Here's an example:
So many people recognize Mastercard’s imagery, they started 2019 with a new logo that removed the name of the company entirely. That’s what it means to be an icon.
Create a logo that sticks in customers’ minds and gain icon status with these four steps:
1) Understand what your customer loves, hates, and fears.
These are the three absolute strongest emotions in the world, and they make all the difference to your brand.
- Love—If your customer loves ice cream, your logo name and look needs to say “tasty, cold, and refreshing”.
- Hate—If your customer hates flies, your logo needs to say “clean, secure, and bug-free”.
- Fear—If your customer is afraid of the dark, your logo needs to say “light, clarity, and confidence”.
Logos invoke a brand and that brand experience. Make sure it matches what you're going for and makes sense for your company!
What does it provoke? Nike's logo isn't supposed to feel safe or sleepy but active! To just do it! It's dynamic, and you can almost visualize it being made with a paintbrush. The shape itself implies motion. 👟
Everything you do must revolve around your customer.
Go where your customers are online in order to gauge what they are feeling and looking for. Go to them and develop empathy with them.
Facebook groups are an amazing resource. Not only are they free to join, but you won’t even need to ask direct questions. Everyone is there because they feel passionate enough to join a group and rant!
If your audience is pregnant moms, join a group where they openly talk about their needs and issues that you can service with your products.
Do you like ice cream enough to have a heated discussion with thirty complete strangers about the optimal ratio of marshmallows to nuts in a pint of Rocky Road? Maybe not. But your customers do.
Also check out your competitors' reviews on Amazon to get market data. What they liked and hated about their products. Go everywhere they are.
Get in their groups, get in their heads, learn how they communicate with each other, and use that information to speak to their needs with your logo.
2) Write down adjectives that make the customer feel what you want them to feel.
You don’t need to write a brick of a novel—just a handful of key descriptors you want associated with your product. This is how you solidify the directions you want your customers to follow.
Example: You’re selling black and gray Christmas tree skirts to keep up with the black tree trend. You want your customers to think ‘chic, unique, contemporary, and alternative’. Now you have to design a logo that fits those terms.
I shopped online and saw a brand of men’s deodorant with a pink flower in their logo. I’m perfectly secure in my manliness, but that’s how I know that store owner wasn’t thinking about their target market at all. Go after the psychology of the customer. Clean. Sleek. Confident. Handsome?
3) Use Looka to create a mockup.
Looka is an algorithm operated service that will get you to a simple jumping off point for your logo. As you follow the steps, you’ll be prompted to input things like colors, slogans, and emojis you feel represent your brand. You do have to create a free account for this service, but it gives you a great foundation for the next step.
Find colors and shapes that demonstrate the feel of your brand. This will guide you into a logo that might capture the feeling you want to cultivate in the heart of your future customer.
YETI is a great example of a very arbitrary brand name. “YETI” probably had no correlation to tumblers in the minds of their first customers until the company created this connection. It’s just a very cool-sounding, arbitrary name. Had they tried to trademark something more directly relevant like, “Ice Cools” it would have failed because these two words are every day terms people use all the time. You cannot trademark every day type names.
It'd be impossible to trademark in the drink cooler industry because people and companies need to use that term in their everyday vernacular without infringing on someone. You might get the "Ice Chest" if it has nothing to do with what it describes, like Apple Inc. having nothing to do with fruit. But, it's best to go fanciful like Google—that sounds like "googol", which is the number ten to the one-hundredth power.
Nike isn't just some random name. After the Greek battle of Marathon, the messenger that ran 26.2 miles to Athens shouted one word, "nike" (Greek for victory) before he keeled over and died. How cool of a name is that to have its own story? And it makes sense not just for a shoe company, but it's vague enough to allow the brand to expand into active apparel, unlike if they called themselves "Footwear".
But a name and a story aren't enough. You need a logo the communicates that.
In Looka, pick five examples that give the look and the feel you're going for. Customize the colors and see where they take you. Use it as a sample to send to a graphic designer to give them a feeling of what you want.
4) Send the adjectives and mockup to a graphic designer
“Why do I need a graphic designer if I like what Looka did?”
You’re not going to get anywhere with that attitude.
Think for a moment. If this service is free, and algorithm-made results can repeat for anyone, how are you going to make your brand stand out from every other cheapskate’s? You can’t.
That’s why you need to be ready to find a professional, pay them what their work is worth, and have something unique made for you that no one else can put a claim on.
Give your designer the preliminary mockups, your adjectives list, and make sure you can communicate with them on the feelings you’re trying to capture. Remember, they haven’t been eating, sleeping, and breathing your brand like you have, so their work is only going to be as good as your dialog with them.
Don’t get too caught up
Logos are important, but what your brand stands for will always come first.
It is better to have an ugly logo and a brand people trust than a wonderful logo with a bad reputation. The only power your logo has is the trust built around it.
The best way to do that is to follow through on what you say.
It was BP’s consistency in its product delivery to its customers over a long period of time that made it the world’s sixth largest oil and gas company on the planet.
If you’re ready to put the work in with your brand and the logo that represents it, you’re going to see growth that’ll let you fire your boss and live the life you want.