Have you ever wondered why a logo is key to a company’s branding? To understand why all good branding begins with a logo, it is, first of all, important to understand a little bit about the psychology behind brands, and the association we make with branding as self-aware human beings, so brace yourself because here comes the science!
How do our brains work?
A brand is a collection of associations and perceptions we make with a product, a company, an individual or a service. These associations will be linked to one of our five senses – sight, sound, touch, scent or taste – and can be positive or negative. It may be something that we have experienced in childhood or during our developing years that remains with us, so when we interact with the object in question, it will stimulate a positive or negative response.
In the UK there is a brand of yeast-based spread for toast and sandwiches, similar to Vegemite, which was given to children, whether they liked it or not, as a rich source of Vitamin B. The taste is very strong and now the company thrives on their branding of ‘like it or loathe it’. The brown, round bottle with bright yellow labels are very distinctive. At one point, the company ran advertisements that featured this bottle as an abandoned pet sitting at the back of the cupboard, with rescue teams coming in to arrange re-homing. It certainly made an impression!
So if branding is a result of perceptions and associations in our mind, (show two people the brown bottle and yellow label and one might wrinkle their nose while the other heads straight for the toast), then branding is the endeavour to control, generate and influence these associations in such a way as to promote the goods and services on offer and increase revenue.
How did the logo come about?
In marketing and consumerism, the customer is inundated with information and data about the variety of products and services that organisations are promoting. Digital marketing is increasing with the Internet and the rise of mobile devices in use across the modern world.
However, and this goes back to the science part, as humans we take in a lot of information through visual perception as opposed to written or spoken material. When we first meet an individual, the information we gain from them comes from non-verbal sources, i.e. body language, because the vast majority of us pick up on visual clues.
Marketing companies understood this very early on and set out to imprint a bite sized piece of information on our minds that would trigger off a positive response, and so began the logo. The most well known brand is probably Coca-Cola – “It’s the Real Thing” – printed on the very distinctive red and white labels, and the curved brown bottles. People associate it with the original cola drink, that it is refreshing, youthful, has a secret recipe and so on – all very positive emotions.
Why do you need a good logo?
Getting the right logo for your business is paramount, because people will begin to associate that design with the quality of service or goods on offer. Keep your logo simple and clear so that even if your audience only glanced at it during a 15-second commercial, it will still stick in their mind.
The logo will be the first thing your customer sees and will set the tone for the rest of your marketing campaign, so you need to get it right. This includes the colours, the design, the font used and incorporation of a business slogan. Don’t scrimp on the cost of your logo – take the time and effort to speak to good designers and get it right before you follow through with the rest of your branding. As a popular cosmetics and beauty company likes to say, “You’re worth it.”
About the author
Karen Hoogenbosch is the Director of Animal & Odd-Bod Creators Pty Ltd, a company in Melbourne that specialises in high quality custom made costumes and corporate mascots. Having worked in marketing for years, both in promoting her own company as well as working with her clients to promote theirs, Karen brings a wealth of experience in branding and marketing, and is passionate about sharing her knowledge with new companies.