Ask Silver Bullet: May 2016
Your article on rebranding seemed to suggest that a company’s logo was vitally important. Surely this is just selling your own sector’s services - it’s their products and services that sustain any organisation and the logo is largely irrelevant?
Interesting response to the April article and welcomed as such, but I’d fundamentally disagree (as you’d probably expect…) that any logo is irrelevant and even suggest that trying to trade without investing in one, is always going to be an uphill struggle, however wonderful your goods or services may be.
In essence, an organisation’s logo is the most visible point of their brand and their brand is possibly the most valuable asset they will ever possess, conveying their promise, values, qualities and personality. Think of the great brands, and the two most recognised globally are currently Apple and Google, and you instantly think of the associated and iconic logos of both organisations. You see them and you know that quality is assured, you’ve engaged with their brand and often price isn’t the prime consideration here – they’ve differentiated themselves on quality.
But let’s go to other end of the spectrum and consider the home-made or ready-made logo bought over the Internet or as part of a £99.99 eBay stationery set? Is it really a logo or rather is it simply the company’s name in bold letters? Worse still, is it simply a rejected design from some other company? If that’s what they want, fine, no problem, but what does it convey – does it fill new and potential clients and customers with confidence that here is a supplier that takes pride in their organisation, their appearance and crucially, their products or services? Or does it rather suggest that they’re saying, “Here we are, you get what you pay for…”
And, remember, any fool can discount and there’s always someone who’ll do the job cheaper.
The logo’s development has involved no input of skilled graphic design, no consultation nor market research with customers and clients and no thought as to how it may work over a variety of media and marketing collateral. Its development may have been cheap, but by God, it looks like it and the damage it can do to a fledgling company could be terminal – as someone once put it, “Buying a cheap logo is like buying a cheap parachute - you might not notice the problem to start with, but by the time you do, it may very well be too late to do anything about it!”
From a marketing agency’s point of view, logo design and brand development is a central part of our business but to go to an agency and expect to come away with an off-the-shelf ready made logo would be contrary to everything we believe in as well as commercial suicide for the agency. Do we really value our creative designers and researchers that little that we give their work away? Not likely.
But to go back to the original question - it is, of course, a company’s products and services that will sustain its survival and growth – just having a superb graphical logo is of no use if your products and services don’t reflect that brilliant branding. If you work in a sector where word of mouth and referral is the sole means of acquiring new business and your customers are so loyal that you’re not really bothered about new business, then I’d accept that your logo is of minor importance, but for most companies dealing in the real world in most sectors, marketing yourselves to new clients is a daily fact of life that is just as important as customer retention.
Your logo, as a graphical representation of your brand, is critical to your survival and the more you can invest in its development, the better it will work for you over years to come.
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