Every big brand was once a start-up. And every start-up that grew did one thing right: create a face for the brand. Regardless of initial fears and hazy vision, these fledgling businesses defined themselves through a logo and branding that made them a brand.
In simple design terms, a logo is a graphic mark, emblem, or symbol that aids and promotes public identification and recognition. In our view, that fall shorts of what logo design does for a brand. It is not just a mark or emblem; it is the face of your brand. It tells people who you are and what you are like. Think of your logo as an expressive face.
Through a combination of logo design, typography, colours, typefaces, shapes, lines, form, and textures, we create a brand identity for your start-up. We create a face that depicts a set of values that you identify with, that your consumer relates to. It grows on you and your consumers, and everyone falls in love with it. People invest emotion in logos, they engage in long-term relationships with them, and even remain loyal through their lifetime.
A logo turns your company into a brand. A hitherto combination of basic design elements is no more a design. It’s suddenly a person that consumers trust and listen to.
Let’s look at the reasons why start-ups may not be investing in branding.
“Do we invest in product or a logo and brand identity?” This is a fair question, worth asking for many startups. Logos, identity design, and brand identity guidelines are luxuries for struggling companies. They prefer investing only in sales and product development, as those are safe and can be justified as pillars of the company. But what does the product look like? How will consumers perceive your services and products, how will you connect with consumers?
“Let’s focus on product first.” Believing in your product is the first step to building a business but belief is also a wall that obscures your view of the future. Most start-ups have a sense of possessiveness when it comes to their product; a belief that their product/service is good and branding is the least of their considerations. To this skewed focus, we have a question: how will the consumer find out all these wonderful things about your brand?
“Let’s first see if people will like this product/service.” Product functions and features are important but startups run the risk of spending a huge amount of time and money in product development over consumer identification and then compound this by pushing the product to the wrong audiences. The first task of branding is to identify the audience, user needs, why they need this particular product and also narrow down user set within the audience. Design a logo and brand identity that appeals to and targets specifically that user set – and you have a better chance of success.
Sales over logo and brand identity
“I would rather hire a sales guy with that money.” This is a common approach that many startups take. What happens here is these startups put the load of visualising their brand and product on others. You may have hired the right person, but for the wrong job. With this approach, start-ups also end up attracting the wrong kind of customers. Brand identity creation is a financial and human investment that is absolutely essential to overall success. Instead of counting costs in the short-term, consider the long-term benefits, not to mention the catastrophic costs associated with creating the wrong identity for the long-term or re-branding/designing correctly in the future.
How can start-ups be seen and heard?
Headless Hippies helps startups narrow the field with the right personas that allows them to focus their marketing and branding budgets and goals, from the beginning. Many companies ask – who is the best logo designing company in Bangalore? But that is the wrong question. You should be asking – who can the best logo design in Bangalore for me? You need an agency that will tailor your logo design to your success and performance, instead of an aesthetic that flatters their own needs.
Involving a good design company right from ideation of your product or service actually helps you lay a clear path. Design firms ask the right questions and challenge your own perceptions of product or consumer. We often get briefed by clients on what the product is, its features and how it works. We challenge their perception by asking questions like who this product is for? Why would anyone buy it? What is the importance of this product in the consumer’s life? How old are these customers? How will the product appeal to them? What is their age and gender? What do they do daily? What are the values of your company? What are the attributes?
Are you ready to have your brand get noticed? Look through some logos and brand identities created by Headless Hippies.