Logos; they are a funny thing. There is something recognizable about the McDonalds arches – that golden “M” that is recognizable in almost any language. But aside from famous logos that have had years of marketing to get where they are, there are a few local companies with great logos. I can drive by a few places on my way to work, and even if I’ve never heard of the company, I know what they are selling. But how? And how does this benefit the entrepreneur?
Let’s pretend for a second that you own an ice cream parlor. You came to One Fat Frog and got your soft serve machines, your dipping cabinets, and your freezers. You even got a free custom paint job on your restaurant equipment to match the theme of your ice cream shop. You have an awesome concept and your product is a huge hit! The locals come to you because they’ve heard word to mouth that you have the best ice cream in town. Now, let’s for a second, pretend your ice cream parlor is located on International Drive – two minutes from Universal Studios. This is a great location to attract tourists, but for some reason, tourists are going to Competitor X Ice Cream across the street.
You sit down to evaluate your location and brand. Competitor X is located in relatively the same spot, so that isn’t a factor. So what could it be? You look at your logo. It’s a picture of a smiley face. Your name is Yummy-Yummy. It all looks good, right?
You look at Competitor X Ice Cream. Their logo is an upside down ice cream cone with a smiley face in it. The cone looks like a hat. It’s cute, but is it what is making them money and bringing in the tourists?
Honestly, the answer is probably yes. The difference between Yummy Yummy (your branding) and Competitor X Ice Cream is that Competitor X uses the words “ice cream’ in their name and their logo is recognizable as an ice cream cone. Even if you didn’t speak a word of English, you would be able to recognize the logo (and possibly even the name).
This same thing applies if you are traveling abroad. You are more likely to go into a restaurant or pub if you can tell what it is they are selling from the outside. And once inside, you are more likely to order something with a picture because you can tell what it is even if you can’t read the dialect…
So consider when you’re making your brand (logo, name, etc) that you are aware of these facts and you use them in your creative process.