Q: What role does my logo play in my overall branding strategy, and how can I ensure it effectively represents my business?

A: Let’s start with how your logo fits into your branding. Branding can be broken down into two pieces – external and internal.

Internal branding includes all the hidden parts such as your values, mission statement, ideal audience, etc. The external parts are the parts that you can see such as your website, staff uniforms, office décor, and the like. The external parts are the section where your logo belongs.

Your logo is not your branding. It’s part of it, but not the whole thing. A logo is the icon or the face of the business.  Its job is to help people visually identify your business, separate it from your competition, and help them remember you faster. Your logo should represent your business’ tone or ambiance in a small icon. This can be as literal or as abstract as you see fit, but it needs to fit your business style. To be effective it needs to S.U.M. things up.

S.U.M. is a handy acronym I came up with about four or five years ago when I was asked to guest write an article on logos.  It stands for Simple, Unique, and Memorable, which are the three things that make a logo effective.

Simple means that it works at a variety of sizes and quickly conveys necessary info about the business such as its tone, name, and industry. For example, you’d assume a company with a sprouting leaf logo would have something to do with gardening or snack foods, not children’s clothing.

Unique means what it sounds like it does. Something that is yours alone and different from other businesses that do what you do and certainly something that stands out in your industry.

Memorable means that it is something people will remember easily. I’ve said it before, but humans remember pictures more easily than words and they shop based on the logo not necessarily what the packaging says – especially if it’s written in a language they don’t know well or they simply forgot the name of it.  For example, they will tell you to buy the soda pop with the red, white, and blue circle logo over telling you the name of the brand or like a former co-worker of mine whose kid routinely called this same brand “French flag soda” because the logo looks like the flag of France to them.

Your logo has to be different and stick in people’s minds. My logo, for example, is very literal – it’s a purple rose graphic (yes, this is why it looks like clip art…surprise!), but people remember it and they feel things when they see it.

They remember me and that’s what an effective logo does. It helps people remember your business and share some basic info about it.

Alright, that’s all I got this week. As always if you’ve got questions or want to get your logo refreshed or redone, I’m only an email away!