The reality of today
A recent study conducted by Google and accessible to everyone who has a Google AdWords account, reveals how young entrepreneurs see their companies’ visual identity. Over a million searches per month, especially in the eastern part of Europe, showed that “logo design” is the number one keyword combination, in searches regarding visual identity and/or branding.
The most concerning aspect is that the following two keyword combinations in most searches are “logo generator” and “logo creators”.
This shows the most common mistake that many entrepreneurs make. They place the issues regarding the company’s image and strategic communication last on their priorities or don’t even think about these issues at all. In many cases, the lack of information leads to an approach based on seeking quick and simple solutions.
The logo is just the top of the iceberg. Don’t get fooled!
In the case of an iceberg, you can see only the top of it, standing above the water, without perceiving the larger part laying under. The same mechanism applies to brands also.
The company’s logo and the graphic elements that support it, are the parts that the clients see and they must represent correctly the whole company (the unseen parts). For example, at a restaurant, you see the exterior and interior of the location, the staff but you don’t have access to the kitchen, which represents the core of any good restaurant. A restaurant can’t exist without a kitchen.
Illustrating the idea in this form, imagine a scenario where a newly opened restaurant invested in one of the most modern kitchens in the city, able to cook at the highest culinary standards, but the location is poorly furnished, with tables and furniture almost inexistent. Despite its modern kitchen, customers will not enter in the restaurant seeing the unwelcoming location, right?
The same scenario applies to the company’s visual identity or as people call it, the logo. If the visual identity/logo does not truly represent the values and attributes of the company, in many cases this acts as a filter and can make a customer choose a different company instead of yours.
Only through a complete branding process, a company can find its true image, the tone of voice and relevance in communicating with clients.
The branding process digs through the information and helps to define the mission, vision and values of that company. The branding process starts with a stage called: the audit. In this phase, the internal and external environment of the company is analyzed, from competitors to the company’s staff, this results in specific conclusions and actionable steps for the next part of the branding process called: the strategy.
In the strategy phase is where the magic begins! In this stage, the new brand idea comes to life. This brand idea must be both relevant and different.
The third step is the visual creation phase where the strategy receives a graphic form. All the aspects outlined in the strategy report are carefully crafted, resulting in a relevant and differentiating visual language.
So, by briefly illustrating the steps required to create the visual image of a brand, it is easy to understand that if these steps are not seriously considered, the image may not be relevant. The simple approach of creating a logo quickly, without a solid research and analysis, cannot lead to an effective outcome.