When starting a business, you need a unique logo in order to stand out and create a recognizable brand. For entrepreneurs, choosing a logo is one of the first big decisions they make. But with little capital and little design experience, entrepreneurs find themselves lost between a world of custom (expensive) professional logos and ready-made logos. Neither option is good for entrepreneurs, so they often choose to design their own or buy a ready-made design. Both of these options produce generic logos, and can even harm your business.
When it comes to design, investing in quality from the beginning is the best way to get the most growth out of your business. This is because we are drawn to great designs. When something is visually appealing, we are more likely to remember it. If your startup has a great logo, people will remember it and attribute the design quality to the overall quality of your business. Without an investment in quality design, you might find yourself working harder to gain attention, trust, and stand apart from your competition. If you’re still not convinced that investing in design early is the way to go, here are five ways that great design can increase business growth:
1. First Impressions Matter
When you are introduced to someone, you immediately form an opinion about that person based on the first few moments of meeting. If you meet someone at a networking event, you might expect them to look a certain way, and probably not dressed in a bathing suit or sweatpants. People expect the same from websites. With so many choices, they hold companies to a high standard of design in order to differentiate. The challenge is that first impressions are formed quickly, leaving entrepreneurs with little time to impress their customers.
According to a study done at Carleton University in Ottawa, websites have to make their first impression within the first 50 milliseconds. Researchers showed the participants different websites for 50 milliseconds and had the participants rate the sites for visual appeal. When researchers increased the time spent looking at the website, the participants kept their ratings consistent.
For small businesses and entrepreneurs, the takeaway from the study is that people make their initial judgements on design, quickly. Within the first 50 milliseconds of someone viewing a website, they may already decide whether or not to become a customer, and that’s not something you want to leave to chance.
2. Communicate visually with your customer
As the Carleton University study showed, you don’t have a lot of time to impress people. This is why your logo often becomes the first point of contact with potential customers. When properly designed, your logo can say a lot about your company. It can help identify what your company does or even separate you from your competition in app stores or on social media. A logo is the beginning of a customer-brand relationship. As branding expert and author of Designing Brand Identity Alina Wheeler puts it:
“To rise above the clutter, a symbol or a logo is the fastest communication known to man. It unlocks associations with your brand on sight, so it’s important to get it right the first time around.”
3. Make your business memorable
A memorable logo doesn’t just help customers create a relationship between your company and services, it can even increase engagement. When people remember your logo, they are more likely to connect with your brand and incorporate it into their daily lives.
An online study by branding firm Siegel+Gale found that memorable logos are 13% more likely to attract consumer attention, 7% more likely to make them want to learn more about the brand, and 6% more likely to suggest that a company is more unique than its competitors.
But a memorable logo doesn’t mean complicated, intricate designs- a mistake many inexperienced entrepreneurs make. A memorable logo is simple. The global director of Siegel+Gale, Brian Rafferty, reaffirms this key to memorable logo design, “Simple was the word that came up above and beyond, more than anything else. When people were asked what makes a logo memorable, it was simplicity.” The study echoes these sentiments:
“The other descriptors of a memorable logo were: Everywhere, Design, Name, Shape and Colors. However, Simple significantly outweighed the others. Brands that use a clear and simple logo design will stand out and be more memorable for the general public. ”
Yet a simple design is usually harder to achieve than a complicated one. This is because many low-quality logos have complicated elements to mask their shortcomings. But the simple logos are the ones that stay stuck in people’s minds, they’re the ones that people could easily point out or draw from memory. When people remember your logo, they remember your brand.
4. Stand out from the competition
What’s wrong with this picture? Despite the different colored buildings and the different names, there isn’t much that differentiates Bill’s Burgers from Patty’s Pies. It’s actually pretty confusing to see the two logos side by side, because they are almost identical- a glaring sign of a ready-made logo. As mentioned earlier, ready-made, generic logos can harm your business. This is a key example of how the same generic logo can be purchased and used by multiple companies, leaving them forgettable and confusing. The generic elements (like the swoosh people) used in homemade designs have been seen so many times by customers that it makes it easy to tune out.
If people are tuning out your logo, then they are also tuning out your brand. If you aren’t capturing the customer’s attention and memory, then you’re losing the customer. That’s why it’s so important that your logo is unique and custom designed for your company, so that no other brand can use anything remotely similar. Unlike ready-made logo stores or inexperienced designers, professional designers take the time to learn about your business and create a logo that represents your company in a way that a generic option never could.
5. Invest now or spend more later
It’s tempting to skimp out on paying for things like logo design when starting a business. Being pressed for capital is one of the hardest things about entrepreneurship, but taking the cheap way out of a logo design is a short-sighted decision. It’s especially important to consider the longevity and future of each decision made in the initial stages of a company, logo design included. Low-quality or generic design has a short shelf-life and will likely require a redesign in the future, something that can cost thousands of dollars depending on the size of your company.
Whether it is because you are unhappy with what the design says about your growing business, or you found that your logo design is not as flexible as your marketing strategies, a logo redesign is an additional expense that can be avoided by making the decision to invest in quality design from the start. By investing in your logo early, you can focus on building up a strong brand around it instead of rebranding yourself later.
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Arielle Kimbarovsky is a Writer at crowdSPRING, the world’s #1 marketplace for logos, graphic design, and naming. Buyers who need professional design pick a category, name their price and tell creatives what they need. Once posted, creatives submit actual work and buyers select their favorite from an average of 100+ entries per project. crowdSPRING has helped tens of thousands of small businesses meet their creative needs. You can read more of Arielle’s work on the crowdSPRING Blog and follow crowdSPRING on social @crowdspring.