Part 2 of the series of articles on WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF LOGOS AND WHY THEY MATTER: Here I take a look at how logos create a memorable first impression to your brand. Including its logo is the main driver of the potential customers’ first impression of the business. Statistics have shown that visitors to most websites spend over 6 seconds taking a look at the logo first before moving on to other content. If it is so important, let’s talk a bit about it. Definitely, let’s see what logos create.

In this series on “What is the Purpose of Logos and Why They Matter”, I have been discussing:

LOGOS DELIVER THE BASICS

In the previous article Logos Deliver the Basics, we examined the definition of logos and what they deliver to your customers. As a summary, we can say that logos deliver the basics of your company to potential customers with a clear, unique and individual message of your business mark. This mark is what will stand you up amongst thousands of competitors – that means, the comfort, security and familiarity that your brand offers in the consumer decision process.

Part 2: LOGOS CREATE A MEMORABLE FIRST IMPRESSION

They say that the first impression is the last impression. Therefore, if you want your logo to be well perceived by your customers, you have to become the first critic. How do you feel when you look at your logo? Probably your customers will feel the same feelings or very similar to yours.

This first impression, therefore, is your objective when you create a logo. My suggestion is to stick to the basics when you concept your logo. We always have to remember that before your customer knows anything about you they will probably have seen your logo. So, is your logo communicating who you actually are?

Creating this memorable first impression of your brand is a difficult task. It demands time and understanding. The logo should set a goal in sculpting a visual form of “Here I am! I will help you!” Normally, there is an appeal to basic human desires – in fashion, it is how attractive we will be wearing those clothes; in health-care, how care-related that institution looks; in transportation, how comfortable and safe we will be. It is essential that the logos create this identifiable personal image that should be the focus of the customer’s visual solution.

WHAT LOGOS SHOULD IMPRESS

  • Your brand identity
  • Your professional and reputable look
  • Communicate what you offer
  • Build loyalty

It is a lot, isn’t it? All inside a little symbol and tagline. That is why it is important to have your logo designed with simplicity and uniqueness. Many companies, after having used their logos for decades, decide to re-brand. When they do that, you will see that the initial design was probably simple and straightforward. And the re-branding should keep this same simplicity and creativity in the design.

A good example is the doomed company Toys “R” Us, who are coming back to Australia with a new name and new logo. The first logo was good and appropriate to the time when it was done. The new design reflects a change in consumer tastes and expands its products to our current market under new strategic marketing. It still connects to the customer, a key to success, but establishes a good identity as it faces the tough toy competition.

CONSUMER TASTES CHANGE, LOGOS EVOLVE

There is much more to a logo than just the aesthetic appeal. Some academic studies have shown that people assess the companies through their perception of their logos. A bad logo design can doom a brand. They have shown that simple details like the circularity, angularity or typographic details are enough to affect the perception of the attributes of a product or company.

When designing a logo, the designer should also have a good look at the evolution of consumer tastes to keep the integration and connection up. For instance, what was the big hit yesterday, has become a fad today. Some important things that would influence would be:

  • People, in general, want to stay active and well
  • Young children have a voice in purchasing decisions
  • People tend to require individual, personalised treatment instead of “one-size-fits-all”
  • The shopping experience is online and fast
  • The post-purchase process is part of the identity of a company
  • Brands must prove their authenticity

These consumer tastes impact on the branding process and should always be considered in the visual design of the company identity. Re-branding must revitalise a stagnant brand and make it more relevant to changing tastes. When correctly done, a logo will breathe new life into a brand.  

We can’t sum up an identity in a single image, we must admit. But the designer should give the company a good foundation that can be expanded, but not reinvented if they decide to multiply their activities in the future.

graphic praising simplicity
https://moss51.com

THE NEED FOR A GOOD FIRST IMPRESSION

I would like to present an example of the need for a memorable first impression for a type of companies that in the past were not getting much notice, but that are now awakening to the increasing competition and the more and more choices: the health care industry.

From medical clinics to alternative medicines, to insurance companies, to generic drugs, to health maintenance organisations there is a multitude of organisations competing for the ageing population and the general health care focus of our population. Those companies are creating an icon that identifies their companies as welcoming, caring and better than others.

One important thing to consider is that the customers in need of those products or services are requiring compassion, assurance of expertise and comfort. Therefore, the images used for those companies must reflect those needs and care. With honesty and professionalism, we, designers, should provide what customers need in personal and emotional aspects but still maintain good corporate strength and posturing from the company.  

A GREAT EXAMPLE: CANCER RESEARCH UK

Brian Lischer from Ignyte offers several examples of positive and failures in the re-branding of healthcare companies. Let’s have a look at Cancer Research UK. Their previous logo from 2014 was feeling a little bit pale with the current conditions. They needed another one to project their community teamwork and their warm care.

 As we can see through the figure below, they did not reinvent the logo. They used the same colour palette and expanded its meaning using the letter ‘C’, that is a sign for Cancer but also for Care and the Collective of their team-focused approach to help families coping with the disease. Also, the change in the typography, making the letter a bit more circular offering a softer approach to its competency. And their tagline is an added encouragement, too “Together we will beat cancer“. In summary, it offers the customers essential elements that express happiness, warmth and strength.

Cancer Research logos
Old Style (left) New Style (right)

THE POWER OF FIRST IMPRESSIONS

Considering that most of us think intuitively, the first impression is, as we have seen, crucial. We need to consider that the first impression your logo as a symbol that can provide consumers with instant and powerful brand recognition will be sooner or later complemented by the brand strategy that you and your team develop for your business such as storefront location, website design, social networks, and other strategic methods. They all need to work together to produce the best memorable impression.

But logos are generally the first one in this line because they cause potential customers to remember you with a positive light, remember you when they need your services and keep them coming back after they have experienced your products or service. This power of interpretation logos have gives a distinctly welcoming feeling and a personal visual identity.

THE IMPACT OF A GREAT LOGO

Every potential customer that sees your logo, in whatever element or media, will be receiving the communication of your message. But a logo that communicates clearly what your message is winning. That is the victory: the elements that the customer remembers and trusts. When the potential customers glance at those well-designed professional logos they will see what the organisations do and what they might expect to receive.

That is a memorable first impression of your brand that will last. Just like in the healthcare example, a good logo reflects the consumer’s desires, while they still represent the company it stands for – an effective marketing tool.

FedEx logo

A rich connection of two words, plain, but carefully constructed so that the negative space between E and X forms an arrow indicating “express”. It communicates the correct message of movement and direct action, but in a subtle way, using soft but strong typo.

Sources:
A. R. Miller & J. M. Brown, 2000, “What Logos Do and How They Do It”, Rockport Publishers
http://www.ignytebrands.com/healthcare-rebranding-examples/
https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/JPBM-05-2014-0609/full/html?fullSc=1
https://www.psychologicalscience.org/news/minds-business/the-shape-of-a-logo-has-a-powerful-impact-on-consumers120911.html


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Cidinha Moss