.
For example, here are some very simple logos from some very big brands. You’ll see that many of them are just text but we don’t really notice that, what we remember is the feel of the brand as a whole that we get from what we see from or about them.
I’m going to use Hollister to explain a little more. You see, it is aimed at young people who enjoy surfing, fun at the beach, good times with friends and it does this very well. Their branding is covered with images of young couples, teens and young adults laughing at the beach, people surfing and generally anything associated with that lifestyle. Their shops are full of beach styling and many have a large wall panel that shows the waves lapping at the beach.
The lighting is very ‘trendy’ (which translates as very cool for my daughter and her peers and infuriating for me and many other parents I know who find it impossible to see what colour the clothes are unless they’re under the spotlights – we’re not the target market though so it’s good that we feel that way as it makes it even cooler!).
The staff are all dressed in skimpy own brand clothing and very much acting as models for the shop goers to give them a style to emulate. They want to achieve that ‘beach babe’ look and obviously buying from Hollister helps them achieve that.
Their store opening in our local city was quite incredible. They had very buff men and women dressed in swimwear welcoming you at the door and the queues to get in filled the shopping mall and were there all day. In fact, the store was rammed for the first few months it was open, every time we visited.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of things that I don’t like about Hollister, but that’s the whole point. It’s not aimed at me. It’s aimed at my daughter, who for around a year was completely obsessed with it. Birthday, Christmas was ‘something from Hollister please’ or a gift voucher to use there. All her friends at school were the same.
This is what I mean when I say about creating passion with your audience. I know myself and many other mums and dads find the shopping experience hellish and avoid it like the plague but for my daughter and her chums it’s like a dream come true and they encouraged each other to spend, spend, spend in there. Hollister was everywhere and that’s what targeting your Perfect Client does – it makes them love you and it creates passionate brand ambassadors for you.
So coming back to the point of this blog. Hollister’s logo is not complicated, it does not show everything the company does, in technicolor, it is simple and in most cases just one colour. It is the branding that they have created around their logo, from their adverts, products and bags to their store design, launch promotions and so much more, that has created the brand and how we feel about them when we see their logo.
I hope this helps you think about your logo and your brand and, if you’re getting your own logo done at the moment, encourages you to think bigger picture and how your logo will work with the overall brand and also stand the test of time. After all, the simpler the logo the better chance you have that it will work everywhere easily and still look good in many years to come.
Try not to get too hung up on creating a busy logo. Think simple, think longevity, think how you’ll use it elsewhere and most importantly start thinking about your whole brand rather than just our logo… really, though it is very important, it is also just a very small piece of the puzzle.
N.B. I have named the source of images where possible to do so.