How much is a logo? This is probably the most frequently asked question when potential customers call. The shock and horror from some of them when we give them our start up package costs. For rebranding, the reaction is usually worse. It then occurred to me that most brands or potential brands that make an enquiry on the design and development of a brand identity do not normally know the true cost of a logo. At the end of this post, I hope you will be able to see your brand identity as an investment and not a cost.
Let’s start off with start-ups. We have previously covered details as to how we approach designing a brand identity. We have also looked into what you should look for when looking for a logo designer. Our experience at Pulsar Limited in both the design and print production environments has enabled us gain foresight when developing brand identities. This experience account for much in design pricing from agency to agency. Agencies without a background in print production will produce for you an expensive logo… and no the expense will not be felt at the time of purchase but rather in the long term.
This is what I mean by the true cost of a logo. You may be happy that you got a good deal on the design but as a start-up you need to be careful because you may find yourself in the position of requiring a rebranding service. Rebranding will definitely cost you more. As your brand grows, you will soon find yourself requiring marketing collateral. If your brand development did not factor this, then you may either have to proceed and produce expensively, or you may require a redesign of the logo to factor in print requirements. Below are some of the factors we look at when designing a logo. I have included an explanation as to how this may affect future cost implications:
- Keep it simple – simplicity is simply beautiful. It lends itself to more of the points below but more importantly it lowers production costs significantly. Simplicity doesn’t mean lack of elegance. There are great brand identities that use one colour and better for some they come in black – it doesn’t get cheaper to produce something than in black and white!
- Make it relevant – great logos are not only relevant in their time, but are able to withstand the test of time. This gives brands the opportunity to grow stronger in terms of brand equity and further means that you don’t need a rebrand (or if you do, it’s just a few tweaks)
- Aim for distinction – a distinct logo is one that is easily remembered. Distinction means that your brand needs to stand out from the crowd. This is easier said than done. You need something so unique that when an imitator crops up, they’ll instantly know you were copied! Distinct logos also make it easier for you to protect your brand through trademarking. This means the chance of being sued is minimal.
- Think Small – can it be used in the tiniest of applications and yet still be recognised? Ensure your logo or a variation of its mark passes the favicon text i.e. the icon on your browser tab. It should be usable in such places. If not, as you grow, you may further require to do a design, like Amazon did, just for your favicon.
The above factors are just a few we look at when designing your brand identity.
When it comes to rebranding, the brand should go beyond the price sensitivity they have assuming by now they understand the importance of branding. Brands have lost far much more on rebranding projects compared to the cost of rebranding itself. It is a project that is volatile and risky and should be handled with utmost care.
A famous case study on a rebranding job gone wrong is that of Tropicana. Research is an important aspect to rebranding (or even creating the brand identity). However, it is difficult to predict market reactions especially at launch. A good way to approach rebranding is to be ready to remedy any negative impact on sales, especially long-term.
What I’d like you to leave with is something simple – the cost of a logo goes beyond the initial investment. Look for a design team or branding agency that understands this and you are ready to build a better brand for your company!