When you start a business or rebrand, there is an image, a feeling or an idea you want people to get about your company. So, it is no surprise that people spend hours trying to make sure that their logo captures all this in a graphic form. They look at options like how abstract should it be, which color(s) send the desired feeling, should the design be simple or complex and many other details.
But does it really matter?
To one company, it mattered a lot due to a criticism seen on social media. According to a Fast Company post, Betaworks was embarrassed when they read that their logo reminded someone of a coffee stain. Betaworks is an investment firm that combines seed funding, incubating products, partnering with other brands and professionals, building professional communities and engaging with social media and other digital communication. This is a complicated mashup of services. They wanted a logo that expressed their complexity and open nature.
According to research done by the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, logos affect how a customer evaluates a brand. One aspect that seems to capture the attention of customers is a sense of movement. The researchers used eye tracking technology and discovered that people became more engaged with the brand based on how dynamic the logo appeared. An interesting finding of this research is the importance of having a logo that matches the personality of the company. As in, if a conservative company has too dynamic a logo, there is a perceptual mismatch and it is disconcerting to customers.
Simplicity and complexity
Logos are an expression of who the company is. Perhaps they are even aspirational. Some branding professionals go so far as to say it expresses the values and goals of an organization. It is how the company is recognized and remembered. With some companies becoming more complex in what is offered to their customer (like the example of Betaworks), the logo may need to reflect something more open and abstract. On the other hand, a more diffuse design could send an incomprehensible or confusing message to their customers, particularly potential customers. Yet, a simple design can make a statement as much as it leaves people wondering if the company is a one trick pony. In the end, the question might be, to whom do logos matter the most? How likely are companies to lose sales because their logo isn’t quite “right.”
What is your perspective on logos? Are they essential pieces of the branding process?Join us on the Twitter chat, #KaizenBiz on Friday, May 16, 2014 at 5pm GMT/12pm ET/9am PT to add your insights and expertise to our conversation.
What do logos communicate to the world?
What kinds of things do you look for in a logo?
How do you capture the personality of a company in a logo?
To whom to logos matter the most – the people in the company, the customer or general public- and why?
Are companies likely to lose sales due to their logo?