A logo really is pretty meaningless.

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Frequently, the website owner (your client or boss) thinks they’re the clone of their audience (their potential or actual customers). Of course, they aren’t. We’re all different and have different perspectives and opinions for many reasons. That’s good. Otherwise, this would be a pretty boring world.

Mister Ego

Logos make little difference in the outcome of client profitability. They have other benefits but it’s not money.

“Can you make the logo bigger?” In most venues, a logo really is pretty meaningless – except for the owners who see it as a “flag”. A flag can be good for morale. But a good trade name carries more weight (potent meaning) with a small audience than a clever logo. Then as long as the name is memorable, readable, and pronounceable, it *might* make a difference. For many businesses, a logo is reduced to a mere decorative element. When is the last time you paid for a solitary dingbat?

Dingbats are ornamental or decorative type characters. Dingbats are used as directional signage informing the reader what is important. They can also serve as graphic elements or exaggerated illustration. destroying white space. They work fine as a temporary symbol.

Logos can be fraught with emotional upheaval for the owners and cause unneeded, repeated presentations. “Does it really represent me?” Uh. It’s not supposed to represent that deep of a psychological burden. Arguments and doubt could go on forever with that as the goal.

There are three marketing components needed for success. You CAN succeed with any two –but it’s best if all three are present to some degree. They are: 1) the offer, 2) the market need, and 3) the design. If any two are missing, it’s a sure failure. Notice the logo is not one of the three but a subordinate part of design. In the hierarchy of what really makes a difference, a logo will not guarantee much. Yes, it’s possible to succeed with bad design. It can even be more memorable for the wrong reason!

But if no one needs the client’s product or service, or the price is too high and delivery too long (bad offer) –even fantastic design cannot save the venture. Stupid ideas especially cannot be saved by design (let alone by a logo). Statistically, half of all businesses fail in the first year whether they have everything right or not. It’s a coin toss. Great design will never make up for a flawed business model or product/market fit. Some erroneously think design can be the difference between crushing your competitors, or being left in the dust. Often, it will just suck your new business of its precious limited resources.

Nonetheless, design is a secret weapon giving companies an edge over competitors IF they have a good product and a market that needs it. When we say market, we mean names and addresses –a list of individuals with common needs.

We like an attractive logo. It feels good to own one. It feels nice to own a new, fancy car, too. We don’t invest much money or credence in logos because we realize ideas are disposable sometimes. If the business idea survives it’s first year then maybe it’s time to get out the check book. But you do not need a logo when starting up. You can just use type and maybe a dingbat. We believe in bootstrapping. With little or no investment in your company *identity*, you won’t weep so much if things fail.

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by - Dr. Nikolas Hedberg