Why Invest in a Logo?

By Jennifer Beever, Marketing Consultant
© February 1999, New Incite Marketing Analysis and Design

A well thought out company name and a well-designed logo sends several messages to potential clients. Your company name and logo can:

  • Convey your company mission and culture
  • Suggest longevity and credibility to your clients
  • Increase visibility for your company by increasing recall

First, the name and logo can convey the purpose and milieu of the organization. For example, the logo for a healthcare professional servicing individuals in pain may have a softer, more artistic design and use soothing colors to suggest health, caring, and well being. The logo for a high tech company might use bright colors and a bolder, more technical design to suggest leading edge, professionalism, and strength.

Second, when a potential client sees a name and logo that was designed by a professional, the message they receive is that the organization has invested in its image. It is an organization that has put some thought into image and plans to exist in the long run.

Third, use of a logo in an organization’s materials (business cards, stationery, advertising, newsletter, brochures, etc.) helps with name recognition. When a prospective client meets you and is handed a business card, receives a brochure in the mail, sees your ad in the paper, and then receives your newsletter or direct mail campaign, all with your logo displayed, your company and image is reinforced. In order to retain clients, you must make some kind of contact six to eight times a year. If your materials do not have an identifier such as a logo, your client may not remember you or tie the new piece with others they have received.

In his book, Developing, Implementing, & Managing An Effective Marketing Plan, Hal Goetsch writes the following and provides examples:

“Logos, trademarks, initials, and company signage are very effective selling tools when they are continuously associated with the product or company. Eventually, they become symbolic of the product of the company in the consumer’s perception. Stylized designer initials and logos enjoy widespread popularity because people like to identify with winners that represent quality, value, and pride of ownership. Sometimes they even make people feel more secure.. Statistically, there is no proven correlation between the use of product symbols and sales, but their acceptance and popularity is unquestioned. People with an item of quality and prestige are proud of it..”
From Developing, Implementing, & Managing An Effective Marketing Plan by Hal Goetsch,
NTC Publishing Group, Chicago, IL, 1994, pp.129-131.

Large companies spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on logo research, analysis, and artwork. For example, in 1991, Pepsi launched a new logo because they wanted something “more upbeat,” according to USA Today on September 23, 1991. Saks Fifth Avenue changed from its scripted logo to a cleaner, all caps logo. According to Saks, their new logo was more “in keeping with the uncomplicated and clean design characteristics prevalent in international design today,” (as quoted in USA Today).

Smaller companies don’t need to spend quite as much on their logo, but they should invest in the process to help with branding in the minds of their prospects and customers. The cost for a new logo ranges from three thousand dollars and up depending upon the amount of research and analysis that goes into the process. The creative team that produces your new logo should demonstrate a capacity for understanding your company’s mission, goals, vision, and culture before beginning logo development. They should provide several logo concepts that allow you to “narrow down the field” and make a final selection. The creative team should also test the logo to make sure it comes clearly on faxes, online, etc.

Once you’ve decided on the final logo, make sure that you receive as deliverables print and electronic versions, color, black and white, and reversed versions, and a style guide that details how the logo is (and isn’t!) to be used.

Trademarking your logo isn’t required, but it is recommended to protect your investment both in the short and long term. Some firms will handle trademark searches for you, or you can use a trademark attorney to do the search. The cost of a trademark search is typically $1,500 to $2,000.

Once you invest in a logo, use it uniformly on all internal and external correspondence. You’ll find that your business will have a stronger image over time.

This article may be reprinted with permission of the author. Please contact Jennifer Beever at 818-347-4248 or by email, jenb@newincite.com, for permission. Proper acknowledgement of the author, including name, company, and contact information, must be made with use.