Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach

Cheap Logos Win

A logo is a simple symbol that’s identifiable on a billboard or a penny. And companies spend millions of dollars to get it right.

British Petroleum (BP) now rocks a logo that cost the oil company $210 million. 

Accenture paid a designer $100 million to write the company name in lowercase and place a blue angled bracket on top.

It pays to have your products identified in an instant. But does a distinct logo pay you back the millions you spent?

Of course not.

Even thousands of dollars spent on a logo is money wasted. After all, its only purpose is to say, “We made this.”

A simple scribble can get by. Or a swoosh—which only cost Nike $35. 

Yet organisations continue to update their prized symbols to increase market shares. Which is plain kooky.

As long as your logo fits the story of your business, the letterface, colours and shape of your icon barely affect anyone’s thoughts and feelings.

What does deeply influence people is your brand. The feelings and stories people link to your organisation.

Harley Davidson doesn’t own a chain of restaurants. But if the motorcycle manufacturer did without telling you, you’d recognize it in an instant: That’s Harley Davidson’s brand!

If your brand triggers an emotional flatline, it doesn’t matter what your logo looks like. Even if you dropped six figures for it.

Do your products produce excitement? Then your logo does too. 

Your logo starts off as a name tag and only gains value after people relate it to your wonderful brand.

Once your brand raises the right expectations, your logo becomes a reminder for people to pick your product over another.

Don’t waste time and money on a logo. Pick a clean and meaningless design and move onto what’s important: building a brand.

P.S. If the name of your business has an actual meaning, like Apple, it doesn’t hurt to pick a logo that represents that word. But if your name is meaningless, like Peugeot, anything goes.

By Jeroen Elsing
Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach