Why Logo Design is the key to Branding?

Sandeep Srivastava | Senior Branding | Advertising[Company Logo, Logo Makers, logo designing, importance of the logo, Branding and Advertising]
Sandeep Srivastava | Senior Branding | Advertising

The topic in the discussion can even get a novice talking with astuteness. There is no denying the fact that the logo is critical to branding. Yet how often have I heard my clients say “Show me some logo options tomorrow” or “It’s only a logo, why should it cost so much?”

Volumes have been published on the topic and hence I shall refrain from stating the obvious besides merely mentioning the fact that the logo is the first visual point of recognition for the brand and the organization. Moreover, it encapsulates all that you have to offer, promise, and stand for. Hence it is one of the most important business investments in the gamut of the branding exercise.

Whilst the execution of the logo design is a work of art, the entire process is a strategic business process. With brands creating a clutter due to the over competitive business environment and highly fragmented media landscape, the one true differentiator is the logo. It is the well-designed logos that enable consumers to establish instant brand recognition.

The earliest impact a logo had on me was in the summer of 1984. I spent my eight standard summer vacations working for a promotions agency (yes they paid me in cash for obvious reasons). I was just thirteen but driven by the desire to own a pair of shoes with the swoosh on it. The other well-established German sports brands did not capture my imagination the way Nike did.

Even then, the Nike logo was more than just a symbol to me. It is not just the swoosh, colors, fonts or the subsequently well-crafted baseline of “Just do it”. Like most teenagers who loved sports, Nike epitomized everything I worshipped in those days and continue to do so. It celebrated sports and sportsmen & sportswomen across the globe. The brand struck an immediate chord of relevance with me then and nothing has changed to date. The logo encapsulates and represents all that Nike as a brand stands for. Many years later thanks to my interest in branding and the explosion of the internet, did I read up on that logo. A lot has been written about the Greek goddess, her wing and speed. For me, it will always be a symbol of eternal and continuous movement.

In the recent past, a lot has been written about the Amazon logo and how one can find almost anything from A to Z. It has successfully aided the company’s transformation from a vertical portal selling books to a horizontal portal with the largest product width. Whilst locally it is locked in a fierce battle with Flipkart for e-commerce supremacy in India, there is no denying that Amazon’s proposition has helped it take giant strides in just six years. And their logo has played a key role. Down to the lowest common denominator, everyone gets it. “Wahan sab kuch milta hain”.

Every brand has its own DNA, proposition, purpose, and values. It is a good logo design that encompasses all the brand elements into a narrative that is simple for all to understand, unique to stand apart in a clutter, memorable to be recalled even after a glance and timeless to always be contemporary and relevant. Most successful businesses are brands with great logo designs. The world’s top ten most valuable brands in 2019 (Source: Forbes) are Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, Coca-Cola, Samsung, Walt Disney, Toyota and McDonald’s. Little wonder then, all of these brands have iconic logos.

Around two decades ago, the legendary C.K. Prahalad and Stuart L. Hart had mooted a path-breaking concept. It was all about the vast opportunities that could be tapped at the bottom of the pyramid. This has contributed immensely to India’s growth story. When it comes to economic growth, it is all about consumption and demand. Consumption contributes to more than 60% of our GDP. With saturation in high- and mid-income levels, consumption demand had to be generated at the lower strata for the economy to grow.

Today we see it all around us, be it urban or rural India. The unskilled workforce has smartphones, shop from e-commerce sites, eat branded biscuits and savories for snacks and overall, have shifted their consumption from commodities to branded products. Drive through rural India and one cannot help but notice how brands are displayed in village shops. The smaller villages have battered roads or very inconsistent power, but that has not deterred their inhabitants from consuming branded goods albeit in smaller SKUs. For all brands, this has been an avenue ranging from survival to growth. The competition is fierce in this segment too and besides distribution, branding is the major ingredient for success. Where literacy levels are low and imagery is based on the visual appeal, it is the logo that plays a key role in making the consumer pick one brand over another.

Whilst most marketers would agree that the logo design is essential to branding, my recommendation is to treat it as a business investment. For I know of a thirteen-year-old boy who sacrificed his summer vacations. All because of a logo.

About the Author

Sandeep Srivastava is a senior Branding and Advertising professional who heads the Mumbai Operations of Evolution Strategy Advisors LLP, a boutique consultancy group. He has twenty-five years of experience in sales and marketing communications. He has an in-depth understanding of brands across a wide spectrum in the B2C and B2B space. He also pursues his passion to teach and is a visiting faculty at NMIMS, a leading Business school in Mumbai.

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