Typically one sees articles about brand consistency, but I think for many small business owners this is too much. So I am going to break this down to the smaller part of brand consistency and focus on something that has been bothering me for a few weeks now, the inconsistent use of logos.
As I have been taking my youngest son to and from school, I have driven past the same small business truck and trailer. They are a remodeling business, I believe. From the name, I am not sure I would immediately associate them with that but that is not my decision, I am not the owner. I should also add that I am not in the market for remodeling services. This is me observing this, day in and day out, driving by as a designer and it just bothers me. On the truck there is one iteration of the logo. On the trailer, there is another. They have nothing in common. Let me emphasise that, they have absolutely nothing in common outside of the name of the company and maybe the tagline about the services offered. The pictorial logo itself is dynamically different. I mean it is radically different.
The one is more elegant and personally something I would associate with designer services for remodeling and such. The other is certainly something I would associate with the name itself. Which is correct? Which is wrong? I can tell you that there is no one right or wrong answer to this. The problem is that they are sitting in the same driveway, right next to each other, with the objective “bystander” designer driving by day after day. Does one outweigh the other? Not if one is marketed correctly. Could there have been a logo designed that combined the elements? Sure, why not? I am not the designer, I do not know what drove the decisions that were made on either account. I just know that driving by, I do not know which one to trust. It is bi-polar at best.
My point in all this is that small businesses should put serious thought in their logo when they start. It is not too much to invest in a designer to get your own logo designed for you. This is how people will remember you easily. This is how you will quickly and easily recognize your business in a crowd. This is just a small part of what will go into your marketing efforts later. It certainly makes it easier when you have to start doing simple things like having business cards made, putting it on invoices, signs made, etc. Take the time to invest in it up front. It does not have to be expensive. It is going to cost a little bit of money, but it does not have to be expensive. You might have to refine it later and that might cost you a little more later, but invest in a good logo now.
Your logo is a part of your overall brand. Make that part be one that you are proud of for years to come and you will not want to change as the wind blows. This is not something that changes with the fads. It should make it through time with only minor changes. Just facelifts to update it and make it look more modern. Your logo may evolve over time, but it should be an improvement over the original.
Consistency is so important because it is what will help build trust. It will be something that your customers can see as you or your company having longevity and staying power, thus building you as someone that is more trustworthy. If you take the time to invest in your logo and its consistent use, you will look more professional and build credibility. Consistency also helps increase the rate of return by increasing effectiveness by building recognition and familiarity. All marketing tools are coordinated and you can focus on one goal of conversions.