You’ve identified the niche your business is going to fit into, you have refined your business summary and plan and you have a business name. The next logical step would be your branding.
Here are why many small businesses take a shortcut at this stage:
1. You are a ‘lean start up’ which means you need to get the business going quickly and with minimal use of resources. Getting a professionally designed logo is not high on your list of priorities.
2. You’ve heard somewhere that a logo just needs to be simple. Well! you can do that yourself really! Choose an appropriate font and that should do it.
3. Even better, why not just get one of those free logo designs that you can get online these days or if you did want some thought put into it, ‘logos for a fiver’ or equivalent is good enough. After all, it’s the product or service that you offer that is more important. Customers will come if your product or service works, never mind the branding.
If you are literally just starting off, this may be fine particularly if you are still fine tuning your product and service. At some point however, you really ought to look at getting a logo that has been professionally designed.
1. Once you know your product or service works and there is a market for it, you ought to get a logo or, as the advertising industry puts it, a visual identity in place. Your logo is the gateway to your business and its products.
Going down the lean start up route is absolutely the way to go but you will eventually need a logo and branding in place. Mainly because it makes you look professional. Most markets out there are saturated with goods, services, products and people. The vast majority of these have a branding that have been well thought out and professionally designed. If you are looking to compete in this setting, you definitely need to get a branding that has been professionally designed and can sit alongside all those other brands in the right way.
If your product and service has been tested and you have more or less fine tuned what your business is offering, then there is no reason to not get a visual identity especially if you have been using a stop-gap measure in the meantime. In fact, it might be best to do this now before you get so busy with your new business that you have no time to invest in thinking about how your brand should look.
2. A key element of a good logo design is simplicity. This is mainly because most consumers absorb only one message from a split second exposure to a logo. If your logo has too many details or elements to it, there is less recall of the logo. There can be exceptions to this depending on the context.
However, because of the simplicity factor and the fact that many companies look like they have just got their name in a suitable font as their logo, you can be forgiven for thinking that logo design is just that - business name in an appropriately chosen font. In reality, even what might look like a simple logo with just a name has probably had hours of thought put into it. And it’s this background work that is the key aspect of logo design. You are unlikely to get this with free logo designs or ‘logos for a fiver’. We’ll cover this in another post on the logo design process.
3. The main reason why an online generator of free logo designs or logos for a fiver etc are not suitable is because of the lack of ‘behind the scenes’ work mentioned in the previous point.
A good logo design would show time spent on research, generating ideas and sketches, staying with the shortlisted ideas for a while, refining these, running these past clients or focus groups for feedback, further refining, offer brand guidelines to use the new logo and continued support afterwards. Do you really think a logo for a fiver, would actually be able to offer all this?
The key point is this, especially if you are a lean start up - start off with your business name in an appropriate font by all means. Once you are in a place where you are fairly sure of your business direction, then do get a professionally designed logo. It will only enhance your business and make you proud to own it.