Get Your Corporation Running in 6 Weeks: Week 3: Creating your Logo

Get Your Corporation Running in 6 Weeks: Week 3: Creating your Logo

by Stephanie Morrow, December 2009

One of the most important elements to preparing and running your business is a memorable logo. Before you start designing your letterhead, passing out business cards and purchasing advertising, you need to make your business memorable to the customer. And that is done with solid, successful branding.

Branding is an extremely important part of marketing your company. A strong branding strategy will communicate a positive message to potential customers and will differentiate you from your competitors. Some important aspects of branding include:

  • Researching the wants and needs of potential customers;
  • Developing quality products and services that suit your customers' needs;
  • Creating a strategy in which your employees follow to ensure excellent customer service;
  • Creating a plan to advertise and market your company to customers; and
  • Developing an eye-catching and memorable logo.

A strong branding strategy will create a positive image of your business, making your company recognizable and memorable to potential customers. The core to building a successful brand is researching the needs of your target audience and developing a quality product or service to sell to this audience. However, you also need a clear method to let the customers know that this is a quality product and/or service.

An integral part of this process is developing a professional and creative logo that represents your company's values and goals.

Creating an Effective Logo

Although smaller companies believe they will save money by creating their own logo, it is highly recommended that you hire a professional agency or designer to create your logo. If a professional agency is not within your budget, many freelancers will charge much less and will have the ability to create an effective logo. But, that doesn't mean you are not a vital part of the design process. You will need to make sure that whomever you hire to design your logo understands the values and goals of your corporation, as those values and goals should be reflected in the final logo design. That being said, below are five ingredients to creating a powerful logo that will enhance the branding of your corporation:

1. Create a design that is easy to remember

Your logo should be distinctive, bold, and easy for customers to recognize at a glance. If using fonts, they should be easy to read no matter how big or small. If your logo design can be easily remembered by your target audience, it will make your company more memorable with customers.

2. Have a look that is appropriate for your business and industry

Your logo should reflect the professionalism of your company and be relevant to your products and services. It should also work well with your company name and not reflect a negative or confusing image of your company. Your logo should clearly reflect your company's values, goals and mission, which is why there should be a strong tie between your brand and your logo. Remember that your logo is only one piece of your branding strategy, but it's the piece that will communicate your message to potential customers.

3. Your logo should reflect the future, as well as the present

Make sure your logo can be used year after year and will reflect the future growth of your company.

4. Uses effective colors and shades

Keep in mind the colors used in your logo, as each color leaves a lasting impression with customers. For example, red represents strength, passion and aggressiveness, while blue suggests authority and dignity, and green is calming and tranquil. In addition, make sure your logo's colors translate well in black and white. Although yellow is considered an optimistic color, it may wash out your logo if it is used on a black and white advertisement. Make sure you test your logo in both color and black and white, so that you don't lose important aspects of your logo if the need arises to use it in black and white publications or marketing materials.

5. Engage customers through your logo

Your logo should engage your target audience, enticing them to want to learn more about your products and services. Study your target market so that you have a better understanding of your customers' wants and needs, which can then be reflected in your logo.

6. Use an appropriate tag line

Yes we said there were five tips, but this bonus tip is for those who plan to use a tag line with their logo. A tag line is three to seven words that accompany your logo and can be very effective in engaging customers. If you choose to use a tag line, make sure you choose the right words that express your company's most important benefits. From Nike's "Just Do It"™ to McDonald's "I'm lovin' it,"™ an effective tag line will stick in the memory of customers just as much as your logo design.

Putting Your Logo to Work

Your logo is an important piece of the branding process. Your logo sends the right message to potential customers. You want to make sure your brand message is always consistent so that your logo increases your customer recognition.

Develop a clear and concise message you would like your brand to communicate and have your logo reflect that message. Then, you can have a logo designed that creates brand awareness, an identity for your business, as well as creating customer awareness.

Although your logo design is just one aspect of your branding strategy, it is an extremely important one. Your business logo reflects your company's corporate image and helps build your brand's identity. If your budget permits, use focus groups to measure the impact of your logo. If your marketing budget is limited, ask family and friends what they think of your logo design. Logos do not need to be elaborate; they can be simple and concise, as long as they are memorable and are used as a means to achieving your business goals.

To help you get started on your logo design, graphic design leader Logoworks is offering LegalZoom customers $30 off of their Start Up package. Not only is Logoworks recommended by best-selling small business experts, but also by many of our own customers. Click here to find out how Logoworks can help you establish your brand.