How to choose the right logo for your business

Published: July 17, 2022

I’m not here to sugar coat things… if you want customers to choose your brand, good quality graphic design can make or break you. 

We were taught not to judge a book by its cover, but that saying only exists because that’s exactly what people do – judge books by their covers. Of course, in most industries the quality of your work and customer reviews will determine your success; but how do you get those great reviews when your business is new? How do you get the first customer to walk inside your store or click on your website? The answer is – you need to make a good first impression. 

There are two types of customers – 1) the customer that’s currently in the market and 2) the customer that will be in the market in the future. Only 5% of people viewing your content are actively looking to buy, while the other 95% may not be ready to buy until 1-12 months later. What this tells you is that you need to be smart about the impression you’re leaving on your future customers. You need to make sure that in 6 months, when they’re ready to start buying, the first thing they search is your business name.   

The first step to becoming memorable is your logo design. This might seem like a pretty simple concept, but as a business owner you need to make sure you’ve approved the right logo before you start printing it. I’ve posed some important questions below that are worth considering before you start paying for design services.

1) What industry are you in?

This is a basic question, but it will make a huge difference to the type of logo that is right for your business. If a customer is completely unfamiliar with your brand, they will try to decipher who you are and what you offer from the images you show them. What you need to think about are the unconscious associations your customer may have with your logo design.  

I can speak about this firsthand during my logo design journey for my own business, BrandVillage. I wanted to create a logo that best symbolised my services, which is graphic design. I loved the idea of utilising the word ‘Village’ and creating a logo symbol of a house. Unfortunately, I had to let go of this idea, and luckily I did, because most people said the image of a house reminded them of a home loan company. Other people rightfully told me it looked like the logo of a real estate business.  

To choose the best logo that fits with your industry you need to:

  • understand the common associations that people make with your industry, whether it be certain colours, fonts, symbols etc. 

  • research your competition to find ways to stand out without compromising your identity 

  • be willing to drop that ‘great idea’ if you receive feedback that goes against it

2) Who do you want to attract?

Now that we’ve covered which industry you’re in and what the unconscious associations are for that industry, we need to consider who will be using your product or service. You might operate a construction company, but do you specialise in commercial or residential building? You could produce a skincare line, but are your products for children or adults?

A great example of this is the difference between Kylie Jenner’s new baby skincare range, ‘Kylie Baby’, and Aesop skincare. Without stereotyping gender-based choices, Kylie knows her target consumer is younger women buying ‘clean’ aesthetically driven products on behalf of their children. On the other hand, Aesop have tried to make their logo design more ‘scientific’ appealing to all genders within a more mature demographic.

There are three steps you can take to help strategise how to best appeal to your target market: 

  • Think about who would want to buy your product / service

  • Define that group by their characteristics (age, gender, education, income)

  • Research what consumer choices that group is most likely to make

3) What is your tone of voice?

I know this can sound like bulls**t but believe me when I tell you that this is very important. You may have a fantastic understanding of your industry, competitors, and customers, but how are you communicating to them? Are you authoritative? Are you trying to educate? Are you cheerful? Are you trying to make people laugh? Answering this question will help you develop ideas for your logo. 

 You might decide that you want your tone of voice to be cheerful and fun, which might encourage you to use a mascot to create a playful or inviting personality. Using a mascot could open up your logo design options; a well-known Australian example is ‘Compare the Market’. We all remember the company meerkat appearing on our screens in his bathrobe.

Another worthwhile example is Uber. One of their main goals was to become a leader within the international market. Their tone of voice needed to be direct and easy to understand so it could appeal to all language types and demographics. To match their logo change, all of Uber’s in-app messaging became equally as basic with simplistic statements and instructions.

If you’re not sure how to establish your brand’s tone of voice, you can ask yourself a few questions. Is your brand:

  1. Formal or informal?
  2. Educational or playful?
  3. Authoritative or friendly?

You’re ready to choose the right logo

Once you have considered each of those questions, you can be confident that your logo choices will reflect your business well. I know that I’ve stressed the importance of understanding each of these factors, its also equally important to not procrastinate or become too much of a perfectionist. As a designer, I consider myself to be a perfectionist which can be my best and worst trait. However, after many years of creating logos and building brands across Australia, I’ve built a great amount of experience in my field to help direct people within a range of industries on their graphic design needs. If you’re not feeling confident and would like some professional advice you can visit our website here and get in touch. 

Let’s work together.