Logos raise awareness. They don’t say who you are.
In architecture, the keystone is the wedge-shaped block at the top of an arch that locks all the other pieces in place. Basically the keystone is what keeps the arch from crashing down on your head. Why does this matter in a conversation about logos? Because your logo is NOT the keystone to your business. It won’t tell customers who you really are, and it won’t resolve any business crises you are experiencing. A logo is merely a symbol that helps make people aware of your brand.
Revaluating a logo’s purpose
But this isn’t a cri de cœur to banish logos. We aren’t suggesting you ditch your logo, just that you take it a bit easier on them. They are merely letters or symbols arranged in a pleasing graphic that help gain you recognition with the public. Much like you don’t expect a toddler to recite Shakespeare, you can’t expect a logo to convey all that your business is, or what a customer will experience when they choose your service or product over another company’s.
To start, your logo is not the same as your brand. The experience someone has when they interact with your company and its product and/or service is your brand. That’s not something that can be captured graphically. Any logo is merely a visual representation of your business. The actual experience your customers have when they interact with you? What values you strive to represent, and your motivation for going to work every day? That’s your brand.
Consider your brand’s motivation
Setting your logo aside, then, think about what the vision is for your business. What is it you want to achieve? When you have a clear purpose that people can get behind, not only will you do a better job of advocating for you product, but also the people you hire will be more motivated to promote the company as well.
If you can’t clearly and succinctly sum up your brand (aka your elevator pitch), then it is high time you take an hour, a day or whatever time it takes to do this. If you don’t know who your company is and what it stands for, how do you expect your customers to know this?
Keep everyone engaged
It may be tempting (even logical!) in your mind to have your company’s marketing team develop your brand identity and then share that information with the other employees. But that would be a mistake. Your business will achieve better buy-in and, therefore, greater success if all of your staff is engaged with developing what your brand is and ensuring it accurately reflects your company’s culture.
Ask everyone for their thoughts. Your company’s brand belongs to everyone that works for you. At the same time, your brand reflects every interaction that your staff has with the customer. Allowing everyone on your staff to feel connected creates a shared perspective that can only strength your brand. When every person and department feels ownership of the brand, the end result is a more customer-centric company. And no logo can do that on its own.