Have you ever been perplexed when trying to think of a concept for your logo? Maybe you felt it’s not communicating everything that you need it to communicate? Maybe it’s not properly communicating part of your brand values or mission? This is not unusual.
People often get overwhelmed trying to create the perfect logo. But your logo is not the be all and end all.
Your logo isn’t designed to fulfil all these functions. Its most important role is identification. And if you ask it to do too many things, it will not be able to fulfil this important role.
I’ve talked about the functions of a logo already. Let’s explore three things your logo cannot do.
Your logo can’t communicate your brand story
Your logo cannot communicate your whole brand story. Your brand story is complex, and you need to grant it the space to tell it properly. You therefore need to communicate your story separately, for example, through your website and on social media.
That said, your logo can communicate specific messages visually. Instead of a sentence or webpage, a logo is often a visual depiction of the message you want to share. It might not tell all the details, but it might share a specific point or the overall big picture of what your brand is all about. Shapes, colours, fonts, and words in your logo work together to communicate that message. For example, the Amazon logo has a yellow arrow underneath the letters that points from A to Z which demonstrates the wide range of products they sell. The arrow has also been shaped as a smile, which represents customer satisfaction.
But remember, your logo is just one small icon and collection of words, so it has limits. It isn’t the job of your logo to tell your whole brand story. Rather, your logo acts as a point of recognition that when anyone sees it, they will instantly recall all those stories and memories they associate with your brand.
Your logo can’t motivate people to buy
Imagine you went to a networking event and you wore a colourful suit. People would remember you because of the way you look. When they talk to you, they will get to know you and your personality, and decide if they like you, want to learn more about you and, ultimately, if they want to work with you. What you say, how you behave, and the personality that you put across will determine whether they want to work with you rather than whether they like your suit.
In a similar way, your logo can initially attract people to your brand but if it doesn’t align with what you say or the values you portray, they will soon look elsewhere.
People buy from brands they know, like, and trust. In order for your audience to be motivated to purchase, they need to understand who you are. People can’t get to know you by looking at your logo; they get to know you through the experiences they have. Your logo should reinforce what people already think about your brand through the experiences they have. Your logo should support and reinforce the substance and ethos of your brand; you don’t want there to be a disconnect between them.
Your logo can’t provide the human touch
Your logo cannot patiently listen to your disgruntled customer about their problem in trying to find a product they want on your website. Your logo will not support you in response to a comment on one of your social media posts. Your logo cannot support your customer when they are confused about how your product works. The fact is your logo cannot replace the people in your company or the interactions they have with you or your employees.
The experience people have with your brand is crucial to brand building. And it’s the people in your business that help to make a big difference here. How do they interact with a new customer? How do they respond to a complaint? How do they react when the customer needs help?
These small interactions add up to create an experience and perception of your brand that they remember. Whilst your logo can help to evoke these memories, it cannot create them.
In conclusion, your logo is at the front and centre of your visual brand. It’s one of the first things people will see, so you want it to be attractive and grab their attention. However, trying to squeeze all of the meaning behind your brand into one tiny mark will not do your brand justice. After all, simple logos are usually more effective. At the end of the day, your logo is just a mark. It’s not the heart of your brand. It’s more like the cherry on top of an amazing cake that is full of substance and flavour. Instead of thinking about all the roles that your logo needs to fulfil, consider what you can do to support what your logo stands for.
If you want to get more out of your logo and your entire brand, think beyond your logo and about the other aspects of your branding. Branding is more than just colours and fonts. Want to learn more about them and what your brand could be missing? Take my free quiz.