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4 QUESTIONS TO ANSWER BEFORE GETTING A LOGO

When it comes to branding, I am really happy to see that more and more people are understanding that a brand is and what it consists of. There are still some that think it’s only a logo and some pretty fonts and colours. But the truth of it is, do you, as an entrepreneur, really need a logo?


I would love to say yes because there’s so many amazing designers out there that I’d love to connect you with, and I want you to have something beautiful, something that you’re proud of. However, the truth of it is that having a logo is completely dependent on you as an individual and how you’re running your business. Before you can start focusing on your logo I want you to consider a few things and there’s a few questions I’m going to ask you to help you in deciding whether you want to actually have a logo for your brand or you want to stick with something a little bit more low key.


WHAT DOES YOUR AUDIENCE EXPECT FROM YOU?

At the end of the day, your logo is not for you, it’s for your audience. The purpose of a logo is to draw your audience in and keep them connected with you, something to remember you by. One of the tricks that’s always thought about when you create a logo is it needs to be something that some that you’d be able to draw from memory, meaning it’s simple enough so that it’s memorable but unique enough that it connects to your brand.


If your audience expects you to have a logo, maybe you should consider having one. However, what if your audience is doesn’t really care about that? A logo is not the be all and end all of your brand’s visual identity. Yes, a logo is still considered the standard for any business model in order to have your brand visible and it is still considered the cornerstone for your visual identity. This is because it always looks like everything else in your visual identity is based on your logo (not the case!) and it is the first thing that draws your audience and it keeps their attention.


However, if your audience doesn’t care about you having a logo, then what’s the point of spending all that time to create one?


WHERE IS YOUR LOGO GOING TO BE USED?

Firstly, I want you to consider this – is your audience going to be able to find you without a logo?


There’s a trend that started not long ago that I’m in full support of and I think it is absolutely genius, especially for entrepreneurs, and solopreneurs, where they’re saying to use a picture of yourself as your profile picture.


This is especially important for service-based businesses, because, at the end of the day, you’re not selling your services. Service-based entrepreneurs are selling themselves as an individual. As such, you want to make that connection between you and your audience and the easiest way to do that is to put a face to it.


It is very common still for your logo to take the place of your face, so consider again both your audience and where you’re using your logo. If your audience is expecting your Instagram profile, for example, to have a picture of your face, then that’s one place your logo is not going to be used.


Consider this, the most common places to have a logo are…

  • profile pictures

  • marketing materials

  • legal materials

Profile pictures on social media was already removed, so next is marketing materials.


Consider websites, this is the best-known marketing spot for your brand and services because it’s yours, you have control of it, and it only talks about you and your services. It has, however, become popular now for solopreneurs, especially those starting out, to not have a website. Some only use landing pages (single web page focusing on selling one specific service or product) or use other hosting sites to share their products and services. Some go right off into scheduling and explaining their services on social media.


If you plan on not having a website, then where do you use your logo? If you are using landing pages, the purpose of those is not to detract from the service or product being talked about and so, it is really common for landing pages not to have logos as well. Think of it from a user perspective – if the landing page for a service is the first thing you see about a person, if there’s a logo there, what would you think? Maybe click the logo and see what else they offer…?


Other marketing materials include your social media posts, flyers, ads, business cards… basically anything that you will be giving to your audience in order for them to learn about you. Those are the things that usually have your logo on them. But do you use them all? Consider if you’re going to be printing 500 business cards and handing them out or putting your logo on every single post and story on Instagram. Do you want to spend hours to create this one graphic that’s only going to be used in one place?


Another place where your logos are commonly used is legal documentation. When I said legal documents, I don’t specifically mean your financial tables and tax returns… I’m talking about contracts, invoices, and proposals. Think of all those terms and conditions and how to get paid and not screwed over documents that you’re giving to your clients. Having a logo there will help your clients recognize what that proposal is for and who that contract is with.


WHAT ARE YOUR COMPETITORS DOING?

One of the best ways to know what your audience expect from your is to see what your competitors are doing. If all of your competitors have logos as their profile pictures, maybe you should consider doing the same thing. However, you should only consider it, not set that as a rule to follow. Think about your own brand first. If your brand strategy values being completely different from all of your competitors and standing out, you could, for example, ignore having a logo.


There’s a famous saying, think outside the box.


I, personally, dislike this saying for the simple reason that people use it as an excuse to do whatever the fuck they want, screw the consequences. The purpose of the saying, I believe, and the reason why I use it, is because you want to know where the box is. You want to know everything about this box that you can before you consider thinking outside of it. So, for example, if all of your competitors use a logo – that’s the box. Look at all of their logos and find the similarities. Only then should you consider if you want to be in the box with them or outside of it.


This, however, is also not based on your personal prejudices and styles. It is based on your brand’s personality, values, vision, and more parts from your brand strategy.


WHAT DO YOU WANT YOUR LOGO TO LOOK LIKE?

When I ask this question, I’m not specifically asking you as an individual as much as what does your brand want your logo to look like. This is why I’m going to refer back to the brand strategy and back to your audience constantly always everything is based off of your audience. If your logo looks a specific way, will it be able to draw your audience in? Remember, a logo isn’t for you! Always think about your audience.


And that is why I’m asking this question last, because if you have all of this research you should already have something in mind. For example, is it going to be geometric and sharp lines, or is it going to be swirls? Once you know who your audience is and what they like, you will be able to answer this question. I am going to probably overuse this example, but here it is…


There’s a saying, don’t judge a book by its cover. I disagree with this completely as my publishing background proved that that is what the cover is for!


If you think of your logo as the cover, what are the contents. Let’s say we have a logo/cover that is filled with pink, cotton candy clouds, lollipops, rainbows, and unicorns. But the inside is a horror story about a guy running around with a chainsaw chopping peoples’ heads off. There’s a disconnect there.


Your logo is going to draw people in and then they’re going to see that your brand personality doesn’t match it and they’re going to disregard it all. On the other hand, if a person hears about your brand from others and is expecting that awesome horror story but the cover is pink clouds and unicorns… there’s a disconnect and they’re going to disregard it all.


No matter which side your audience is coming from, whether they’re being attracted by your logo or your content, the two should connect so that you don’t lose your audience.


CLOSING THOUGHTS

So, if you’re thinking about creating your logo now, I want you to consider all of the above questions plus a few more things…

  1. Do you have a brand strategy in place?

  2. Are you happy with your brand strategy and stand by it?

  3. What is the reason behind making a logo?

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