Monday, March 4, 2013

Why Have Just a Logo, When You Can Create A Premium Brand?

The default approach entrepreneurs take to create their brand is having a designer create their logo. Consider that logos are a mere fraction of what it takes to create a premium brand. Whether you’re targeting other entrepreneurs or even corporations, your brand is a mission-critical asset that you should not ignore. Your brand determines whether or not your target audiences will trust, recommend or buy from you.

Re Perez is founder and CEO of

In the October 2011 issue of Inc. Magazine, an article titled “What not to do when designing a logo,” shares how Milton Glaser – one of the most celebrated American graphic designers, famous for his “I Love NY” logo – explains three “don’ts” when designing a logo: 

Don’t trust your gut. Everyone is an expert. One person doesn’t like blue, or another person doesn’t want fat letters. I find it interesting to see non-designers create logos or even evaluate logos when they don’t know anything about the principles of branding or design. So, rather than relying on your own judgment, make sure you get professional advice from experts in the design or branding industry.

Don’t focus-group it to death. It’s a nightmare presenting a logo to a board of eight people and trying to find consensus. It’s called “design-by-committee.” In the end, you’ll have something that is weak and ineffective, and looks like a hundred other things. I also like to call it “Design Frankenstein.”

Don’t “just do it.” Many entrepreneurs aspire to have their own version of the Nike “swoosh.” So many people think of a logo as being a peculiar kind of shape that stands out from others, but if you are going to use a shape, be sure that there’s a story behind it. Also consider that symbols aren’t the only types of logos. For example, there are logos that referred to as “wordmarks” and they are simple types (also known as fonts) or type treatments.

As a former Fortune 500 brand consultant for top-tier global brand consulting firms, I would add two additional important tips to this list:

Don’t develop a logo without a brand strategy. People often ask me, “What do you think of my logo?” And honestly, the answer is always and inevitably, “It depends.” Since design is highly subjective, evaluating a logo without knowing the context or the strategy is ineffective. Sure, I could provide my feedback, but without knowing if it appeals to the target audiences, then my point of view would be just ONE possible point of view. By having a brand strategy, you can evaluate the logo against it, which helps to reduce the subjectivity factor.

Don’t put all the responsibility on the logo. Once in a while, I see entrepreneurs relying fully on the logo to communicate all aspects of their business or brand. They want to put icons, flying images, three-dimensional font treatments, or multi-colored symbols in their logos. Subsequently, they expect the logo to communicate everything about what they do and what they stand for. It would be ideal if a logo could accomplish all of that (symbolically, of course), however, the reality is that logos simply cannot carry all the needs of your branding. Your logo is simply an anchor that symbolizes your brand, but your brand is not just your logo.

As you build your brand, think about creating a visual language of your brand that tells a powerful story about who you are and what distinguishes you from your competition. In addition, think about how you need to be perceived from your target audiences in order to inspire them to hire or buy from you. In doing so, you will begin to set yourself apart from being a business with just another logo and will instead be seen as a professional business with a premium brand.

Re Perez
Chief Brand Strategist

If you’re interested in learning more about branding, register here to hear Re Perez speak for Webinar Wednesday, March 13 at noon.

What is Branding? from Re Perez on Vimeo.


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