Starting Your Small Business: Building Your Unique Brand
You will do so with your company website in the choosing of your domain name and the design of its pages.
You will do so with the way you package your products, market yourself on social media, and distribute advertisements.
The common theme that stretches across all these ways to establish your business's brand identity is your company logo design.
Your logo is what appears on all of the channels through which you market yourself and is often the public's first introduction to your brand – and we all know first impressions matter.
There is no “one size fits all” logo concept or template for starting your small business.
The formation of your small business's logo will depend on factors such as your business name, what goods or services you sell/offer, the characteristics of your brand personality you have designated, and whom you are trying to reach.
There are individual elements all logos need however to be successful in positively projecting your small business's brand and communicating the desired message to the public.
A Sense of What Your Company is About
When someone first sees your logo and does not know anything about your business, there should be something about it that gives him or her an idea of what you are all about.
It might not necessarily be a crystal clear portrayal of what it is exactly that your small business sells or offers, but your logo should at least convey a sense of your brand's personality.
Amazon's logo is a good example of a brand logo that contains elements showing what they want to be known for and how they conduct business.
If you had never heard of Amazon before, from its logo, you might not know exactly what the company had to offer you, but you could gather some insight on general traits of the brand.
As was well put on the business blog Entrepreneur, “Amazon's logo, represented by the company's name, with an arrow below it pointing from the “a” to the “z,” is an example of a logo that embodies its namesake's brand identity exceptionally well, according to Wheeler. ‘The arrow doubles as a smile that conveys friendly customer service and it connects the ‘A' to the ‘Z because Amazon offers everything A to Z. It is all there.'”
Many times, brands can form an image design for their logos that speak to more than one aspect of the business.
For example, Wine-Searcher, an online search engine that allows users to find where a specific wine is available, has a logo with an image that serves double duty.
With both a wine bottle and a magnifying glass as part of its logo, anyone can immediately see (even if they do not know anything about the company that is represented by the logo) that this brand has something to do with searching and with wine.
The Right Choice of Colour
Colours can evoke certain moods and send various messages when seen by a person.
People view yellow as bright, happy, and youthful.
They see blue as calming, confident, and non-confrontational.
Red is often perceived as the colour of passion, empowerment, and of strength.
When starting your small business, you need to use colour to your advantage in regards to attracting your customer base and boosting your presence in your industry.
Choosing the proper colours for your logo is vital to establishing the personality you want your small business's brand to embody.
Colour has some psychological elements to it.
Individual colours can attract a buyer, while others can turn a customer away.
One colour may give a person a clear view of what your small business has to offer, while a different colour may send the wrong message and confuse them as to what your company is all about.
For instance, blue might be a solid colour choice for a financial company, for it sends off a message of calmness that helps form a level of trust.
On the other hand though, blue could be too passive a colour to use for a company that is trying to drive sales.
For a logo that can serve as a compelling call to action, the colour orange (a colour more reflective of enthusiasm and aggression) might serve its purpose better.
This infographic gives a more detailed look at how people view certain colours and how different colours in a brand logo can be used in marketing efforts to market to the public in various ways.
Not only does it matter that you choose the colours that have the right moods and emotions associated with them for your small business's logo, but you also need to do your research to make sure you are setting yourself apart from your competitors.
When starting your small business, you want to stand out in a sea of companies, so you need your logo to do some of that differentiating work for you.
If the logo for your small business ends up having the same colour scheme as that of your competitor, you are minimising your chances of having your target market be able to distinguish you from the rest of the field.
Imagine what it would be like if UPS and FedEx had chosen the same colours for their brands/logos.
It would be pretty difficult to distinguish which delivery truck was driving by!
With the stark contrast between these competing companies' logo colours, it is difficult for customers to confuse the two.
When they see purple, they are thinking FedEx, and when they see brown, they are thinking UPS.
Make it so that when someone in your target market sees your brand's colour(s), they think first of your brand. Before you fall in love with a particular colour scheme for your small business's logo, make sure it is not the same colour scheme one of your competitors is already using.
A Relevant Font
All fonts are not created equal.
With so much available today to choose from, trying to decide on a font for your logo can be overwhelming.
The best way to start the process of selecting a logo font when starting your small business is to have a clear idea of what you want your brand's personality to be (the same first step in deciding on any other aspect of your logo, too!).
A whimsical, curled font might work well for a small business geared toward children or pets, but not be as optimal for an insurance agency that's looking to put forth a more serious, professional image.
A bold, strong typeface could be great in creating a feeling of capability and wealth of market knowledge for a real estate agent's office, but not be fun or inviting enough for the logo of a party supplies store.
Your logo's font will certainly have an impact on how the public perceives your brand.
Make sure the perception of your small business that your logo's font leads to is the perception that you want people to have.
The Ability to Be Versatile when Starting your Small Business
Once you have a logo completed for your small business, you will want to (and should) put it everywhere.
Missing the opportunity to place your brand's logo on anything made by your company or that is representing your business an opportunity lost to get more exposure for your name.
You should always view your logo design as the first point of contact between your small business and a potential customer.
Make your logo something that looks appealing on everything that you will be putting it on.
When starting your small business, don't opt for a logo that has a look you love on your website's homepage but that you think looks too busy on the chest of a polo shirt for your employees to wear.
Make your logo one that is eye-catching and pleasing in all formats, both digital and printed, on and in all of the places it needs to go to do its job and market your small business.
Whether you design your logo yourself, have someone else in-house do it, or hire an outside professional, it is imperative that the design process of your small business's logo be given the thought and attention it deserves.
Your logo should represent the personality of your brand and give everyone who sees it an idea of what your small business values.
Although it is reasonable (and often even necessary in ever-growing and changing markets) for a brand to make tweaks and modifications to its logo over the course of time, your logo is most likely a piece that, perhaps with some updates to it here and there, will be around for an extended period of time.
When starting your small business, remember, crafting a quality logo that gives it an identity that sets the company apart from the competition and that speaks to who it is as a brand.