People often confuse brand with logos. Believing that awareness of their brand is somehow connected with the size of their logo. They’re wrong.
Executives and CEOs often believe the bigger the logo on their website or brochure or advertisement, the more people will be aware of their offering. They call it ‘brand awareness’. Again, they’re wrong.
1. People buy products not logos
A product is my shorthand for your offering; whatever it is you sell to customers. Most effective marketing, especially B2B, is about selling benefits and satisfying a need – these things have nothing to do with the size of your logo. Indeed, the larger your logo the less space you have to explain your proposition.
Repeating the logo or your brand name, like an amphetamine-fuelled mantra, is not going to persuade anyone. It just becomes annoying and will eventually be seen as irrelevant.
Some famous B2C brands can afford to just have their logo on a billboard or bus shelter. But the key words are ‘afford’ and ‘famous’. They have the budget to do that type of marketing to keep their name front of mind (see item 3), and they are already famous. Check out some of the early Apple or Microsoft adverts and note how the price was the focus, not the logo.
My argument would be that even for those brands a solitary logo on a poster may never be as effective as a logo and a reason to buy.
2. Your logo is not your brand
Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, is quoted as saying “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room”. Brilliant.
If you accept this to be true you will realise that brand has more to do with the service or product you provide every day – and very little to do with your logo. Brand is about reputation, and reputation can be enhanced or destroyed by word-of-mouth.
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that including a big logo on everything will somehow improve your brand.
3. There are exceptions to these rules
There are of course some brands that are so famous they just need to keep their name front of mind to ensure they are on consumers shopping lists – it’s what marketers call mind-share.
Microsoft, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Apple and Nike are all examples of big brands that are so embedded in our psyche they can advertise with just their logo. But their marketing budgets are huge, way beyond the grasp of most marketing managers.
If your budget is less than £250,000 you can’t afford to just advertise your logo.
Even household names began by selling the benefits of their products to satisfy consumer needs or wants. It takes a long time to reach critical mass where your logo and the benefits associated with it are immediately recalled by customers.
So, reduce the size of your logo and invest in selling benefits and great customer service. It should result in a healthier brand.
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