Experts urge small business owners to “brand” their businesses with a logo and a set of consistent marketing materials. However, they rarely explain the reasons behind this advice. Read more about Developing Your Company’s Logo. Below are some of some of the benefits of a professionally designed logo and identity system:
- To look “bigger” and “established.” Home-printed business cards or cards printed with Microsoft clipart scream “small-time vendor” to your potential clients — and that is how they will want to compensate you.
- To increase your chance of earning venture capital or of selling a business. If you present a well-rounded business package that includes marketing materials and graphics, your business will look more complete.
- To attract more clients. Some clients look for a well-defined company, and “look and feel” may be one of their criteria for making a purchasing decision.
- To brand yourself. If you are a consultant, you need a logo in order to build an image and a brand that is greater than your individual identity. Be sure to avoid the Top 10 Branding Mistakes.
- To convey that you are reputable. A logo and professionally-printed materials show that you are committed to both your business and to your clients.
- To give clients a sense of stability. You may not have been in business “since 1908,” but if you have invested in your identity, you are more likely to remain firm and relevant in the eyes of your customers. It goes a long way toward building that all-important “trust.”
- To be more memorable. Forty percent of people better remember what they see than what they hear or read. So to have graphics associated with your business, and to keep those graphics consistent, makes you more likely to be at the forefront of potential clients’ minds when they need your goods or services.
- To explain your company name. If your company name contains a little-known word or an acronym, the logo can give visual clues to its meaning.
- To endear your company name to your clients. A difficult-to-pronounce or hard-to-remember company name makes it challenging for clients to hire you. When potential clients need your services, they may not recall a tricky name. But if you reinforce the name with interesting, compelling graphics, they are more likely to remember you, pick up the phone, and hire you.
- To explain an unusual line of business. If your business is nontraditional or in a hard-to-explain industry, a logo can help to clarify exactly what it is that you do.
- To differentiate you from your competition. A well-designed logo can have many subtle meanings and can begin to tell the story of how you do business, including the special practices that make you stand apart from the competition.
- To stand out in your field. A well-designed logo and an identity system can put you far above the competition, especially when paired with a strong marketing program.
- To comply with expectations. In some industries, a logo is just expected. In the creative services industry especially, having a logo is an industry standard.
- To show your commitment. Do it for the sense of personal pride that it will add to your practice.
These benefits will boost your business and your confidence, so consider developing a logo and identity as soon as possible.
Erin Ferree is a logo, print, and Web designer who has been making it easy for small businesses to stand out and to be visible, credible, and memorable for the past nine years.