How important is a logo… really.

May 10, 2024

Our answer might surprise you, especially considering that we design logos for a living. 

Here’s the truth. Many Mom and Pop shops operate for generations without ever really having a logo — or having several all in use at once. Other businesses launch with a great logo, but end up closing the shop after just a few years. 

Based on this alone, one can only derive that the success of a business does not necessarily rise and fall with the logo. So, what is the importance of a logo?

In order to understand the value of a logo, you have to understand the relationship and differences between a logo, a brand identity system, and branding as a whole. 

What is brand?

A brand is everything the organization is, says, does, AND how people feel about it, but the logo is only the ID. To humanize it, if the brand is the soul, then the logo is the face.

Continuing that analogy with a question, which is more important — the soul or the face? Hopefully most people would say that the soul is the most important, and we would agree.

The same is true for a brand. How people feel about the brand is ultimately more important than how it looks. 

Have you ever worked with a really good contractor? Perhaps they were recommended by a friend. When they roll up, you see the super junky truck, the stains on their work clothes, and you can’t help but notice the roughness of their hands when you shake. BUT if they care about their craft, do great work, and are honest and fair, people will swear by them.

The same is true for a brand. The job that gets done and how people feel about it in the end is more important than what the brand looks like. Every single time.

BUT, what happens when that same contractor rolls up without a commendation. When he is judged only on appearance, without the stellar reputation. Then, looks begin to matter more.

So, what happens when a brand needs to extend beyond word of mouth? Or when the organization wants to expand beyond the one person who founded the business? How do those core values that drive the passion and focus of the organization get translated to growing organizations?

This is where good branding comes in.

Good branding helps visualize and verbalize the soul of the organization. 

If the logo is the face of your business, it needs to be SMART — Simple, Memorable, Appropriate, Reliable, and Timeless. It doesn’t have to say EVERYTHING about your business, but it does need to make a memorable impression.

In fact, if your logo IS trying to explain your whole business, the chances are high that it is way too complicated and therefore NOT very memorable. 

The logo does not need to explain, it needs to identify.

So, what is the key point? No matter what your logo looks like, the reality is this:

You CAN have a successful small business without ever having a good logo as long as you are good at what you do and are comfortable relying entirely on word of mouth.

But if you want to branch out, you probably need to brand up. If you want to make a good impression on people who you don’t already have a relationship with, you need a SMART logo.