ESSAY: In the Age of Web 2.0, Do You Still Need a Logo For Your Brand?
by Suzanne Falter-Barns
One of the things that always comes up when I coach clients is the question of a logo. It’s only natural – we’ve just defined their business, created their brand and their unique position in the marketplace. So isn’t a logo the next logical step?
What I’ve discovered in the last 2-3 years is that thanks to blogs, blog headers and signature visuals, a standard ‘corporate’ logo is really no longer necessary. Think about it.
Logs as we’ve known them are stuffy, dry affairs; stylish symbols that are basically generic and can be interchanged from product to product, service to service. Close your eyes for a minute and imagine the logo on your car … now you know what I mean. When it started out, that could probably have been the visual symbol for any car, right? Or even any business. And this worked great back in the 50’s when logos came about.
Ah, but the Internet has changed all of that.
Here’s the rub – a generic, fit-any-business symbol will do nothing to establish your unique offer and credibility on the Net. It will just look meaningless and boring. EVEN if it has something vaguely to do with the industry you are in (i.e. a stylized symbol of a jumping, happy person for a coaching business.) That’s a symbol that could go on any coaching/therapy/bodywork/etc business that helps people grow and change.
Remember the dictum of how people find you now: through web searches and referrals to your site. And remember the key piece of Canadian research that came out in 2006. You have exactly 1/20th of a second on the Net to convey what you’re all about.
What major media players have told me is that when they hit a site they immediately scan it for the hook. What’s unique here? What’s different? Who’s behind it? Are they credible? Is this for real? Would this be interesting to my readers?
So instead of a blah logo, I like to nudge my clients towards a ‘signature visual.’ It’s just inherently more meaningful than a generic logo. Here’s mine. This graphic actually tells the story of how my marketing business is different — with Get Known Now, the media really WILL call you!
Signature graphics can be a simple symbol, like mine, or an all over look and feel, like my client’s The Rebel Belle. These looks are developed by professional blog designers in the header you create for the blog. Again, it may just be atmospheric … something in the look or feel of the blog that says it all.
In fact, I’d go so far as to say if you are selling your services primarily online or via referral (as opposed to a business spread through live encounters) you no longer need the standard logo design package. No brochure (you’ve got a blog, right?) No letterhead and envelopes (use email!). I’ve had neither in the 9 years I’ve been running an online business, and never once felt the need.
And yes, we all need a business card, but that’s about it. In fact, adapting the design to a business card is a good test of whether or not it’s affective.
Think for a moment about your own business. What’s unique? What’s different? What’s you? Is it time to express it graphically?
Learn how to get known so you can not only find your biggest audience … but you can attract calls from major media and publishers. Check out Suzanne’s freebie, The Platform Jump Starter, at www.getknownnowblog.com