by Linda Kleist
If you are a business owner and could prove to yourself that the right logo would increase sales, would you make your logo a high priority?
To help keep things clear, let’s define some terms. Brand is a big buzz word, and it’s important. It’s also important to know that your brand isn’t your logo.
The brand is what people think and feel about your business, product, or services based on what they see, hear, and experience. The logo is a slice of the brand experience. But it is a very important slice… like your first piece of hot pizza!
Your logo is the face of your business. It’s how people recognize you and your business or product. The logoidentifies: it’s the face of a business or product.
Imagine networking in a room with 200 people, and you glance over and see someone you know walk in the door. You know instantly who that person is. How? You have identified them by their face. Things you know and feel about that person come flooding into your mind and emotions in a moment without saying a word. That is the brand experience.
That’s an example of what a logo does for a business. When people see your logo-the face of your business, what people think and feel about your business follow.
What if a person doesn’t know anything about your business except for the logo they see on a business card, a sign, or brochure?
Here is something every business owner should take note of: The importance of a face.
Psychological Science published an article in July 2006, summarized by Eric Wargo, with the results of research by two Princeton psychologists Willis and Todorov. In a series of experiments, they showed respondents photographs of strangers and asked them to measure specific character qualities, such as competence, attractiveness, trustworthiness and aggressiveness. Two qualities that people felt the strongest about wasattractiveness and trustworthiness. So, without any information, except for the person’s face, respondents strongly judged whether a person could be trusted.
Q: How long do you think it took them to look at a photograph of a stranger and come to that conclusion?
A: One-tenth of a second. In the blink of an eye!
Furthermore, the longer the respondents were able to look, the more solidified they became in their opinion! Their first impression remained the same and even grew more resolute.
Now, we don’t like to think of ourselves as judgmental, but we must face the music: we are a judgmental species and we DO judge a book by its cover. (So, when you write a book, make sure you have a good designer because the right cover will drive sales!)
People will judge a stranger’s trustworthiness without any facts, just their face-in 1/10th of a SECOND! One of the fundamental factors in business is trust.
We often hear the phrase that Bob Burg turns in his book, Endless Referrals, “People do business with people they know, like, and trust.”
Marty Neumeier, in his book, The Brand Gap, says that “Trust is the ultimate shortcut to a buying decision, and the bedrock of modern branding.”
What does trust have to do with your logo? Since the logo is the identity, the face, of your business, people are making judgments about the quality and trustworthiness of your business.
I have heard business owners declare that it’s only price and service which matters and that a logo is just “fluff.” If that’s true, then why do the big guys spend the big bucks to get it right?
If your logo is out-dated or amateurish, you risk communicating that you are a novice or that you are not progressive or a leader in your industry. Your customers have to “get past,” even on a subconscious level, that message in order to do business with you. Or, they may be going past you to your competitor who looks more competent, professional, reliable – someone they can trust.
Getting back to the phrase, “People do business with people they know, like, and trust,” If a logo communicates trust, can it also help your prospects and customers know and like you? Sure!
Can your logo help people feel comfortable, like they know you? People will relate to a feeling and personality and feel like they know your business. Will your target market relate to your product or service if you look more relaxed & approachable, or strong and loyal, masculine or feminine? The right logo (identity) will communicate the right brand message and credibility that will give people the right impression and confidence to buy from you.
Attractiveness was the second strongest feeling that was measured in the Princeton study. We like what we find attractive. A logo that is busy rather than sophisticated, dull rather than dynamic, or common rather than memorable will not be as attractive and “liked.”
If a prospect knows little about your business, and their first impression is your logo on a business card, stationery, vehicle, trade show display, sign or brochure, they will likely make the same judgment as the people in the study…in the blink of an eye.
It takes years to build a solid brand and a lot of work to keep it. Your logo can help build a solid brand, or work against it. Like a well-dressed and personable salesperson– who never sleeps–it can get you in the door and give you the advantage.
Identity Graphic Design gives you the Remarkable Advantage of a credible visual brand…in the blink of an eye!
The remarkable advantage is the perfect impression created without saying a word. It’s instant credibility, in the blink of an eye.
Make the investment into your business that will yield returns for years to come.
July 2006 www.psychologicalscience.org